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List of Titles for Younger Teens (Age 13+)

 

Baby-Sitters Club: Kristy’s Great Idea

Scholastic

By Raina Telgemeier

Stacey has three new true friends – Kristy, Claudia, and Mary Anne. Together they’re the Baby-Sitters Club, and they will deal with whatever’s thrown their way – even if it’s a rival baby-sitting club! Witness Kristy’s “eureka” moment when she gets the idea for a “baby-sitters club” and enlists her best friends, shy Mary Anne, artistic Claudia, and the newest member of the gang, Stacey.

Soft Cover, 192 Pages, Black & White, ISBN 978043973933750899

Cover Price: $9.99 – Your Price: $7.99

Big B Comics’ note to educators – There’s a reason The Baby-Sitters Club has been a mainstay in young adult literature for over twenty-five years. Mixing adventure, friendship, and responsibility in a fun book series, the graphic novels retain the fun and educational value of the originals.

Gender Slant – The Baby-Sitters Club is directed and tween girls.

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Amelia Rules! The Whole World’s Crazy

Simon & Schuster

By Jimmy Gownley

Meet Amelia Louise McBride. She’s been forced to move out of Manhattan after her parents decided to get divorced, and is now living in a small town (who cares which one) with her mom and her aunt, Tanner. Not to mention the fact that she’s dealing with being the new kid in school, many trips to the principal’s office, first kisses, etc. But you know what? She’s got her friends Reggie, Rhonda, and Pajamaman, and everything’s going to be okay. Except, of course, when it isn’t.

Soft Cover, 176 Pages, Colour, ISBN 978141698604151099

Cover Price: $10.99 – Your Price $8.79

Big B Comics’ note to educators – There are seven volumes in the Amelia Rules! series so far and in total the series has been nominated for over twenty awards and won the Cybil Award for Best Graphic Novel for Kids 12 and Under in 2007.

Gender Slant – while directed a little more at girls, boys can enjoy and relate to the stories as well.

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Bigfoot Boy: Into the Woods

Kids Can Press

By J. Torres and Faith Erin Hicks

Rufus is bo-o-o-ored at his grammy’s house in the country. But when he follows a girl into the woods and finds a totem in a hollowed out tree, things become a whole lot more interesting. Especially when he reads the word etched into the magical talisman: Sasquatch.

Soft Cover, 100 Pages, Colour, ISBN 978155453712950995

Cover Price: $9.95 – Your Price $7.96

Big B Comics’ note to educators – Not only does this book have a great story about the value of getting to know people before you judge them, but there is an important message about respecting the environment and world around us.

Gender Slant – This book is probably more appealing to boys than girls, but most girls would probably still enjoy it.

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Brain Camp

:01 First Second

By Susan Kim, Laurence Klavan, & Faith Erin Hicks

Jenna and Lucas find themselves at an invitation-only summer camp that turns problem children into prodigies, shipped off by their parents in a last-ditch effort to produce kids worth bragging about. But strange disappearances, spooky lights in the woods, and a chilling alteration that turns the dimmest, rowdiest campers into docile zombie Einsteins have Jenna and Lucas feeling more than a little suspicious – and a lot afraid.

Soft Cover, 160 Pages, Colour, ISBN 978159643366351699

Cover Price: $16.99 – Your Price $13.59

Big B Comics’ note to educators – The spookiness of this story is what pushes it to the 13+ category, but there are still lots of lessons to be learned in this excellent graphic novel.

Gender Slant – Boys and girls will love this one, but girls may be more willing to try it initially.

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Naruto

Viz Shonen Jump

By Masashi Kishimoto

Naruto learned the truth about the spirit of the demon fox sealed within him, but it didn’t change his goal to win the respect of the village by becoming the greatest ninja ever!

Soft Cover, 192 Pages, Black & White, ISBN 9781569319000507

Cover Price: Earlier volumes $7.99, later volumes $9.99 – Your Price: $6.39-$7.99

Big B Comics’ note to educators – This is one of the most popular manga series ever, and is a huge hit with North American audiences.  We find a lot of boys who have trouble enjoying reading can easily slip into the fantasy world of Naruto.

