Literature and the Young Adult Reader 
by Ernie Bond

Chapter III:  Illustrated Literature for Young Adults


In Literature and the Young Adult Reader each chapter starts with a set of books that would work well to extend discussions about young adult literature (these are certainly not the only books that would work and some great new books will be added from time to time).

Picture Books Text Set:

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll; illus. by Robert Sabuda

The Always Prayer Shawl by Sheldon Oberman; illus. by Ted Lewin

The Arrival by Shaun Tan

Blues Journey by Walter Dean Myers; illus. by Christopher Myers

Casey at the Bat by Ernest Thayer; illus. by Joe Morse 

Collector of Moments by Quint Buchholz

A Day, a Dog by Gabrielle Vincent 

Faithful Friend by Robert San Souci; illus. by Brian Pinkney 

Home of the Brave by Allen Say 

January’s Sparrow by Patricia Polacco

John Coltrane’s Giant Steps by Chris Raschka  

Leonardo’s Horse by Jean Fritz; illus. by Hudson Talbott

Love Story: Amiri and Odette by Walter Dean Myers; illus. by Javaka Steptoe

Middle Passage: White Ships/Black Cargo by Tom Feelings

The Old African by Julius Lester; illus. by Jerry Pinkney

Patrol by Walter Dean Myers; illus. by Ann Grifalconi


Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco

The Red Tree by Shaun Tan


Rosa by Nikki Giovanni; illus. by Bryan Collier

So Far from the Sea by Eve Bunting; illus. by Chris Soentpiet

The Stinky Cheese Man by Jon Scieszka; illus. by Lane Smith

The Three Pigs by David Wiesner


The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain by Peter Sís

The Wolves in the Walls by N. Gaiman; illus. by D. McKean

Woolvs in the Sitee by Margaret Wild; illus. by Anne Spudvilas

Illustrated Books Text Set

Autobiography of My Dead Brother by Walter Dean Myers; illus. by Christopher Myers

Chess Rumble by G. Neri

Coraline by Neil Gaiman; illus. by Dave McKean

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

Emily the Strange: The Lost Days by Rob Reger, Buzz Parker, and Jessica Gruner

Happy Face by Stephen Emond

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Keeping the Night Watch by Hope Anita Smith; illus. by E. B. Lewis
Leviathan by Scott Westerfield
Metamorphosis by Betsy Franco; illus. by Tom Franco

Riding Invisible by Sandra Alonzo and Nathan Huang

The Savage by David Almond; illus. by Dave McKean

Graphic Novel Text Set

9–11 Artists Respond from Dark Horse Comics 
The Adventures of Tony Millionaire’s Sock Monkey by Tony Millionaire 
Amy Unbounded: Belondweg Blossoming by Rachel Hartman 
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson 
Bone: Out from Boneville by Jeff Smith 
The Books of Magic: Bindings by John Rieber and Peter Gross 
Castle Waiting: The Curse of Brambly Hedge by Linda Medley 

Clan Apis by Jay Hosler 

Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things by Ted Naifeh 
Deogratias: A Tale of Rwanda by J. P. Stassen
A Distant Soil: The Gathering by Colleen Doran 
The Essential Spiderman by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko 


Fagin The Jew by Will Eisner
The Good Neighbors: Kin by Holly Black and Ted Naifeh

The Hardy Boys: The Ocean of Osyria by Scott Lobdell, Daniel Rendon, and Lea Hernandez

Herobear and the Kid: The Inheritance by Mike Kunkel
Hikaru No Go by Yumi Hotta and Takeshi Obata
Hopeless Savages by Jen Van Meter and Christine Norris
I Kill Giants by Joe Kelly
Initial D by Shuichi Shigeno

Jax Epoch and the Quicken Forbidden: Borrowed Magic by Dave Roman and John Green

 mage Mage: The Hero Defined by Matt Wagner
 maus Maus: A Survivor’s Tale by Art Spiegelman

Meridian: Flying Solo by Barbara Kesel, Joshua Middleton, Dextor Vines, and Michael Atiyeh


  Nat Turner by Kyle Baker
Palestine by Joe Sacco
  Pedro and Me: Friendship, Loss, & What I Learned by Judd Winick
  Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi


  Rosemary’s Backpack by Antony Johnston and Drew Gilbert
Sidekicks by J. Torres and Takeshi Miyazawa
  Spirited Away by Hayao Miyazaki
Still I Rise by Roland Laird, Taneshi Laird, and Alihu Bey
Superman: Peace on Earth by Alex Ross and Paul Dini
Tale of One Bad Rat by Bryan Talbot
  Twilight: The Graphic Novel by Stephenie Meyer and Young Kim
  Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud
Usagi Yojimbo: Demon Mask by Stan Sakai


Using Picturebooks with Young Adults

There are many picturebooks being produced which are actually aimed at an older readership. There are books that might be considered "all-ages" picturebooks, and then there are books that are specifically aimed at teens (The House that Crack Built) or even adults (May I Feel Said He). There are also great reasons why some picturebooks and illustrated books might be used with teens.

Elements of Illustration and Graphic Design

Developing visual literacy skills and media literacy skills is certainly part of the benefits of including picturebooks.

Author Spotlights:

Four authors are highlighted in chapter three of Literature and the Young Adult Reader.  For more information about these authors you can visit their websites:


Sequential Art: Graphic Novels and Comics for Young Adults


Literary Theory: Postmodernist Literary Theory

Northup Frye has asserted that "It is impossible to teach or learn literature: what one teaches or learns is criticism." Different theoretical lenses for approaching literature are explored in each chapter of Literature and the Young Adult Reader. These are only brief introductions to the theoretical lenses, in the hopes that those interested in a particular approach would explore further. Chapter III takes a look at various postmodernist theories.  Some online sources for more information include:


There are numerous Young Adult literature related websites, videos, blogs... on the internet. For each chapter of Literature and the Young Adult Reader this site will provide some related online resources that might extend your investigations.

Booktalks and book trailers:  
Booktalks and book trailers both serve as advertisements for books:


Among the many authors with a web presence you might want to visit:

Books online:


Other Resources:

The materials on this site are intended to enhance your experience with Literature and the Young Adult Reader
These materials are presented for educational purposes by the author and are not connected to the publisher.