I feel like I should run through the street yelling from house to house, “The Nerdies are here! The Nerdies are here!” 2012 brought us some amazing books and I’m delighted to be sharing the graphic novel winners with you. As a huge fan of graphic novels, I am thrilled with this list. I think it represents the best of the graphic novels released this year. Also, a bit of trivia, it has two authors that have won a “Nerdy” two years in a row. Can you guess who?

So, without further ado, the winners of the second annual Nerdy Book Club award in the graphic novel category:



Babymouse #16: Babymouse for President

Written by Jennifer Holm and illustrated by Matt Holm

 Authors’ websites:

Follow on Twitter: @jenniholm @mattholm

Book Trailer:

My students cannot get enough of this series. When Mr. Sharp and Mr. Schu picked Babymouse as part of one of their Twitter book clubs, my students read the two chosen volumes. For a few students, this was their first introduction to Babymouse and many students went on to read the entire series.
In this installment, Babymouse decides to run for student council president hoping to improve school lunches. Competition for the office will be fierce. Babymouse will be running against: Santiago, Georgie, the evil Felicia Furrypaws and even her locker! But with a campaign slogan like, “Babymouse for president, a cupcake in every locker” how can she lose?


A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel

Illustrations and adaptation by Hope Larson, written by Madeleine L’Engle

Author’s website:

Follow on Twitter: @hopelarson

Donalyn Miller talked about our “book gaps” in a post on Nerdy Book Club recently. One of my gaps is that I haven’t read Wrinkle in Time, but I have read the graphic novel. I can tell you that with, or without, reading the original novel – this graphic novel is amazing.

For fans of the novel, I have been assured that Larson stays true to the original story, practically word for word. For those of us who haven’t read the original book yet, this is a fabulous graphic novel on its own. Follow Meg as she, Charles Wallace, and Calvin fight to save our universe against a dark force that is taking over.



by Doug TenNapel

Author’s website:

Follow on Twitter: @TenNapel

My students are big fans of Doug TenNapel’s work. Bad Island and Ghostopolis were both popular titles in our classroom library. Cardboard was quickly snatched up and became the most popular graphic novel of the three.

The book begins with Cam’s dad searching for a birthday gift for his son. He doesn’t have much money but finds a mysterious man who offers to sell him a special cardboard box for the change in his pocket, 78 cents. The box comes with special rules that Cam’s dad promises to follows, and then, of course, forgets.
Cam and his dad create a boxer out of the cardboard and it comes to life. But a mean kid next door, Marcus, gets his hands on the cardboard and quickly loses control as more and more cardboard items come to life. This is one action packed book as Cam, his dad, Bill (the boxer made of cardboard), and Marcus try and figure out how they can once again gain control of this magical cardboard.


Legends of Zita the Spacegirl

by Ben Hatke

Author’s website:

Zita is back! This time Zita is dealing with a public that is clamoring for her – she has become a hero since the ending of the first book and sometimes that attention becomes too much. When a robot comes up and looks just like her, she let’s the robot take some of the spotlight so she can have a moments peace. Things don’t go as planned and Zita and company end up on another romp across the galaxy. A fabulous graphic novel that will have you anxiously awaiting the next in the series.



by Raina Telgemeier

Author’s website:

Follow on Twitter: @goraina

Smile is one of the most popular graphic novels in my classroom and students are always looking for more from Raina. This book does not disappoint. Callie is in 7th grade and part of the backstage crew of her middle school’s theater department. The story follows the “drama” of folks trying out for the leads, crushes, relationships, dances, friendships, and more. I loved the character of Callie. She knows who she is and isn’t trying to be someone she’s not. A perfect book for middle school readers that shows how to stand by your friends.


And that’s a wrap! Did you guess the authors that have won in this category both years? Ben Hatke won last year for Zita the Spacegirl and Jennifer Holm and Matt Holm won for Babymouse #14: Mad Scientist. Congrats to all of the Nerdy Book Club Award winners. In my opinion, 2012 was a great year for readers – amazing books across the board!

Katherine Sokolowski has taught for fourteen years and currently teaches fifth grade in Monticello, Illinois. She is passionate about reading both in her classroom and also with her two sons.

Twitter: @katsok