graphic novels for boys, graphic novels for 3rd grade, third grade graphic novels

10 Great Graphic Novels for 3rd Grade

Julie Kirkwood, Creekside Learning
Julie Kirkwood, Creekside Learning • 5 hours ago
Mia, I wish I could pin a whole board in one pin! My son loves graphic novels and I am always looking for new ones for him. Thank you! Also enjoying perusing your lists of books today on the birds and the bees as well as safe touch. Such great resources!

PragmaticMom • 5 hours ago
Hi Julie. This ABCs series is a 5 part post so I hope you find some for your son. How old? I’d be happy to direct you to lists if he’s around 8. I’ve been reading tons with my little boy. He loves them too! I’d also be happy to research and post a customized list for you. I love making those!

Julie Kirkwood, Creekside Learning • 33 minutes ago
Hi Mia, that would be wonderful. He is about to turn 9 this month. He loves all things history and gaming. Thank you!

I love graphic novels too, a recent discovery for me. I wanted to share two great resources for graphic novels. One is Monise Seward‘s blog that covers homeschooling including piles of graphic novels her daughters are reading. Here’s some of the posts perfect for Julie:

  • Homeschool Reads: History & Life Lessons Thru Graphic Novels
  • Homeschooling Tweens, Greek Graphics, & An Accidentally Gifted Kid
  • Homeschoolers Hooked on Graphic Novels

School Library Journal also has a blog called Good Comics for Kids embedded into their site as well as graphic novel reviews.

I’m sharing the graphic novels that I read with my 8-year-old son in 2nd grade. We read a lot of graphic novels and hybrid graphic novels last year before switching over completely, heart and soul, to Rick Riordan’s chapter books.


Top 10 Graphic Novels for 3rd Grade 9 Year Old Boy

10. Giants Beware by Jorge Aguirre

This gem is a new release and one of our new favorites. Claudette is a dragon slayer/tom boy who brings along her younger brother Gaston (a pastry-chef-in-training) and her best friend Marie (an aspiring princess) to slay the dragon that threatens her village. Claudette has a big personality and isn’t afraid of anything. Boys can relate to her fearlessness and quest for adventure and I love that there are strong girl characters in this fun adventure graphic novel. [graphic novel, ages 7 to 10]

9. Sidekicks by Dan Santat

An aging superhero decides he needs a sidekick to help out so his animal pets try to audition for the spot. This is a graphic novel that reads like a movie which is no surprise because Dan Santat is the genius behind Disney’s animated show, The Replacements. [graphic novel, ages 7-10]

8. Ancient Egypt: Tales of Gods and Pharaohs by Marcia Williams

To add some history and ancient Egyptian mythology, I found this graphic novel with tales of Isis, Tutankhamen, and the important figures of Egyptian myth and history given a humorous treatment via comic strip art. From At Your Library. [graphic novel, ages 6 and up]


7. Mal and Chad: The Biggest Bestest Time Ever by Stephen McCranie

Mal tries to hide his intellect in school but he and his talking-dog pal Chad are very inventive—especially when their time machine takes them back to the time of the dinosaurs. First of the Mal and Chad series.

6. Salt Water Taffy: The Seaside Adventures of Jack and Benny: The Legend of Old Salty by Matthew Loux

This might be a fun summer read. It’s a mystery with salt water taffy and monsters set in Maine.

Two city brothers end up on the Maine seacoast for the summer, much to their disgust. But when old Angus befriends them, and tells the story of Old Salty, a sea monster, their summer is full of adventure. From At Your Library. [graphic novel, ages 8 and up]

5. Zeus: King of the Gods by George O’Connor

The story of Zeus adapted nicely to graphic format. First in the Olympians series.

4. Lewis & Clark Expedition (Graphic History series) by Jessica Gunderson

Since you wanted history, I thought this graphic novel of Lewis & Clark’s expedition through the unmapped American west would fit the bill.

3. The Boxcar Children by Shannon Eric Denton, illustrated by Mike Dubisc

The graphic novel adaption of the ever popular Boxcar Mystery Series about Henry, Jessie, Violet and Benny Alden. First of the Boxcar Children Graphic Novels series.

