Riot Headline The Most Read Books on Goodreads This Week

12 Manga For Kids, From Early To Middle Grade Readers

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Erika Hardison

Staff Writer

Erika Hardison is a writer, social media junkie, podcaster, publisher and aspiring novelist from Chicago currently residing in New Jersey. When she's not bridging the gap between Black feminism and superheroes on, she's spending sleepless nights as a new mom with her talkative toddler playing and giggling under the covers.

Some parents and educators might think that all mangas are for mature readers but there are a lot of manga for kids that are suitable for school-aged children and even babies, believe it or not. For younger children, some will suggest introducing mangas after your child understands how to read so you won’t confuse them.

Mangas are typically read the opposite way people in the U.S. read books, which means you are reading from right to left. Some children don’t have a problem with adjusting but you may want to monitor just to make sure. So, if you think you are ready for your kids to explore manga, here is a list to get you started.

Early Manga for Kids

Chi’s Sweet Adventures by Konami Kanata

This is a sweet manga that is suitable for all ages and reading ranges. Early readers will enjoy following the newborn kitten who loves getting into mischievous adventures. Some parents and educators might be hesitant and think the content seems pretty heavy—a kitten losing his mother and being lost; however, the visually appealing adventures gives younger kids something to smile and laugh about.

Dinosaur Hour by Hitoshi Shioya

If you know a kid that loves dinosaurs, surprise them with a dinosaur manga. Each volume gives a lot of educational information on the dinosaur that is featured. But it’s not all just educational reading in this book! Readers will be surprised by the ending, which will encourage young readers to read more. This book is 200 pages of fun and surprises.

Pokémon Adventures Collector’s Edition, Vol. 1 by Hidenori Kusaka and Mato

I loved watching Pokemon as a kid and kids love reading the adventures of Ash and crew. Most mangas are series and if you are concerned that your child may or may not stick with a series, consider testing the waters with this classic.

Yotsuba&! by Kiyohiko Azuma

If you want to introduce manga as part of your toddler reading this manga is just for you. Perfect for preschoolers as well as grade school children, kids will love the adventure of Yotsuba as they move into a new home and get to meet their new neighbors. Toddlers and babies will love the illustrations and school-aged children will love the warm message of learning to be kind to people around them.

ChocoMimi by Konami Sonoda

This is kind of a cute mashup of Strawberry Shortcake and Bratz Dolls. Young readers will follow two best friends who have unique personalities. If you have a fashion-forward child who loves color, they will enjoy this. Your young reader will enjoy the fashion tips, simple recipes and guides that are suitable for pre-teens.

Manga for Middle Grade Readers

Nijū Oranda-go!! – Chapter 0 “Ready..GO!!” by Anfernee Robinson

When I was a young girl, jumping double-dutch was my life. My friends and I would get to school early just so we can jump some rope before school started. Even though this manga for kids won’t be available until August 2021, it’s great to see a sports manga that centers Black girls.

Children of the Sea by Daisuke Igarashi

This is great for teens who loved scary storybooks when they were younger but haven’t found books that are suitable for them. This manga follows Ruka who believes they can see ghosts in the water. Her dad works at an aquarium and Ruka finds herself befriending some very interesting friends that may or may not be alive.

Sailor Moon 1 by Naoko Takeuchi

So many of us were introduced to manga and anime because of Sailor Moon and why stop now? Tweens and teens will enjoy the complexities Usagi is faced with every day as she tries to balance school and fight evil. This version of Sailor Moon is a nearly perfect translation. Readers will transform into Sailor Scouts in no time after reading this.

Spacepop by Corey Mikell and Sebastian Riera

A space opera adventure full of family drama, cosmos and war. In this manga, Joshua is the heir to a family with a dark and long legacy. Joshua has to travel the stars with a crew and they are all ill-prepared with their faulty communication tools and weapons. Spacepop is suitable for high school readers who are fans of Star Wars but crave more diversity in their characters.

Dragon Ball Z by Akira Toriyama

After all these years, Dragon Ball Z is still popular and young kids love to play DBZ outside with each other. It’s almost hard to mention manga or anime without mentioning this soap opera. Goku is a boy with a monkey tail who joins Bulma to find the sacred dragon balls that are located all over the world.

Star Wars: The Legends of Luke Skywalker by Akira Fukaya

This is a manga that is more of an anthology of who and what Luke Skywalker is. This would make a great introduction to young readers who want to dive into Star Wars but aren’t sure where to start.

Natsume’s Book of Friends, Vol. 1 by Akira Fukaya

Similar to The Notebook, Takashi Natsume has the gift of being able to see spirits which make him more of a reclusive teen. He soon becomes labeled a troubled teen and discovers that he is more special than what others already think he is.

Find even more middle grade graphic novels here!