Gender Slant – this action manga is directed at boys, but has a large following with girls as well.

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Bleach

Viz Shonen Jump

By Tite Kubo

It’s a fact that 15-year-old high school student Ichigo Kurosaki has always been able to see ghosts. But this ability doesn’t change his life nearly as much as his close encounter with Rukia Kuchiki, a shinigami, and member of the mysterious Soul Society, charged with capturing rogue ghosts!

Soft Cover, 192 Pages, Black & White, ISBN 7820091814390079

Cover Price: Earlier volumes $7.99, later volumes $9.99 – Your Price: $6.39-$7.99

Big B Comics’ note to educators – Bleach is action packed a little bit on the spookier side. Already at almost 50 volumes, it’s one of the most popular mangas on the market.

Gender Slant – This manga is directed at boys, but girls enjoy it too.

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Bakuman

Viz Shonen Jump

By Tsugumi Ohba & Takeshi Obata

Average student Moritaka Mashiro enjoys drawing for fun. When his classmate and aspiring writer Akito Takagi discovers his talent, he begs Moritaka to team up with him as a manga-creating duo. But what exactly does it take to make it in the manga-publishing world?

Soft Cover, 208 Pages, Black & White, ISBN 978142153513550999

Cover Price: $9.99 – Your Price: $7.99

Big B Comics’ note to educators – Unlike most popular mangas, this one is set in the real world and is a great story of how people can achieve anything if they set their minds to it.

Gender Slant – This manga is directed at boys, but does have a smaller female following.

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AMERICAN BORN CHINESE

ST. MARTINS PRESS

By Gene Luen Yang
Jin Wang is the only Chinese-American student at his new school. Jocks and bullies pick on him constantly, and he has hardly any friends. Then, he falls in love with an all-American girl. Adored by his subjects, master of the arts of kung-fu, the Monkey King is the most powerful monkey on earth. But the Monkey King doesn’t want to be a monkey – he wants to be hailed as a god.  Danny’s a basketball player, a popular kid at school, but every year his cousin Chin-Kee comes to visit, and every year Danny has to transfer to a new school to escape the shame. This year, though, things quickly go from bad to worse. These three apparently unrelated tales come together with an unexpected twist, in a modern fable that is hilarious and poignant.

Soft Cover, 240 pages, Color, ISBN 1596431520

Cover Price $17.95 USD  –  Your Price $15.99 CDN

Big B Comics’ notes to educators – Very effective in a multicultural setting.American Born Chinese is a book about self discovery and self acceptance.   – Walter

Gender slant – told from a boys perspective but equally appealing to girls

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly.

As alienated kids go, Jin Wang is fairly run-of-the-mill: he eats lunch by himself in a corner of the schoolyard, gets picked on by bullies and jocks and develops a sweat-inducing crush on a pretty classmate. And, oh, yes, his parents are from Taiwan. This much-anticipated, affecting story about growing up different is more than just the story of a Chinese-American childhood; it’s a fable for every kid born into a body and a life they wished they could escape. The fable is filtered through some very specific cultural icons: the much-beloved Monkey King, a figure familiar to Chinese kids the world over, and a buck-toothed amalgamation of racist stereotypes named Chin-Kee. Jin’s hopes and humiliations might be mirrored in Chin-Kee’s destructive glee or the Monkey King’s struggle to come to terms with himself, but each character’s expressions and actions are always perfectly familiar. True to its origin as a Web comic, this story’s clear, concise lines and expert coloring are deceptively simple yet expressive. Even when Yang slips in an occasional Chinese ideogram or myth, the sentiments he’s depicting need no translation. Yang accomplishes the remarkable feat of practicing what he preaches with this book: accept who you are and you’ll already have reached out to others.

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Amulet Book One: The Stonekeeper

Scholastic Inc.

By Kazu Kibuishi

After a family tragedy, Emily, Navin and their Mother move to an ancestral home to start their new life. On the family’s first new Em and Navin’s mom is kidnapped by strange tentacled creatures. Now it’s up to Em and Navin to figure out how to set things right and save their mother’s life.

