End of the Year: Favorite Graphic Novels from 2011

It is that time of the year.  Time to look back on all of the wonderful books that I read and an attempt to select my favorites.  I have decided to kick-off the End of the Year posts with Graphic Novels.  In looking at my GoodReads' shelf for Graphic Novels, I realized that I read a lot of graphic novels in 2011.  In coming up with this list though, I limited it to ones that were released in 2011. 

Here are some of my personal favorites (in no particular order):

Babymouse #14: Mad Scientist by Matt Holm and Jenni Holm - No list would be complete without a Babymouse GN making an appearance and not only is this one a favorite of 2011 but maybe one of my favorite Babymouse books to date.

Squish by Matt Holm and Jenni Holm - Fans of Babymouse were introduced to Squish this year and got a chance to read not just one but two Squish stories.  Yay for Super Amoebas! 

Lunch Lady #6 Lunch Lady and the Field Trip Fiasco by Jarrett J. Krosoczka - Any teacher who has taken a class on a field trip to any place will get a chuckle out of the latest Lunch Lady book. 

Sidekicks by Dan Santat - I am a huge fan of Santat's picture books and was excited to hear that he was doing a graphic novel.  And even more excited when I finally had a chance to read it.  My list would not be complete without adding it here.  This one has become quite popular among my students as well.

Amulet #4: The Last Council by Kazu Kibuishi - This is one book series that I have to wrestle away from students in order to read the latest book.  And book 4 truly delivers.  Boys and girls love this series and I have students in grades 1 to 5 reading it.

Nursery Rhyme Comics: 50 Timeless Rhymes from 50 Celebrated Cartoonists by Various - Nursery Rhymes get a fancy twist as illustrated by some of the most popular cartoonists out there.  First Second puts out some great books and this is one of them.  A fun way to expose older children to common nursery rhymes.

Around the World by Matt Phelan - Phelan writes about the individual accounts of 3 people who ventured out on "around the world" tours in the late 19th century. Full of the personality quirks of each of these adventurers and interesting facts. 

Hera by George O'Connor - The Olympian series by O'Connor is a favorite of mine.  And though I might favor Athena more than Hera, I certainly grew in appreciation for who Hera is/was from this book. The "Geek Notes" at the end of the book help readers connect back to the other books - or provide glimpses of what will come. Great companion to the Percy Jackson Series.

Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge - Newcomer Gulledge snagged me with her amazing artwork and I was particularly taken with how the illustrations perfectly match the emotions of the text. Some of the images were just so expressive on such a visceral level.

Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol - Anya's Ghost manages to be a ghost story with just the right level of creepy with true teen angst about fitting in at high school.  In addition to a great story, I really loved the illustrations in this one.

For our youngest comic book/graphic novel fans, I need to make a special mention of Candlewick's ToonBooks which are a wonderful easy reader series of comic books.  They aren't all published in 2011 but I discovered them in 2011.  The series is perfect for Kinder to 3rd grade and the book apps are also available in multiple language. 

If you are looking to increase your graphic novel collection, and these aren't on the shelves in your library, I would encourage you to add them to your personal or school libraries (*please note - Page by Paige & Anya's Ghosts are both for Middle School and older). 

** Thanks to Alethea (@frootjoos) for the image at the top.