Want to encourage young readers to keep up their reading habits? Look no further than this year's buzziest YA and middle-grade graphic novels.
More than just visual delights, these new and upcoming titles reflect many of the coming-of-age moments young readers experience. Pumpkinheads, by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks, explores the joys of first love. Jerry Craft's New Kid captures the challenges of starting over at a new school. The latest installments of the Lumberjanes and 5 Worlds series show how friendship can overcome impossible odds.
To create this list, we focused on both published and yet-to-be released graphic novels that Goodreads members keep adding to their Want to Read shelves. From there, we divided our list into both a young adult and middle-grade category for easy browsing.
Which graphic novels would you recommend to young readers? Share your picks with us in the comments!
Here at Goodreads we like to know what people are reading. From peeking at the books of our fellow commuters to not-so-surreptitiously checking out the stacks on our coworkers' desks, we embrace our curious nature. That's why we're rounding up what Goodreads members around the world are currently reading. These are the top books, ranked by the number of people who have read them this month.
For many book lovers, teachers were the people who helped them discover the magic of reading. But did you know that a survey by the National Center for Education Statistics showed that 94 percent of teachers use their own money to buy school supplies, including books for their students? To help pass on the magic of an amazing story to the next generation of readers, we want to help charities that support teachers, school librarians, and after-school programs with new books for students. And to go big, we're inviting you—the wonderful Goodreads community—to participate.
I'm in. How can I help?
We asked three charities that work with schools to create a registry of books they most need. We’re now inviting you to:
1. Check out the charities below and decide which one(s) you would like to support.
2. Go to their AmazonSmile Charity List (links below). If you aren't already an AmazonSmile customer, you will need to sign up using your Amazon account in order to purchase from Charity Lists.
3. Pick which book(s) you want to buy, and make your purchase. The books will automatically be sent to the charity.
Reading Is Fundamental believes every child deserves an opportunity to own books, learn how to read, and obtain the fundamental building blocks to achieve their highest potential. Literacy opens doors and enables every child the chance to live their own journey.
Founded in 1966, Reading Is Fundamental is the leading voice for children’s literacy and, in partnership with a grassroots network of volunteers in schools and communities nationwide, has distributed more than 416 million books and impacted the lives of more than 50 million children, inspiring generations to read, learn, and grow.
We Need Diverse Books strives to create a world in which all children can see themselves in the pages of a book. Its WNDB in the Classroom initiative provides boxes of diverse books (20 to 30 copies per box) to low-income schools and libraries nationwide.
By helping children find stories and authors they can relate to, WNDB believes that we can help foster in them a lifelong love of reading. Founded in 2014, WNDB has donated more than 14,000 diverse books across 41 states and the District of Columbia.
First Book believes that education is the best way out of poverty for children in need. First Book breaks down barriers to quality education by providing its network of more than 425,000 registered teachers, librarians, after-school program leaders, and others serving children in need with millions of free and affordable new, high-quality books, educational resources, and basic-needs items through the award-winning First Book Marketplace nonprofit e-commerce site.
Since 1992, First Book has distributed more than 185 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income communities in more than 30 countries. First Book currently reaches an average of 5 million children every year and supports more than one in three of the estimated 1.3 million classrooms and programs serving children in need.
AmazonSmile Charity Lists is designed specifically for charitable organizations so they can request and receive product donations using Amazon’s selection, prices, logistics, and convenience. With Charity Lists, customers can support charities by sending them the products they most need. Charity Lists are curated and managed directly by the charitable organizations and verified by AmazonSmile.
What is AmazonSmile?
AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization. Every time you shop at smile.amazon.com (either your own shopping or purchasing from a Charity List), Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. You can choose from more than 1 million organizations to support. You can learn more here.
How do I change my current AmazonSmile charitable organization?
If you want to support Reading Is Fundamental, We Need Diverse Books, or First Book with your AmazonSmile shopping, or if you want to select one of over a million other charities, follow the instructions here.
What about children outside of the U.S.? Can I give books to them?
Of course! Some nonprofits that have programs for children outside of the U.S. include:
Ready to fall in love this month? We've got some suggestions…
Every month our team takes a look at the new romance books and how early readers are responding to them. We use this information to curate a list of soon-to-be-beloved favorites, from contemporary love stories to tempting paranormal romances.
The New York Times–bestselling author of How to Walk Away introduces readers to Cassie Hanwell, a firefighter who has no trouble finding courage when it comes to saving lives. But finding the courage to fall in love is another story.
Dating app creator Rhiannon Hunter only swipes right in her career. She's a machine in the boardroom until Samson Lima arrives. He's the former pro–football player who ghosted her months before. Now he's in league with her business rival.
Piper Calloway seems to have it all. She's a VP at a multibillion-dollar company and shares a swanky penthouse with her two best friends. It's only when she runs into a summer fling from years past that she realizes what she's been missing.
