As you all can tell from our various bios, many of us are working as teen or youth librarians, and the rest of us have been known to pick up a teen book or two.

So, when the call came out for participants in YALSA’s Best of the Best Reading Challenge, I couldn’t resist.  I checked through the titles, made up my own goals of a reading list, and asked if anyone else from the staff would like to join me.  With this type of challenge, it’s always best to have company so that we can cheer each other on (and deploy a necessary guilt trip as needed.)

The challenge, to read at least 25 but as many as you can above that of YALSA’s 2012 Best of the Best selection list and award titles, allows all of us to read the Great Graphic Novels for Teens 2012 Top Ten and our potential selections include fiction, nonfiction, and audiobooks.  You have to read the titles within the three month period from April 1st to June 30th, so many of us will be re-reading or re-listening.  We’ve all agreed to read (and re-read as necessary) the GGNFT top ten, as a core group, and then we’ll each branch out.  The other lists include the Alex Award, Margaret A. Edwards Award, William C. Morris Award, Nonfiction Award, Odyssey Award, and Michael L. Printz Award, as well as the Top Ten Amazing Audiobooks, Best Fiction, Popular Paperbacks, and Quick Picks.

The Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens of 2012 are:

  • Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgal. First Second, 2011.
  • Axe Cop v. 1 by Malachi Nicolle and Ethan Nicolle. Dark Horse, 2011.
  • A Bride’s Story by Kaoru Mori. Yen Press, 2011.
  • Daybreak by Brian Ralph. Drawn and Quarterly, 2011.
  • Infinite Kung Fu by Kagan McLeod.  Top Shelf, 2011.
  • The Influencing Machine: Brooke Gladstone on the Media. Brooke Gladstone, Josh Neufeld, and others. W. W. Norton and Company, 2011.
  • Scarlet by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev. Marvel/Icon Comics, 2011.
  • Thor: The Might Avenger volumes 1-2 by Roger Langridge, Chris Samnee, and others. Marvel, 2010-2011
  • Wandering Son v. 1 by Takako Shimura.  Fantagraphics Books, 2011.
  • Zahra’s Paradise by Amir and Khalil. First Second, 2011

Our NFNT participants include:


Tracking her reading: here at the NFNT site.
Starting with: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness  (Best Fiction) (re-read), Zahra’s Paradise by Amir (re-read) (Great Graphic Novels)
P. S. For any audiobook fans out there, I cannot recommend the audiobook of The Scorpio Races highly enough!  SO GOOD.  Also, The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith.  You will be creeped out for AGES by that reading (in the best way.) I will probably re-listen to that just to relive the excellence of both the story and the reading.



Tracking her reading: at Goodreads
Starting with: Daybreak by Brian Ralph (Great Graphic Novels)





Tracking her reading: at Goodreads
Starting with: Scarlet by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev (Great Graphic Novels)





Tracking her reading:
Starting with: Pavement Chalk Artist by Juilan Beever (Quick Picks)





Tracking her reading: at Goodreads
Starting with: Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler (Printz Award)



  • Robin B.

    | She/Her Teen Librarian, Public Library of Brookline

    Editor in Chief

    Robin E. Brenner is Teen Librarian at the Brookline Public Library in Massachusetts. She has chaired the American Library Association Great Graphic Novels for Teens Selection List Committee, the Margaret A. Edwards Award Committee, and served on the Michael L. Printz Award Committee. She is currently the President of the Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table for ALA. She was a judge for the 2007 Eisner awards, helped judge the Boston Globe Horn Book Awards in 2011, and contributes to the Good Comics for Kids blog at School Library Journal. She regularly gives lectures and workshops on graphic novels, manga, and anime at comics conventions including New York and San Diego Comic-Con and at the American Library Association’s conferences. Her guide, Understanding Manga and Anime (Libraries Unlimited, 2007), was nominated for a 2008 Eisner Award.

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