Soft Cover, 192 pages, Color, ISBN 978-0439846813

Cover Price $10.99 USD  –  Your Price $9.99 CDN

Big B Comics’ notes to educators – Highly recommended! For those who have finished Bone and are looking for the next big thing, I really can’t recommend this title enough. It’s got elements of Lord of The Rings and Tim Burton, while feeling fresh and original. For the reluctant reader’s who might feel that they are too old for Bone, will enjoy this slightly darker tale. A Must read!  – Peter

Gender slant – perfect for both boys and girls

Publishers Weekly described the book as “Almost too clever and poignant, Amulet is, on the surface, about navigating the murky waters of adolescence and, beneath that, an exploration of abandonment and survival.

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ATOMIC ROBO VOL 1: THE FIGHTIN’ SCIENTISTS OF TESLADYNE

Red 5 Comics

Written by Brian Clevinger

Drawn by Scott Wegener

In 1923, Nikola Tesla’s career is in its twilight until he unveils a robot with automatic intelligence—Atomic Robo. Granted full American citizenship in return for his participation in a top secret military operation in 1938, Atomic Robo goes on to found Tesladyne – a think tank dedicated to exploring the fringes of scientific inquiry, After decades of dealing with all matters of weirdness, Atomic Robo and the so-called ACTION SCIENTISTS of TESLADYNE became the go-to defense force against the unexplained.

Trade Paperback, 180 pages, color, ISBN 9780980930207

Cover Price $18.99 USD – Your Price $16.79

Big B Comics’ notes to educators- Atomic Robo is smart, action-packed and funny. It offers a glimpse at historical events such as the rivalry between Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison with a humorous spin. This book definitely has appeal across all ages and deserved its Eisner Award nominations for Best Limited Series in 2008.   – David

Gender slant – boys will love the action

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Castle Waiting

Fantagraphics Books

By Linda Medley

A fable for modern times, Castle Waiting is a fairy tale that’s not about rescuing the princess, saving the kingdom, or fighting the ultimate war between Good and Evil – but about being a hero in your own home.

Hard Cover, 448 pages, B&W, ISBN 1560977477

Cover Price $29.95 USD – Your Price $26.39

Big B Comics’ notes to educators– Though recommended for all ages this book is aimed at bright high school girls (boys will like it too). Castle Waiting is filled with great humor, great pacing and great storytelling. – Walter

Gender slant – will be enjoyed by both boys and girls

Reviewed by: Library Journal

Drawing on Sleeping Beauty and The Canterbury Tales for starters, this revisionist, picaresque Harvey Award- and Eisner Award-winning fantasy loads in numerous sly references to other fairy tales and myths. After Sleeping Beauty’s prince sweeps her off to his homeland, the kingdom is deserted except for a handful of retainers remaining in the castle waiting. Later and elsewhere, a young pregnant woman departs under mysterious circumstances for Castle Waiting, by now a legendary sanctuary. The tale follows the lady Jain as she reaches the castle and makes friends with its eccentric residents: the outspoken and warm-hearted cook, the aging ladies in waiting, the stork-headed steward, a taciturn blacksmith, a horse-headed knight, a reclusive scientist in a bird mask, and the bearded nun Sister Peace. Gradually, the story focuses on Peace’s unusual and entertaining reminiscences. The charming black-and-white art evokes medieval-style woodcuts but with a much more playful mood. Featuring talking animals, romance, demons, magic, and miracles aplenty, this is a sophisticated and delightful saga for all ages.

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MARVEL 1602 TP

Marvel Comics .

Written by Neil Gaiman

Drawn By Adam Kubert

The year is 1602, and strange things are stirring in England. In the service of Queen Elizabeth, court magician Dr. Stephen Strange senses that the bizarre weather plaguing the skies above is not of natural origin. Her majesty’s premier spy, Sir Nicholas Fury, fends off an assassination attempt on the Queen by winged warriors rumored to be in service to a mad despot named Doom. News is spreading of “witchbreed” sightings – young men bearing fantastic superhuman powers and abilities. And in the center of the rising chaos is Virginia Dare, a young girl newly arrived from the New World, guarded by a towering Indian warrior. Can Fury and his allies find a connection to these unusual happenings before the whole world ends?