2. The Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1) by Rick Riordan

We used the graphic novel version of the popular Percy Jackson series to get boys to try the series. They found the chapter book daunting so this was a way to get them all on the same page since boys used the storyline to act out games at recess.

1. Bad Girls: Sirens, Jezebels, Murderesses, Thieves & Other Female Villains by Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple

As a hybrid graphic novel, the infamous bad girls — Mata Hari, Bonnie of Bonnie and Clyde, Cleopatra, Lizzie Borden and more — are carefully researched and presented in very short chapters. I think boys would also find these historical figures interesting as “bad” is always appealing!


And a few more …

The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi

After moving to their dead great-grandfather’s house, Emily and her brother Navin must enter a strange alternate land to rescue their mother. First in the Amulet series. This reminds me of The Hobbit’s noir scariness or Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising uneasiness. If your son likes adventure fantasy, this is a good series as long as he is not easily scared. My husband likes it too! [graphic novel, ages 8 and up]


Otis Dooda: Strange by True by Ellen Potter , illustrated by David Heatley

This is not a graphic novel but more of a very illustrated Diary-of-a-Wimpy-Kid-like hybrid graphic novel expressly written by author Ellen Potter to elicit screams of laughter from boys. Think potty humor turned up a million notches. I thought it was a fun summer read that I’d try particularly with boys who don’t like reading. [chapter book, ages 8 and up]


What graphic novels with a historical twist (or not) would you recommend for a 9-year-old boy? Thanks so much for sharing!

 To examine any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book. I’m an affiliate which means if you buy anything through my blog, I get a small fee at no cost to you. I use this money to pay for the shipping and handling of my giveaways.

graphic novels for boys, graphic novels for 3rd grade, third grade graphic novels

Excited to be featured on Sunday Showcase!

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By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. My 8 year old is getting into graphic novels and I am woefully ignorant about them. Pinning this to keep track of more titles he might like.
    Erica recently posted…The Great Summer Library Challenge :: Fiction BooksMy Profile

    • Thanks so much Erica,
      I got into graphic novels recently because of my 8-year-old son too! It was wonderful to watch him get excited to read and then he easily transitioned to action adventure books, both easy chapter books and more difficult ones too. But we still love graphic novels and it’s nice to get a mix of genres. His latest favorite graphic novels series is The Amulet that even his dad is enjoying.
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…Three “Banned” Books Your Children Must ReadMy Profile

  2. These will be perfect for my son in a few years – thanks!
    maryanne recently posted…On Being a Third Culture KidMy Profile

  3. bamauthor

    The Stonekeeper looks like an interesting new entry…….

  4. Jeanette Nyberg

    These are great- we’re big graphic novel fans, too. I’m thinking Fen might really like The Stonekeeper.
    Jeanette Nyberg recently posted…Easy Art Projects: Puffy Cloud PaintingsMy Profile

  5. I love this post! I am always looking for awesome books to get my school boys into reading! I wish my own boys would\’ve had so many graphic novels to choose from! Thanks so much for sharing!
    Hilary Lewis
    Hilary Lewis recently posted…Whew! I Made It!My Profile

  6. I have never thought about using graphic novels as a teaching tool. What a great idea! Thanks for linking up at Pin It Tuesday. 🙂
    Pary Moppins recently posted…Madly In LoveMy Profile

    • Hi Pary,
      My 8-year-old son showed me the power of graphic novels as he was learning to read two years ago and now I’ve used it for all the reluctant readers that I know (children of mom friends) and it really does seem to be working. It helps them transition to easy chapter books and to feel enjoyment from reading which otherwise was so painful. I’m glad it helped you! 🙂
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…Small Business Website: Win One from Go Daddy!My Profile

  7. This is a good list. 5th grade is fun because the kids know what’s being written and can add a lot to the discussion of the story.

  8. Featuring this in the latest Sunday Showcase going live tomorrow. I’m excited about Boxcar Children (books I read myself!), Lightning Thief (love that series) and Bad Girls which I totally want to read myself! Thanks for sharing your list with us. I always LOVE them all 🙂
    Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas recently posted…50 Summer Fun and Learning Activities for KidsMy Profile

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