Printed Graphic Novels

Appropriate Selections for All Ages

Graphic Novels

Brodart's Collection Development staff works hand-in-hand with libraries to curate content that is perfectly matched to your patron base. 

  • Select and order with confidence, knowing that your graphic novels for children will be age- appropriate 
  • Take advantage of our Standing Orders program to ensure you never miss the latest volume or series installment



About Graphic Novels from Brodart

Selection Criteria
Quality, Popularity & Diversity


Brodart’s Collection Development specialists take the following factors into consideration when selecting items for graphic novels collections:

  • Overall quality
  • Clarity, readability, and ease of use
  • Reviews from library- and subject-specific journals and other popular publications
  • Current and projected demand
  • Availability and suitability of physical format for library purposes
  • Accuracy and authenticity
  • Literary merit and inclusion in standard bibliographies and indices
  • Current and historical significance
  • Authority and reputation of the author, illustrator, and/or publisher


Shown below are summaries of our guidelines for selecting graphic novels by age range. Our proprietary KidSafe™ designation adds an extra measure of confidence for selectors choosing graphic titles for children.

Age Ratings

Ages 3-6 and 5-8

Audience: Pre- and beginning readers in preschool, kindergarten, and primary grades

Panel Layout: Simple, with a single or a few panels per page

Format: Similar to Easy Readers

Art: Clear, simple lines, not too detailed, easy for young eyes to follow

Language: Simple, few words per word balloon; some are almost wordless

Characters: Main characters are children or child-like creatures

Content: Often reflects what younger children experience (e.g., sibling rivalry, intricacies of dressing oneself, and dealing with playmates)

Ages 7-10 and 8-12

Audience: Elementary to younger middle school age

Panel Layout: Panel Layout Simplified panel layouts

Format: Range from picture books to regular comic books

Art: Black and white or full color

Language: Simplified word balloons, not too difficult

Characters: Many use licensed characters from television or motion pictures, especially cartoon characters

Content: (7-10) Story intensity and action or violence should not be too scary, the level of a G-rated movie (8-12) Stories may be very action-oriented or include emotionally intense moments; violence is still fairly minimal with no on-panel gore


Ages 10-14

Audience: Audience Older elementary school and middle school age readers

Panel Layout: More sophisticated panel arrangements

Format: Can be comic book, manga, or hybrid prose/comics

Art: More sophisticated

Language: Some include a few “bad” words and situations some libraries and schools might find problematic in a children’s department or elementary school

Characters: Main characters tend to be older, usually teenagers

Content: May include more action and violence, level similar to a Star Wars movie; scare factor similar to a Harry Potter movie Humor Some, particularly the manga titles, may be on the slightly naughty and gross side, with mild potty humor

Ages 12-19 and 14-19

Audience: Audience Older middle school and high school age readers

Panel Layout: Some panel layouts may include double-page spreads and other more sophisticated arrangements.

Format: Mostly comic book and manga formats, with occasional picture book style formats, hardcover and paperback

Art: Ranges from black and white to color, more highly detailed

Language: Minimal questionable language

Characters: Superhero comics

Content: Kidsafe™ selections for these age ranges contain minimal language/violence/sexual content; action/violence level similar to a PG-13 movie Humor Some humor may depend on sexual innuendo Nudity Some, particularly the manga titles, might have some nonsexual, partial nudity, or sexual content; nothing portrayed graphically Violence Minimal, some blood, but not excessive gore


Ages 16-19 and Adult

Audience: Older teens and adult readers

Panel Layout: Arrangements could change from page to page, from vertical layouts to full- or double-page spreads, splash pages, etc.

Format: Comic book and manga formats, paperback and hardcover

Art: May be highly detailed or very idiosyncratic, black and white or color

Language: Stronger questionable language similar to R-rated movies

Characters: Superhero titles with more violent action

Content: Some deal with topics of greater interest for adult readers, family difficulties, or the daily minutiae of life Humor Ranges from silly to darker, sarcastic, and satirical Nudity More nudity and sexual content Violence Stronger violence, including gory violence and intense horror similar to R-rated movies



Our specialty cataloging data for graphic novels is designed to improve access and discoverability, helping connect your patrons with the titles they want.

  • The Dewey number for fiction graphic novels reflects country of origin  
  • We identify all of the following contributors: 
    • Authors
    • Illustrators
    • Background illustrators
    • Cover artists
  • Records for manga clarify that the book reads right to left
  • We include adult and juvenile headings for all juvenile graphic novel titles 

Physical Processing

We offer two options for reinforcement:

  • Our rebinding services convert trade paperbacks into sturdy, hardbound copies that will last through many circulations and rough treatment. Rebinding adds cost to the book up front, but extends its circulation life and protects your investment over the long term.
  • Brodart also offers paperback reinforcement with a 10-mil cover or paperback conversion to hardcover.

Shelving and Display

There are two basic alternatives, according to your preferences:

  • Display with other nonfiction books in the appropriate Dewey or LC classification. This allows for browsing in the broader nonfiction areas.
  • Pull them from general nonfiction and put them on their own shelf or display space. The more visible the books are, the more people will find and borrow them.
Kat Kan Avatar

About Brodart's Kat Kan

Katharine "Kat" Kan, Brodart's Selector/Graphic Novel Specialist, has her eye on all graphic materials, from popular series, classics, and mainstream, to unique titles. Kat has been writing about graphic novels in libraries since 1994, mostly for Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA). She edited the book Graphic Novels and Comic Books: The Reference Shelf, published by H.W. Wilson. In 2012, Kat joined the Board of Directors for Reading With Pictures, a nonprofit organization that "advocates for the use of comics in the classroom to promote literacy and improve educational outcomes for all students."

In her "spare" time, she cosplays (mostly Doctor Who and Star Trek), presents workshops about graphic novels for libraries, and continues her quest to indoctrinate all of her students in the joys of reading graphic novels.

Kat is a firm believer that graphic novels belong in libraries and schools because they should always be part of the whole reading mix, just like any other kind of book. She says, "When you read a graphic novel, you need to read the art as well as the text, so your brain gets a total workout!"


View Our Graphic Novels Brochure

More About Graphic Novels

  • Recommended ListsClick here for selection lists broken down by age range.

    Learn More
  • Helpful ResourcesThis section contains links to websites, podcasts, and books to aid in general research and collection development.Learn More


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