Trade Paperback, 248 pages, color, ISBN 9780785141341

Cover Price $19.99 USD  – Your Price $17.59 CDN

Big B Comics’ notes to educatorsMarvel 1602 sets popular superhero properties into real historical events albeit whith poetic license.  Very entertaining and very deserving of the 2005 Quill award. Neil Gaiman has written a number of other critically acclaimed titles such as: The Sandman, Stardust and Coraline.   – Peter

Gender slant – more skewed toward boys

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RUNAWAYS TP VOL 01: PRIDE AND JOY DIGEST

MARVEL COMICS

Written by BRIAN K. VAUGHAN

Cover & pencils by ADRIAN ALPHONA

All young people believe their parents are evil … but what if they really are? Meet Alex, Karolina, Gert, Chase, Molly and Nico – whose lives are about to take an unexpected turn. When these six young friends discover their parents are all secretly super-powered villains, the shocked teens find strength in one another. Together, they run away from home and straight into the adventure of their lives – vowing to turn the tables on their evil legacy.

Soft Cover Digest, 144 pages, Color, ISBN 9780785113799

Cover Price $7.99 USD  –  Your Price $7.19 CDN

Beautifully illustrated by Canadian ADRIAN ALPHONA

There are 8 volumes of Runaways to date. Please click on the link below for summaries of volumes 2 to 8

Big B Comics’ notes to educators – This series carries one of our highest recommendations. Very engaging and enjoyed by both boys and girls.  – Walter

Gender slant – will be devoured by both

Link to summaries of Runaways volumes 2 to 8

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SCOTT PILGRIM GN VOL 01: PRECIOUS LITTLE LIFE

ONI PRESS INC.

 

Written and Drawn by Bryan Lee O’Malley

Scott Pilgrim’s life is totally sweet. He’s 23-years-old, in a rock band, “between jobs,” and dating a cute high school girl. Everything’s fantastic, until a seriously mind-blowing, dangerously fashionable, rollerblading delivery girl named Ramona Flowers starts cruising through his dreams and sailing by him at parties!

Soft Cover Digest, 168 pages, B&W, ISBN 9781932664089

Cover Price $11.99 USD  –  Your Price $11.19 CDN

Stories set in Toronto by Canadian creator Bryan Lee O’Malley

Big B Comics’ notes to educators – Canadian Bryan Lee O’Malley has set the Scott Pilgrim stories in and around Toronto. There are a lot of landmark references that students may be familiar with. Romana has 7 evil ex-boyfriends ans Scott has to do battle with each one before he can win her affections. Made into a feature length film – Summer 2010 release.   – Peter

Gemder slant – both will love it

All 5 volumes of Scott Pilgrim are highly popular. Word will spread once students start signing these out. These books have a very high cool factor.

Link to summaries of Scott Pilgrim Volumes 2 to 5

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SKIM

GROUNDWOOD BOOKS

Written by Mariko Tamaki

Illustrated by Jillian Tamaki

We follow Skim, a loner from the 90’s, through a year of high school, in her all girl catholic school. We see how she deals with her own spirituality, sexuality, friendship and identity. And don’t forget more of the normal high school drama like confusion, cliques, depression, love, suicide, peer pressure and the popular girls. Skim walks us through it all and you really get a sense of what she’s all about and how she changes.  The whole concept of how we go through phases in life and how we deal with them is shown through the unique writing as well as the free flowing art.

Soft Cover, 144 pages, B&W, ISBN 9780888999641

Cover Price $14.99 CDN  – Your Price $11.99 CDN

Written and illustrated by Canadian cousins Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki

Big B Comics’ notes to educators – I found that I could relate to Skim, even though I didn’t have the exact same high school experience as her.  I could relate to her as a confused about life teenage girl. Sometimes we just have to figure things out on our own.   – Alice-ann

Please make note that Skim’s content does have the main female character falling in love with her female teacher, and they kiss. It’s touched upon lightly and this is Skim’s love interest and heartbreak. There is no other inappropriate behavior and the way that it is handled is done with some discretion, without jeopardizing the story.

