Nominees announced for the Excellence in Graphic Literature Awards

Pop Culture Classroom will recognize graphic novels across four categories, plus a new reader’s choice category.

Pop Culture Classroom, an organization that provides educational resources to classrooms that use comics, graphic novels and other pop culture media, has announced the nominees for the 2022 Excellence in Graphic Literature Awards.

The awards have been presented annually since 2018, and recognize creators and their works across four categories, based on the targeted age group.

“We’re thrilled to be celebrating the fifth anniversary of the Excellence in Graphic Literature Awards,” said Pop Culture Classroom Education Program Manager Matt Slayter. “Our juries and advisory board have carefully evaluated this year’s submitted works, and these graphic novels represent the best and most inclusive titles published in 2021. This list will help libraries and classrooms build diverse and educational graphic novel collections with titles that readers AND teachers of all ages will love!”

The nominees are:

Best in Children’s Graphic Literature 


  • The Adventures of Team Pom: Squid Happens by Isabel Roxas (Flying Eye Books) 
  • The Fifth Quarter by Mike Dawson (First Second Books) 
  • Forever Home by Jenny Ayoub (BOOM! Studios) 
  • The Princess Who Saved Herself by Greg Pak, Jonathan Coulton & Takeshi Miyazawa (BOOM! Studios) 
  • Scaredy Squirrel in a Nutshell by Melanie Watt (Random House BFYR) 
  • The Wolf in Underpants at Full Speed by Wilfrid Lupano, Mayana Itoïz & Paul Cauuet (Graphic Universe) 


  • The Bug Club by Elise Gravel (Drawn & Quarterly) 
  • Jop and Blip Wanna Know (Book #1) by Jim Benton (HarperAlley) 

Best in Middle-Grade Graphic Literature


  • Allergic by Megan Wagner Lloyd & Michelle Mee Nutter (Scholastic) 
  • Artie and the Wolf Moon by Olivia Stephens (Graphic Universe) 
  • Cardboard Kingdom 2 by Chad Sell (Alfred A. Knopf BFYR) 
  • Delicates by Brenna Thummler (Oni Press) 
  • Turtle in Paradise by Jennie L. Holm & Savanna Ganucheau (Random House Graphic) 


  • Cold War Correspondent (Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales #11): A Korean War Tale by Nathan Hale (Abrams Amulet Books)  
  • Marie Curie: A Quest for Light by Frances Andreasen Østerfelt, Anja Cetti Andersen & Anna Blaszczyk (IDW) 
  • Piece by Piece: The Story of Nisrin’s Hijab by Priya Huq (Abrams Amulet Books) 
  • Yummy by Victoria Grace Elliott (Random House Graphic) 

Best in Young Adult Graphic Literature 


  • The Girl from the Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag (Scholastic Graphix) 
  • The Hazards of Love, Book 1: Bright World by Stan Stanley (Oni Press) 
  • Heartstopper: Volume 4 by Alice Oseman (Scholastic Graphix) 
  • Himawari House by Harmony Becker (First Second Books) 
  • Home by Julio Anta & Anna Wieszczyk (Image Comics) 


  • Guerilla Green by Ophelie Damblé & Cookie Kalkair (BOOM! Studios) 
  • I’m a Wild Seed by Sharon Lee De La Cruz (Street Noise Books) 
  • Queer As All Get Out: 10 People Who’ve Inspired Me by Shelby Criswell (Street Noise Books) 
  • We Hereby Refuse: Japanese American Resistance to Wartime Incarceration by Frank Abe, Tamiko Nimura, Ross Ishikawa & Matt Sasaki (Chin Music Press/Wing Luke Museum) 
  • Why She Wrote by Lauren Burke, Hannah Chapman & Kaley Bales (Chronicle Books) 

Best in Adult Graphic Literature


  • Ballad for Sophie by Felipe Melo & Juan Cavia (Top Shelf) 
  • Shadow Doctor by Peter Calloway & Georges Jeanty (AfterShock Comics) 
  • Shadow Life by Hiromi Goto and Ann Xu (First Second Books) 
  • Tunnels by Rutu Modan (Drawn & Quarterly) 
  • The Waiting by Keum Suk Gendry-Kim (Drawn & Quarterly) 


  • Hakim’s Odyssey, Book 1: From Syria to Turkey by Fabien Tolumé (Graphic Mundi) 
  • A House Without Windows by Marc Ellison & Didier Kassaï (Humanoids, Inc.) 
  • The Most Costly Journey: Stories of Migrant Farmworkers in Vermont Drawn by New England Cartoonists by Various (Vermont Folklife Center) 
  • Run: Book One by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, L. Fury, and Nate Powell (Abrams ComicArts) 
  • Save it for Later: Promises, Parenthood, and the Urgency of Protest by Nate Powell (Abrams ComicArts) 

In addition, to mark the fifth anniversary of the awards, Pop Culture Classroom has added a reader’s choice award for this year. You can vote on your favorite on their website from a list of 38 graphic novels. The winners will be announced later this month.

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