6 Graphic Memoir Recs for Middle School World Lit

Hi Teachers!

Below are some of the recommendations I have for those of you designing middle school curriculums for units that may or may not include memoir-writing, world literature, global awareness, cultural connectivity, etc. As always, please be sure to read these books before incorporating them into your curriculum as some of them may not be to everybody’s liking or fit into your grade-level standards. Happy Reading!

Kampung Boy by Lat

Author Lat reflects upon his childhood experiences in rural Malaysia and the traditions of his Muslim upbringing.

My recommendation: Ages 12+

Epileptic by David B.

David B. describes the effects of his brother’s illness upon his own life. Rich in symbolic illustration, this book will invite class discussions about the themes of family dynamics and literary symbolism. Content Advisory: deals with some mature themes like pregnancy and some strong language.

My recommendation: Ages 15+

Little White Duck: A Childhood in China by Da Qin

Da Qin shares the story of how she learned the importance of understanding outside cultures while experiencing the traditions and culture of 1970’s China.

My recommendation: Ages 12+

Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls Used in War by Jessica Dee Humphreys

Michel Chikwanine relates the true account of the horrors he faced after being captured and forced to be a child soldier at the age of 5 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

My recommendation: Ages 12+

A Game for Swallows: To Die, To Leave, To Return by Zeina Abirached

Zeina Abirached recalls her childhood growing up in war-torn 1980’s Lebanon. She expounds on the stories of her family and neighbors while passing the time hunkering down inside during raids.

My Recommendation: Ages 12+

My Beijing: Four Stories of Everyday Wonder by Nie Jun

Thought this story may appeal to mainly younger audiences, this collection of quirky stories gives readers a whimsical look into the lives of fictional characters to describe the city where author and illustrator Nie Jun grew up.

My recommendation: Ages 8+

Published by Ashley Weaver

Author of historical fiction with a hint of the supernatural/fantasy

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