Gender slant – skewed towards girls but the quality of writing makes it a great read for boys as well

Reviews

“Skim is a funny, poignant, memorable drama of navigating adolescence.” – Quill & Quire, starred review

Awards
New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Children’s Book
Winner of the Ignatz Award for Outstanding Graphic Novel
Winner of the Doug Wright Award for Best Book
Winner of the Joe Shuster Award for Writer
ALA Notables Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teen
Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year (Comic)
Finalist for the Governor General’s Literacy Award

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SMILE SC

SCHOLASTIC INC.

By Raina Telgemeier
Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after Girl Scouts she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth, and what follows is a long and frustrating journey with on-again, off-again braces, surgery, embarrassing headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth attached. And on top of all that, there’s still more to deal with: a major earthquake, boy confusion, and friends who turn out to be not so friendly. This coming-of-age true story is sure to resonate with anyone who has ever been in middle school, and especially those who have ever had a bit of their own dental drama.

Soft Cover, 224 pages, B&W, ISBN 9780545132060

Cover Price $13.99 CDN  –  Your Price $9.59 CDN

Big B Comics’ notes to educators – A positive story of self affirmation told in a fun way that will keep the kids reading. Can actually be read by kids age 10 and up.   – Alice-ann

Gender slant – girls will identify more with the main character but the quality of the book will win boys over too

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Superman Red Son

DC Comics

Written by Mark Millar

Drawn by Dave Johnson & Kilian Plunkett

In the intriguing SUPERMAN: RED SON, the classic myth of Superman is re-imagined and reinvented as the infamous rocket ship crash-lands in the fields of the Ukraine. Raised in Russia, Superman grows to become the Soviet Union’s greatest weapon as the world is transformed into a communist state opposed only by the crumbling capitalistic America and its President Lex Luthor. Now as Superman stands on the brink of ultimate power, three heroes, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern, each make a valiant stand to destroy the reign of the Man of Steel.

Trade Paperback, 160 pages, color, ISBN 9781401201913

Cover Price $17.99 USD  –  Your Price $15.99 CDN

Big B Comics’ notes to educators – The defining ideological and political battle of the 20th century presented through the tweaking of the retelling of the coming of Superman.   – Walter

Gender slant – Superman is traditionally a boy favorite

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ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN VOL 1: POWER AND RESPONSIBILITY

Marvel Comics

Written by Brian Michael Bendis

Drawn by Mark Bagley

High school, puberty, first dances – there are many pitfalls to being young. Compound these with intense personal tragedy and super-powers, and you can start to visualize the world of Peter Parker, a.k.a. Spider-Man! Witness the rebirth of a legend as Peter learns that with great power, there must also come great responsibility!

Trade Paperback, 200 pages, color, ISBN 9780785139409

Cover Price $19.99 USD –  Your Price $17.59 CDN

Big B Comics’ notes to educators- The Ultimate line of comics was launched in 2000 by Marvel to drawn in a younger generation of readers. Spidey in his high school years makes it easy for the young reader to relate. Good moral lessons in this retelling of Spider-Man’s origin.   – Laura

Gender slant – boys obviously but highschool girls will easily relate

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WAR AT ELLSMERE TP

SLAVE LABOR GRAPHICS

Written and Drawn by Faith Erin Hicks

Jun is the newest scholarship student at the prestigious Ellsmere Girls’ Boarding School – but to a lot of the privileged rich girls, “scholarship student” is just code for “charity case.” Fortunately, Jun has an ally in the quirky Cassie, who tells her legends of a beautiful creature that lives in the forest outside of the school. Between queen bees and mythical beasts, Jun has quite the school year ahead of her!

Soft Cover, 156 pages, B&W, ISBN 9781593621407

Cover Price $12.99 USD  –  Your Price $11.99 CDN

Written and drawn by Canadian Faith Erin Hicks

Big B Comics’ notes to educators – Highly recommended.  The book is about friendships, self discovery and has a very good anti bullying storyline. Faith Erin Hicks is a Canadian artist; she won the prestigious Joe Shuster award for her graphic novel work.  – Jill

Gender slant – girl situations but the quality and universal truths will win over the guys too