Great Graphic Memoirs for Teens

I love reading stories about other people’s lives. Sometimes, it can feel like I’m the only one going through something and that can be a lonely experience. However, reading about what other people have lived through can help me feel connected, even when we all live very different lives with unique experiences.

Graphic novel memoirs are biographies written in a comic format, offering the added bonus of awesome artwork. If this sounds like a win-win to you, as it does for me, check out some of these great graphic memoirs!

If you’re looking for laughs, Huda F Cares? is a must-read. The author, Huda Fahmy, tells a memorable story of her family’s first trip to Disney World. First, Huda must survive a day long road trip squashed in the car with her “love-you-better-from-afar" sisters and her overbearing parents. Then she grapples with embarrassment from the rudeness of strangers about her religion, since she is a practicing Muslim who wears hijab and prays in public with her family. Both this book and her earlier one, Huda F Are You? are hilarious and heartwarming.

If you’re really feeling the high school woes, Welcome to St. Hell will give you that validation that it does stink, but it gets better. This story is about Lewis, an adult trying to tell his teenage self how to get through the messy stuff. Lewis knows that his teenage self is trans but that teenage self doesn’t know it yet. He follows himself around as he deals with some funny, and some uglier, situations through his transition and receives a lot of support from his family and friends. It’s super honest and really touching, and you’ll love seeing all the fashions from the 2000s that are making a comeback.

Another great story of a person finding their identity is Monstrous. Sarah is a nerdy, possibly queer teen growing up in a rural area as an adoptee from Korea. She faces awful bullying for being different from her peers and even her sister who was also adopted from Korea. Sarah finds that her anger can get the best of her sometimes, but she finds comfort in cosplay and anime and her loving and supportive parents. This one really made me feel seen even though Sarah and I live very different lives, and it might for you too.

Finally, Flamer is yet another funny story that hits all the feels. Aiden’s at summer camp before starting high school and everything feels tough. He’s not like the other boys and he struggles with always feeling like the odd one out. He’s bullied for being different than people expect him to be and the other boys make jokes about him being Filipino, fat and calling him gay. But is he gay? Aiden learns a lot about himself this summer, finding things he’s good at and learning that it can be okay to feel differently than others do or want him to. It’s not exactly a memoir, but it’s based on the author’s life and it’s beautiful both in the story and the illustrations that are all black-and-white except for red and orange flames.

Which graphic novel memoir have you read that you really enjoyed? Let us know in the comments below!