This list of graphic novels for kids is themed largely around the idea of navigating your own place in a diaspora, and the tensions of family and friendships where everyone’s experiences have been drastically different. They are also all comics because I love comics, and there are all books that are not only gorgeous to look at, but also teach visual literacy in a engaging and natural way.

Staff Pick Badge
The Legend of Auntie Po Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525554899
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Kokila - June 15th, 2021

The Magic Fish: (A Graphic Novel) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984851598
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Graphic - October 13th, 2020

This lovingly illustrated book is about a young Vietnamese boy trying to find the words to come out to his parents, but also about his own family’s trauma - as the characters navigate their new country using the language of fairytales.

Piece by Piece: The Story of Nisrin's Hijab Cover Image
By Priya Huq (Illustrator), Priya Huq
ISBN: 9781419740190
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Amulet Paperbacks - November 16th, 2021

This empathetic and nuanced book explores not just an incident of racism in the Pacific Northwest, but how a family copes with traumatic memories of the past and their complicated relationship with religion. The friendships and family relationships that Nisrin maneuvers feel real and grounded, and Priya Huq’s expressive art and use of color is exceptional.

Stargazing Cover Image
By Jen Wang, Jen Wang (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781250183880
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: First Second - September 10th, 2019

This is a lovely and joyful book about the tensions of navigating friendships across class lines and really, just about having a friend that’s kinda weird. The intense involved-parent childhood the protagonist has was so delightfully familiar to me. Jen Wang is also an absolutely incredible cartoonist, and her drawings of the characters are a masterclass in good shapes.

Squire Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062945853
Availability: Backordered
Published: Quill Tree Books - March 8th, 2022

This is a beautiful fantasy novel with stunning worldbuilding and a wonderful and nuanced story about prejudice and imperial expansion, as the protagonist navigates her own complicity with an empire’s ambitions. The friendships in this book are tender and delightful, and Nadia Shammas and Sara Alfageeh are an incredible team on this book.