Upper Elementary to Middle School Books

Theme: Seeing is Reading: Wordless Books, Graphic Novels and Comics

Amazing Greek Myths of Wonder and Blunders - (ISBN: 978-0803733084)

by Michael Townsend

Amazing illustrations of classical characters from well-known myths combine with the insertion of modern elements in these told-again tales. The myths come alive with plenty of info about the characters, the classic architecture, and the Greek culture, but the humor is modern. Try comparing this book to a more traditional telling of the Greek myths.

Amulet - (ISBN: 978-0-439-84681-3)

by Kazu Kibuishi

A brother and sister try to restore order to their family while searching for reasons for their grandfather’s mysterious disappearance. Even more recently, a monster has kidnapped their mother. If you enjoy alternate universes, fantasy, and family togetherness, you will love this selection!

Big Fat Little Lit - (ISBN: 978-0142407066)

by Art Spiegelman

This graphic novel version of original stories by famous short story writers offers a new look at the stories through the eyes of illustrators and cartoonists. The writers include favorite children writers Jules Feiffer, Neil Gaiman, Crockett Johnson, Maurice Sendak, Lemony Snicket, and Art Spiegelman among others. What is your favorite “little” story?

Kampung Boy - (ISBN: 978-1596431218)

This graphic novel details the life of a young boy growing up in a world that is mostly in the past today, that of a Malaysian town in the 1950’s. With great humor and nostalgia, the illustrations play just as great a part in telling the story and also showing how that world has lots in common with many places of today.

The First Samurai - (ISBN: 978-1597073851)

by Geronimo Stilton

Yes, the favorite Geronimo Stilton character is offered in graphic novel format now! In this book in the series, the setting is feudal Japan, and the Pirate Cats are assuming new identities. Geronimo is a famed sword fighter and ends up inventing Kabuki, a Japanese theater form. The Pirate Cats are waiting for their new assignment as the heads of a fief. Still, the old characters have their same personalities in this combination of Japanese history, cars, and appetites! Try other books in this series if you fall in love with the characters.

City of Spies - (ISBN: 1596432624)

by Susan Kim

The Weird Book Machine - (ISBN: 978-1597072953)

by Geronimo Stilton

Town Boy - (ISBN: 978-1596433311)

Activities for this Theme

Check out Free Comic Book Day across the country, always on the first Saturday of May. Get your fill of free comics.


Take a wordless picture book and write the story to go along with it. Compare your version to that of other family or class members. You will be pleasantly surprised to find that all stories are good and all are different.


Make your own sock monkey. Decorate him to look like your favorite graphic novel or comic super hero!


As a group, draw an original wordless picture book. Try a group reading of it following the model on this video.