Ghosts, Gods, & Gaming: Oh My! Graphic Novels for Teens

Graphic novels are something I read constantly and before the pandemic you would see me around the library with a new one in hand weekly. Graphic novels cover so many different genres, can be long, short or somewhere in between, and there’s always one for every reader. My favorite genre of graphic novels is nonfiction, especially memoirs such as Lighter Than My Shadow and Running From the Devil because I find it interesting how creators are able to translate their personal stories into a visual text. I also enjoy humorous graphic novels similar to Sheets in which a well meaning  ghost accidentally wreaks havoc on a family-run laundromat. If you are looking for some variety, look no further! I enjoyed these YA graphic novels and I hope you do too.

Also, many graphic novels and comics not in the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh catalog can be found on Hoopla! Access more graphic novels and comics such as Sylvania and Ronin Island  by creating an account with your library card.


Ichiro lives in New York City with his Japanese mother. His father, an American soldier, was killed in Iraq. Now, Ichi’s mom has decided they should move back to Japan to live with Ichi’s grandfather.
Grandfather becomes Ichi’s tour guide, taking him to temples as well as the Hiroshima Peace Park, where Ichi starts to question the nature of war. After a supernatural encounter with the gods and creatures of Japanese mythology, Ichi must face his fears if he is to get back home. In doing so, he learns about the nature of man, of gods, and of war. He also learns there are no easy answers–for gods or men.  You can also check out this title as eBook on Hoopla.

In Real Life

Immersing herself in an online role-playing game where she enjoys fantasy heroics, Anda confronts a difficult choice when she befriends a gold farmer — a poor Chinese kid whose avatar in the game works illegally to collect valuable objects and sell them to other players for real money, which is strictly against the rules of the game. You can also check out this title as eBook on Overdrive/Libby. 

Kabuki Volume 1

A young woman code name, ‘Kabuki’ struggles with her identity in near-future Japan. Working as an assassin for a clandestine government body known as ‘The Noh,’ Kabuki executes dangerous individuals before they become national-level threats, but when her biological father begins to compromise the agency she works for Kabuki sets out to eliminate him and starts down a difficult path to her own self-discovery.  You can also check out this title  as eBook on Hoopla.

Lighter Than My Shadow

A graphic memoir of eating disorders, abuse and recovery.

Like most kids, Katie was a pickyeater. She’d sit at the table in silent protest, hide uneaten toast in her bedroom, listen to parental threats that she’d have to eat it for breakfast.

But in any life a set of circumstance can collide, and normal behavior might soon shade into something sinister, something deadly. One day you can find yourself being told you have two weeks to live.

Lighter Than My Shadow is a hand-drawn story of struggle and recovery, a trip into the black heart of a taboo illness,an exposure of those who are so weak as to prey on the weak, and an inspiration to anybody who believes in the human power to endure towards happiness.  You can also check out this title as eBook on Hoopla.

Running From the Devil: A Memoir of a Boy Possessed

What’s the difference between being possessed by Satan and hallucinating that you’re possessed by Satan? To an 11-year old boy who’s heard all about The Exorcist, nothing at all. Go to Hell and back with Steve Kissing in this autobiographical graphic novel that proves that real life is wilder than fiction.  You can also check out this title as eBook on Hoopla.


At thirteen and in the wake of her mother’s death, Marjorie Glatt is responsible for running the family laundry business while also trying to survive middle school. But when Wendell the ghost finds his way into the laundromat, his attempts at fun and friendship not only annoy Marjorie, they begin to harm the family business.  You can also check out this title as eBook on Hoopla.

Taproot: A Story about a Gardener and a Ghost

Blue is having a hard time moving on. He’s in love with his best friend. He’s also dead. Luckily, Hamal can see ghosts, leaving Blue free to haunt him to his heart’s content. But something eerie is happening in town, leaving the local afterlife unsettled, and when Blue realizes Hamal’s strange ability may be putting him in danger, Blue has to find a way to protect him, even if it means… leaving him. You can also check out this title as eBook on Hoopla.