Complex storylines, great art and life lessons. Who could ask for more?

When was the last time you had the chance to read a graphic novel? If it’s been a while, take this as a sign to head to your local bookstore or library today.

Because let’s be honest, between the artwork, the sound effect bubbles and the thrill of finding out what happens next, graphic novels have it all! Plus not to mention, important life lessons.

From exciting adventures to comforting self-discovery, here’s six lessons we can learn from some fantastic graphic novels.

1. The impact of history

Persepolis (2007) — Marjane Satrapi

Cover of Persepolis with older Marjane thinking about her younger years with her family.

Persepolis tells the tale of Satrapi’s childhood in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution where public and private life changes and foreign music is sold discreetly on the streets.

Readers will learn about the historical impact on life in Tehran but also the personal impact on Satrapi in regards to culture and identity.

2. To view others complexly

Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Search (2014) — Gene Luen Yang

Cover of Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Search with Aang, Zuko, Azula, Katara and Sokka standing in a circle.

A continuation of Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Search uncovers the biggest mystery about the fate of Zuko and Azula’s mother, Ursa.

The Search doesn’t stray from demonstrating how drastically Ursa impacted both siblings. Zuko fears following the footsteps of his father, and has missed his mother’s presence ever since she disappeared. Azula is still haunted by the belief that her own mother thought she was a monster.

This story reminds us to view others complexly—something that the series was phenomenal at!

3. Bravery comes from inner strength

Bone (2005) — Jeff Smith

Cover of Bone with Fone Bone sitting at a bottom of a large rock formation in a forest.

The Bone series will take you on a humorous adventure with fantastic world building! It’s Phoney Bone’s fault that Fone Bone and Smiley Bone have to leave Boneville—all thanks to Phoney’s mayoral campaign.

Suddenly, they’re entwined in a plot with Thorn and her grandmother where the Lord of the Locus and rat creatures are constantly after them.

There’s fantastic lessons about family and finding inner strength to fight your fears.

4. To consider other perspectives

The Little Red Wolf (2017) — Amélie Fléchais

Cover of The Little Red Wolf with a small wolf running through the forest with a dead bunny in a pouch.

This graphic novel is as cute as it is morbid. It is a retelling of the classic little red riding hood fairytale, with some key twists. In this retelling, a little wolf leaves to bring his grandmother a dead rabbit—as wolves do.

The little wolf has been taught to fear humans, like the vile hunter and his daughter, just as the humans have been taught to be wary of wolves. This unique take on a classic fairytale truly reminds us the importance of seeing a situation from another person’s perspective.

5. Family doesn’t have to be blood

Mooncakes (2019) — Suzanne Walker

Cover of Mooncakes featuring Nova and Tam standing back to back holding a baked dessert and baking mixture.

Nova Huang is a witch who loans out spell books from her grandmothers’ bookshop. Everyone’s heard of the wolf in the woods, but Nova doesn’t expect to run into her childhood crush, Tam Lang. Did we mention Tam is the wolf?

Tam has struggled to find a home, but family can be found in the most unexpected circumstances. What’s most important is to surround yourself with people who care.

6. How to find balance

Miles Morales, Vol. 1: Straight Out of Brooklyn (2019) — Saladin Ahmed

Cover of Vol. 1 Straight out of Brooklyn with Miles Morales standing before the city in the spider-man suit.

If you enjoyed Into the Spiderverse, this graphic novel continues the journey of Miles Morales, who tries to balance being an ordinary kid—while also being Spider-Man.

Fighting crime, high school hijinks, it’s not easy and there’s some unlikely teamwork along the way!

Graphic novels can surprise us! Even seemingly simple fairytales and lighthearted stories can give us some food for thought.

What are your favourite graphic novels? Tell us all about them on Instagram at @shareignite.

Feeling a little philosophical about these life lessons? Check out how to set and achieve goals when you don’t know what you want.

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