YA Loves . . . Comic Books!

A List of YA Books That Love Comics!

by REBECCA, June 19, 2013

Here at Crunchings & Munchings we love young adult literature and we love comics! So, here is a list of books that combine two of our favorite things: YA books featuring comics and comic culture, and books about superheroes. All quoted descriptions are from Goodreads.

Hero by Perry MooreHero by Perry Moore

Hero by Perry Moore (2007)

“The last thing in the world Thom Creed wants is to add to his dad, Hal’s, pain, so he keeps secrets. Like that he has special powers. And that he’s been asked to join the League–the very organization of superheroes that spurned his father. The most painful secret of all is one Thom can barely face himself: he’s gay. But becoming a member of the League opens up a new world for Thom. There, he connects with a misfit group of aspiring heroes, including Scarlett, who can control fire but not her anger; Typhoid Larry, who can make anyone sick with his touch; and Ruth, a wise old broad who can see the future. Like Thom, these heroes have things to hide, but they will have to learn to trust one another when they uncover a deadly conspiracy within the League. To survive, Thom will face challenges he never imagine. To find happiness, he’ll have to come to terms with his father’s past and discover the kind of hero he really wants to be.”

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon (2000)

“Joe Kavalier, a young Jewish artist who has also been trained in the art of Houdini-esque escape, has just smuggled himself out of Nazi-invaded Prague and landed in New York City. His Brooklyn cousin Sammy Clay is looking for a partner to create heroes, stories, and art for the latest novelty to hit America – the comic book. Drawing on their own fears and dreams, Kavalier and Clay create the Escapist, the Monitor, and Luna Moth, inspired by the beautiful Rosa Saks, who will become linked by powerful ties to both men. With exhilarating style and grace, Michael Chabon tells an unforgettable story about American romance and possibility.”

Rise of Heroes by Hayden Thorne

Rise of Heroes (Masks #1) by Hayden Thorne (2008)

“Strange things are happening in Vintage City, and high school goth boy Eric seems to be right in the middle of them. There’s a new villain in town, one with super powers, and he’s wreaking havoc on the town, and on Eric’s life. The new super hero who springs up to defend Vintage City is almost as bad, making Eric all hot and bothered, enough so that he almost misses the love that’s right between his nose. Peter is Eric’s best friend, and even if he does seem to be hiding something most of the time, he finds a way to show Eric how he feels in between attacks on trains and banks and malls. The two boys decide to start dating, much to the chagrin of their other best buddy, Althea, who has a terrible crush on Peter, and a secret or two of her own to keep. As the fight between the villain, known as the Devil’s Trill, and superhero Magnifiman picks up, Eric’s relationship with Peter almost ends before it begins when Eric finds out about Peter’s special talents, which might just rank Peter as a superhero in his own right. When the Trill takes an interest in Eric, too, Peter and Althea, along with Magnifiman and Eric’s normal, middle-class family all have to work together to keep Eric, and their city, safe. Can they figure out the super villain’s plan in time?”

After the Golden Age by Carrie Vaughn

After the Golden Age (Golden Age #1) by Carrie Vaughn (2011)

“Most people dream of having superheroes for parents, but not Celia West. The only daughter of Captain Olympus and Spark, the world’s greatest champions, she has no powers of her own, and the most exciting thing she’s ever done is win a silver medal in a high school swim meet. Meanwhile, she’s the favorite hostage of every crime boss and supervillain in Comemrce City. She doesn’t have a code name, but if she did, it would probably be Bait Girl, the Captive Wonder. Rejecting her famous family and its legacy, Celia has worked hard to create a life for herself beyond the shadow of their capes, becoming a skilled forensic accountant. But when her parents’ archenemy, the Destructor, faces justice in the “Trial of the Century,” Celia finds herself sucked back into the more-than-mortal world of Captain Olympus—and forced to confront a secret that she hoped would stay buried forever.”

