img_20161124_2305191As we near the winter holidays, and with Midwinter right around the corner shortly thereafter, the eleven members of the 2017 Great Graphic Novels for Teens committee –led by the effervescent Traci Glass – are in the homestretch and hard at work in our efforts to complete our reading of all nominated titles.

The official nominating period for the 2017 list has come and gone, lasting from February to November of this year, and has yielded a diverse collection of manga and graphic novels intended for teens aged 12 to 18. In all, 22 nonfiction and 122 fiction titles, having been nominated either by our fellow committee members or by members of the public, are now up for consideration for the list, which is due to be released early next year. Counted among those that are up for consideration are reimagined classics, time travel dramas, college slice of life stories, identity stories, and traditional and nontraditional superheroes alike. Some will teach, some will elicit laughs, and others yet will move you deeply; the very best will do a little bit of each.

img_20161126_0106221For some committee members, the list of titles still needing to be read is short and all that essentially remains is the final solicitation of opinions from the teens in our libraries on the 144 titles that made the initial cut. For others, you’ll find us methodically working our way through the piles of novels surrounding us at home or at work, and those occasionally still arriving from the publishers, with hopes to be done by early-to-mid December. Although Midwinter doesn’t occur until the end of January, the committee plans to virtually meet to informally discuss some of the most recent nominations before we sit down together one last time face to face.

The virtual meeting will provide us an opportunity to try to work through some of our initial doubts or questions and to share some of our excitement about titles we’ve all read but haven’t yet discussed together. Like the teens we hope to serve through the creation of this list, we come from a variety of backgrounds, having lived a variety of experiences and having been exposed to different environments, and these discussions draw on the strength of that diversity. We won’t all agree on what makes a title bad, good, great or otherwise but we’ll all agree that it’s important to have something for everyone on it. We can’t wait to share the captivating stories we’ve had the pleasure of reading these past months and we hope you and your teens can’t wait, either!

Alea Perez is the Head of Youth Services at Westmont Public Library, in Westmont, IL, but still a fierce advocate for teens.

3 Thoughts on “Great Graphic Novels for Teens: It’s (Almost) a Wrap!

  1. Shaine Gans on December 2, 2016 at 12:21 pm said:

    Is there a list available of the titles that were nominated?

  2. Hi, Shaine!
    There sure is! Here’s a link to the list of our current nominations & what we’ll be discussing at Midwinter:


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