Keeping Moorehead Media out of the tabloids is Wren Sterling's full-time job. But it's all just a stepping-stone to bigger dreams. Her next challenge is to manage the new CEO, a gruff cynic who wants nothing to do with his family's business (or drama).
Historical romance icon Tessa Dare tells the story of Lady Penelope, whose penchant for sheltering wounded animals vexes her imposing (and attractive) neighbor. She agrees to let them go—if he can help find them new homes.
Zee may not be a fairy-tale princess, but Gentry doesn't mind being her knight in shining armor. The story they share is one of loss and redemption from the bestselling author of All the Ugly and Wonderful Things.
The spin-off from Ward's beloved paranormal universe is back with a bite! The latest installment follows Boone, a Black Dagger Brotherhood trainee who must work with a mysterious female vampire to stop a serial killer from hunting their kind.
Release date: August 13
Which new romance books are you most excited to read? Let us know in the comments!
A mercenary seeks a missing child, a dead man’s brain is reactivated, a woman travels to the Mayan underworld, a disease drives its victims mad with false memories. These are just a few of the plots that have captured readers' attention in this year's batch of science fiction and fantasy novels.
To identify the books resonating with readers, we looked at sci-fi and fantasy novels published so far this year in the U.S. Then we filtered that list by average rating (everything on this list has at least a 3.5-star rating), number of reader reviews, and additions to readers' Want to Read shelves (which is how we measure buzz and anticipation).
Science fiction reflects how we think about our world and its potential, but each story is limited by its author's own perspective. While American and European writers have long dominated the genre, a new wave of sci-fi authors from around the world is reshaping speculative storytelling and offering fresh takes on traditional tropes.
"I am a sci-fi fan, maybe the first generation of sci-fi fans in China," says Cixin Liu, author of the bestselling Remembrance of Earth's Past series, through a translator. "Science fiction has so much more to offer. Using my own imagination and experiences, I had a desire to create completely new science fiction."
His first book, The Three-Body Problem, did just that. On the surface, it's about first contact with aliens, but Cixin Liu taps into deeper topics, questioning how innovation has shaped our past and challenging our optimism about the future. It's an exhilarating blend of "hard" science fiction (where the emphasis is on scientific accuracy), thought-provoking ideas, and—in a unique turn for the genre—the history of the Chinese Revolution.
The book was an international success. In 2008, it won the Galaxy Award, China's most prestigious science fiction award; after an English translation by fellow writer Ken Liu was published in the United States in 2014, it also took home the Hugo Award for Best Novel.
For Cixin Liu, connecting with readers in other countries is more than a nice surprise—it's necessary for the continued evolution of science fiction.
"Different cultural backgrounds in different parts of the world give science fiction a richer cultural perspective," he says. "The genre can become more colorful and, thus, more vital."
Dominican writer Rita Indiana found inspiration close to home when creating her own science fiction tale.
"I live in Puerto Rico, the oldest colony in the world, a territory of the United States that was hit in 2017 by a category 5 hurricane, a scale we’ll see more and more due to global warming," Indiana told the Chicago Review of Books. "During the aftermath people in the mountains were left to starve and some buried their loved ones in their backyards... So, climate change is not just something I think about–it’s already affecting the way me and my family live."
Her dystopian novel, Tentacle, which was translated into English by Achy Obejas and published in the United States in 2018, is about a young maid named Acilde who travels back in time to save the ocean. It's a truly provocative work of speculative writing that tackles how our society is thinking about climate change, colonialism, technology, and queer politics.
Meanwhile, novelist Chen Qiufan focused his own dystopian future on the clash he currently sees between Chinese tradition and American ambition. His book, Waste Tide, is set on the fictional Silicon Isle, where downtrodden employees work day and night at an electronic waste-recycling plant. The novel was translated into English in the United States by Ken Liu earlier this year.
"Science fiction should never stop evolving and self-refreshing," says Qiufan through a translator. "I am always thrilled to think about how incredible it is that people from totally different backgrounds, and diverse in all aspects, can be connected and touched by the same imagination."
"In the last 40 years, mainland China's science fiction has benefited so much from the stories coming from the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Hong Kong," he says through a translator. "It is a very exciting experience to absorb different, and even conflicting, traditions and make them your own, for writers as well as for readers."
As science fiction continues to embrace new voices, it evolves. That's what makes it such a vibrant genre, full of stories that reflect who we are and challenge who we will become, built by people from every corner of the globe.
If that's where sci-fi is today, then where will it go next? Baoshu has a prediction: "I hope artificial intelligence will become so developed that it can write much better science fiction."
Imagine a future where our best stories are written by AI. How does that make you feel?
Check out more translated science fiction books from around the world.