How to Repair a Mechanical Heart by J.C. Lillis

How to Repair a Mechanical Heart by J.C. Lillis (2012)

“Eighteen-year-old Castaway Planet fans Brandon and Abel hate bad fan fiction—especially when it pairs their number-one TV crushes of all time, dashing space captain Cadmus and dapper android Sim. As co-runners of the Internet’s third most popular Castaway Planet vlog, they love to spar with the “Cadsim” fangirls who think Cadmus will melt Sim’s mechanical heart by the Season 5 finale. This summer, Brandon and Abel have a mission: hit the road in an RV to follow the traveling Castaway Planet convention, interview the actors and showrunner, and uncover proof that a legit Cadsim romance will NEVER, EVER HAPPEN. A Brandon and Abel romance: also not happening. Brandon’s sick of his struggle to make “gay and Catholic” compute, so it’s safer to love a TV android. Plus Abel’s got a hot new boyfriend with a phoenix tattoo, and how can Brandon compete with that? But when mysterious messages about them start popping up in the fan community, they make a shocking discovery that slowly forces their real feelings to the surface. Before they get to the last Castaway Planet convention, Brandon’s going to find out the truth: can a mechanical heart be reprogrammed, or will his first shot at love be a full system failure?”

My complete review of this amazing self-published debut is HERE, and my interview with author J.C. Lillis is HERE.

Evil Genius by Catherine Jinks

Evil Genius (Genius #1) by Catherine Jinks (2005)

“Cadel Piggott has a genius IQ and a fascination with systems of all kinds. At seven, he was illegally hacking into computers. Now he’s fourteen and studying for his World Domination degree, taking classes like embezzlement, misinformation, forgery, and infiltration at the institute founded by criminal mastermind Dr. Phineas Darkkon. Although Cadel may be advanced beyond his years, at heart he’s a lonely kid. When he falls for the mysterious and brilliant Kay-Lee, he begins to question the moral implications of his studies for the first time. But is it too late to stop Dr. Darkkon from carrying out his evil plot?”

The Summer I Became A Nerd by Leah Rae Miller

The Summer I Became A Nerd by Leah Rae Miller (2013)

“On the outside, seventeen-year-old Madelyne Summers looks like your typical blond cheerleader—perky, popular, and dating the star quarterback. But inside, Maddie spends more time agonizing over what will happen in the next issue of her favorite comic book than planning pep rallies with her squad. That she’s a nerd hiding in a popular girl’s body isn’t just unknown, it’s anti-known. And she needs to keep it that way. Summer is the only time Maddie lets her real self out to play, but when she slips up and the adorkable guy behind the local comic shop’s counter uncovers her secret, she’s busted. Before she can shake a pom-pom, Maddie’s whisked into Logan’s world of comic conventions, live-action role-playing, and first-person-shooter video games. And she loves it. But the more she denies who she really is, the deeper her lies become…and the more she risks losing Logan forever.”

My full review of The Summer I Became A Nerd is HERE.

Dull Boy by Sarah Cross

Dull Boy by Sarah Cross (2009)

“What do you do if you can deadlift a car, and you spend your nights flying to get away from it all? If you’re fifteen-year-old Avery Pirzwick, you keep that information to yourself. When you’re a former jock turned freak, you can’t afford to let the secret slip. But then Avery makes some friends who are as extraordinary as he is. He realizes they’re more than just freaks—together, maybe they have a chance to be heroes. First, though, they have to decide whether to trust the mysterious Cherchette, a powerful would-be mentor whose remarkable generosity may come at a terrible price.”

SO, what YA books about comics, comic culture, or superheroes am I missing? Tell me in the comments!

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6 Comments

  1. Cool list! Also check out:

    Legacy by Thomas E. Sniegoski – a standalone YA novel in which an 18-year-old boy finds out that his deadbeat father is a superhero.
    http://sniegoski.com/legacy.html

    Owlboy by Tom Sniegoski, illustrated by Eric Powell – a four-book middle grade series about Billy Hooten, a young boy who is often bullied, who loves comic books…and then becomes Owlboy and helps protect his city!
    http://sniegoski.com/owlboy/

    Reply
  2. I love this list! I’d add Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell — the title characters definitely bond over a love for comics.

    Reply
    • Ooh, thanks Molly! Yet another reason to be excited about reading it, if my hold copy would EVER come in at the library (so excited). Great addition.

      Reply
  1. Interview with J.C. Lillis, Author of We Won’t Feel a Thing! | crunchingsandmunchings
  2. YA Loves . . . Comic Books! | crunchingsandmunc...

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