The kids’ graphic novel category has been growing rapidly in recent years, and publishers have responded with a flood of titles in new and established genres.  Young readers treat their favorite brands like potato chips: They can’t read just one Dog Man or Raina Telgemeier book, they have to read them all.  At the same time, new creators and new genres are coming along all the time, constantly expanding both the range of material available and the audience to which it appeals.  To help make sense of it all, we’re looking through this month’s preorders with an eye toward choosing titles with broad appeal to young readers.

Baby-Sitters Little Sister Vol. 4 Karen’s Kittycat Club
Publisher: Graphix
Release Date: July 7
Price: $10.99 Paperback/$22.99 Hardcover
Creators: Ann M. Martin (original story) and Katy Farina (artist/adaptor)
Format: 144 pgs., Full-Color, Paperback and Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-3383-5621-2 (Paperback)/978-1-3383-5622-9 (Hardcover)
Age Rating: 7-10

What It’s About:  Inspired by her best friend’s new kitten, Karen starts a Kittycat Club, and she and her friends offer their services as cat-sitters.  This book is adapted from a Baby-Sitters Club spinoff and is geared for early readers; in addition to the themes of cats and friendship, Karen is in a blended family.

Why It’s a Pick Hit:  The Karen books have sold phenomenally well so far, and this one has cats!

The Ghoul Next Door
Publisher: Harper Alley
Release Date: July 14
Price: $12.99 Paperback/$21.99 Hardcover
Creators: Cullen Bunn (writer) and Cat Farris (illustrator)
Format: 200 pgs., Full-Color Paperback and Hardcover
ISBN: 978-0-0628-9609-4 (Paperback)/978-0-0628-9610-0 (Hardcover)
Age Rating: 8-12

What It’s About:  Middle-schooler Grey makes friends with a ghoul, one of the secretive creatures that lives beneath his haunted New England town and consumes their dead.  Their friendship breaks the bounds of tradition, though, bringing on a whole host of problems.

Why It’s a Pick Hit:  This story puts a supernatural spin on the middle-school drama genre.  Cat Farris’s lively artwork creates a strong sense of characters and action.  Cullen Bunn is a prolific horror writer who already has an adult following.

Publisher: Etch/HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: July 21
Price: $12.99 Paperback/$24.99 Hardcover
Creators: Kayla Miller
Format: 224 pgs., Full-Color, Paperback and Hardcover
ISBN: 978-0-3582-4219-2 (Paperback)/978-0-3582-4220-8 (Hardcover)
Age Rating: 8-12

What It’s About:  Natasha, the new girl in Olive Branch’s sixth-grade class is super cool, and everyone wants to be friends with her, including Olive.  But Natasha seems to be more interested in stealing Olive’s friends.

Why It’s a Pick Hit:  Middle school drama continues to be a popular genre, and Miller has already built an audience with her previous Olive Branch books, Click, Camp, and Act.  A good choice for fans of Raina Telgemeier.

Click here for more articles on kids comics and graphic novels, for ICv2 Kids Week!