Graphic Novels That Teach History

You don't need a textbook to learn about people and events in other eras. These days kids can discover exciting history -- or examine harsh realities of the past -- in graphic novels. This popular blend of art and story makes history come alive in easy-to-follow illustrated panels in a wide range of titles that are as accessible as comic books. For more visual storytelling, check out our Graphic Novels and Wonderful Wordless Books.

The Great Chicago Fire: Rising from the Ashes: History Comics, Book 2 Poster Image
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The Great Chicago Fire: Rising from the Ashes: History Comics, Book 2

age 9+

Kids face deadly fire in vivid, informative graphic novel.

By: Kate Hannigan (2020)
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Best Shot in the West: The Adventures of Nat Love Poster Image
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Best Shot in the West: The Adventures of Nat Love

age 10+

Gripping nonfiction graphic novel brings Old West to life.

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The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler Poster Image
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The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler

age 10+

Gripping true story of devout man who tried to stop Hitler.

By: John Hendrix (2018)
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The Legend of Auntie Po Poster Image
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The Legend of Auntie Po

age 10+

Sweet, funny, wise tale of queer immigrant teen in 1885 U.S.

By: Shing Yin Khor (2021)
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Queen of the Sea Poster Image
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Queen of the Sea

age 10+

Brave girl finds royal intrigue in detailed 1500s tale.

By: Dylan Meconis (2019)
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Superman Smashes the Klan Poster Image
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Superman Smashes the Klan

age 10+

Asian American teens and Superman vs. racism in retro tale.

By: Gene Luen Yang (2020)
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White Bird: A Wonder Story Poster Image
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White Bird: A Wonder Story

age 10+

Moving WWII graphic novel has loss, offers hope for future.

By: R.J. Palacio (2019)
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Boxers & Saints Poster Image
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Boxers & Saints

age 12+

Exciting graphic-novel set is powerful historical fiction.

By: Gene Luen Yang (2013)
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Displacement Poster Image
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Displacement

age 12+

Moving tale of teen time traveler's trip to internment camp.

By: Kiku Hughes (2020)
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The Great American Dust Bowl Poster Image
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The Great American Dust Bowl

age 12+

Evocative illustrated nonfiction, great for history buffs.

By: Don Brown (2013)
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March: Book One Poster Image
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March: Book One

age 12+

Powerful graphic novel captures spirit of desegregation.

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They Called Us Enemy Poster Image
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They Called Us Enemy

age 12+

Powerful graphic memoir of actor's internment as a child.

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Marzi Poster Image
BOOK

Marzi

age 13+

Sensitive graphic-novel memoir of '80s Polish childhood.

By: Marzena Sowa (2011)
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Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans Poster Image
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Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans

age 13+

Intense nonfiction graphic novel chronicles 2005 disaster.

By: Don Brown (2015)
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The Complete Maus Poster Image
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The Complete Maus

age 13+

Unforgettable graphic memoir of the Holocaust.

By: Art Spiegelman (2003)
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The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees Poster Image
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The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees

age 13+

Compassionate graphic novel account of refugees' struggle.

By: Don Brown (2018)
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The Great Gatsby: A Graphic Novel Adaptation Poster Image
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The Great Gatsby: A Graphic Novel Adaptation

age 14+

Abstract adaptation captures energy, debauchery of Jazz Age.

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Dare to Disappoint: Growing Up in Turkey Poster Image
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Dare to Disappoint: Growing Up in Turkey

age 14+

Clever, heartfelt graphic memoir great for girls and boys.

By: Ozge Samanci (2015)
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Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation Poster Image
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Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation

age 14+

Intense, stellar adaptation of classic sci-fi/fantasy novel.

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Slaughterhouse-Five: The Graphic Novel Poster Image
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Slaughterhouse-Five: The Graphic Novel

age 15+

Anti-war sci-fi tale makes a smooth transition to comics.

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