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Teen Reading Lists: Graphic Novels & Manga

Discover reading list suggestions for teens!

Graphic Novels and Manga

What is the difference between Graphic Novels and Manga?
"Graphic novel" is an American term that refers to book-length comics. Manga are Japanese comics. Unlike American comics, manga is read from right to left. The style of manga artwork is also very distinctive when compared to American comics.
Graphic Novels and Manga are not considered genres; they are types of book formatting that use sequential art to tell stories. Both can have stories that can fit any genre: realistic, mystery, science fiction, nonfiction, etc

Are Graphic Novels and Manga "real books?"
Yes! Graphic Novels and Manga are just as valuable as text-only books:
● They make reading more accessible to those who have learning differences. The combination of text and pictures provides context and emotion for stories that some readers may otherwise not completely understand. Graphic Novels and Manga can also be less overwhelming since their pages are not filled with words.
● They can help build vocabularies. Since the author has limited space, they choose words for maximum impact.
● They encourage engaging with text, not just looking at pictures, because the reader will need both to understand the story.

Is there an age rating system for Graphic Novels and Manga?
Yes and no. Many publishers have rating systems for graphic novels as well as manga. However, there is no consistency among the systems. It is recommended to evaluate each publishers' ratings before selecting titles.

Please Note: Manga is selected for our Teen Collection based on age rating, mostly being rated T for Teen (typically for ages 13+) and occasionally OT for Older Teen (typically for ages 16+). However, manga follows Japanese cultural standards, and certain content may make some people uncomfortable. We encourage guardians to double check and read through the manga if they are concerned about the content. Our job is not to censure readers, but we do want to empower and inform our patrons so they can make their own decisions.

Where can the age ratings be found?
Ratings are located on the back cover of the book, the front cover of the book, in the library catalog, or on the publisher's website. Many of the age ratings are also accompanied with the reasons. Remember, you can always ask our librarians about what the ratings mean or for a book recommendation.