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Books Like Nimona: Our Recommended Books ✨

By Leo Flynn

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tHE WITCH BOY By Molly Knox Ostertag

The Witch Boy Book Cover

Description: At thirteen, Aster’s world is full of forbidden magic: girls in his family learn to be witches, and boys learn to shapeshift. But Aster hasn’t shifted yet, and he’s still drawn to witchery. With the help of his new friend, Charlie, Aster takes a risk and unlocks his magical potential to save his family – and be true to himself.

Why Read It? It’s a heartwarming graphic novel that challenges gender norms and celebrates the power of individuality and self-discovery.

iN REAL LIFE By Cory Doctorow & Jen Wang

In Real Life Book Cover

Description: Anda loves Coarsegold Online, the world’s most exciting role-playing game. It’s a place of adventure, where she can be a leader, a fighter, and a hero. But when Anda befriends a gold farmer – a Chinese kid whose avatar breaks the game’s rules to make money – everything changes. Anda soon finds herself in a complex moral dilemma, where right and wrong aren’t so clear cut, and a real person’s livelihood is on the line.

Why Read It? It explores the social and economic issues of online gaming and virtual worlds in a thought-provoking and engaging way.

tAPROOT By Keezy Young

Taproot Book Cover

Description: Blue, a ghost for the past year, meets Hamal, a kind and attractive gardener with a special power: the ability to see and speak with ghosts. Sparks fly and their friendship deepens, but Blue is stuck in a limbo of not being able to truly connect with Hamal. When Blue discovers Hamal is in danger, he’s determined to protect him, even if it means having to say goodbye.

Why Read It? It blends romance, fantasy, and supernatural elements in a moving and enchanting way.

ON A SUNBEAM By Tillie Walden

On A Sunbeam Book Cover

Description: A group of unlikely comrades embark on a journey to the farthest corners of the galaxy, working to reconstruct intricate and stunning edifices in an effort to uncover fragments of history long forgotten. Meanwhile, two young women find solace in one another’s company as they navigate the trials of boarding school life, only to be confronted with the agony of separation.

Why Read It? A beautiful and expansive sci-fi graphic novel, On a Sunbeam follows two parallel narratives. The story explores themes of love, loss, and self-discovery.

SHEETS By Brenna Thummler

Sheets Book Cover

Description: This graphic novel follows the story of Marjorie Glatt, a young girl struggling to manage her family’s laundromat after her mother’s death. Marjorie’s life becomes entwined with that of Wendell, a ghost struggling to find his place in the afterlife. As pressure from school and home mounts on Marjorie, Wendell is both an instigator, and the one who’s friendship might be the key to relief.

Why Read It? The book explores themes of grief, friendship, and self-discovery, while showcasing a unique blend of the mundane and the supernatural.

MONSTRESS By Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda

Monstress Book Cover

Description: Steeped in the opulence of art deco and the innovation of steampunk, this follows the tumultuous journey of a young woman as she fights to endure the aftermath of war. With a strange psychic bond to a behemoth of immense strength, the girl and her monstrous companion are changed by their connection, drawing the attention of mortal foes and supernatural adversaries.

Why Read It? Monstress is a dark and beautifully illustrated fantasy graphic novel series of comics set in a matriarchal world inspired by Asian mythology.

AN EMBER IN THE ASHES By Sabaa Tahir

An Ember In The Ashes Book Cover

Description: The Martial Empire demands absolute loyalty or faces severe consequences. Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother, struggling to survive. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia must risk everything to spy for rebels who promise to save him. In the Empire’s greatest military academy, she meets Elias, a reluctant participant in the tyranny. As their destinies intertwine, they discover their choices will shape the fate of the entire Empire.

Why Read It? A gripping young adult fantasy novel set in a brutal world inspired by ancient Rome, with complex characters and a fast-paced, engaging plot.

THE GILDED WOLVES By Roshani Chokshi

The Gilded Wolves Book Cover

Description: In Paris, the Exposition Universelle World Fair is underway. The Order seeks a Babel fragment with magical Forging abilities over nature’s elements, and Séverin Montagnet-Alarie must retrieve it to reclaim his rightful place among France’s elite. He assembles a team of experts including Zofia, Enrique, Tristan, Hypnos, and Laila, but the risks escalate, leaving Séverin torn between revenge and the safety of those he loves.

Why Read It? This young adult fantasy novel follows a diverse group of characters in an alternate 19th-century Paris, embarking on a treasure hunt filled with magic, intrigue, and history.

SIX OF CROWS By Leigh Bardugo

Six Of Crows Book Cover

Description: Ketterdam is a thriving center of global commerce, where everything is up for grabs if you have the right price. Kaz, a criminal mastermind, is presented with an opportunity to execute a perilous heist that could earn him a fortune. However, he must band together with five dangerous misfits. Kaz’s team is the only hope standing between the world and utter destruction, but only if they can avoid turning on each other.

Why Read It? A young adult fantasy novel featuring a diverse, unlikely crew who pull off a dangerous heist in the richly imagined world of the Grishaverse.

RENEGADES By Marissa Meyer

Renegades Book Cover

Description: The Renegades, humans with exceptional abilities, emerged from the ruins of a collapsed society to establish order where chaos once reigned. Nova is on a quest for revenge against the Renegades, whom she holds responsible for a personal tragedy. Her mission brings her face-to-face with Adrian, a young Renegade who upholds the principles of justice and places his faith in Nova. However, Nova is bound by loyalty to a villain with the power to destroy them.

Why Read It? A thrilling and action-packed superhero novel that explores the themes of power, justice, and morality.

PAPER GIRLS By Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson & Jared K. Fletcher

Paper Girls Book Cover

Description: Four twelve-year-olds deliver newspapers in 1988 and stumble upon the biggest story ever. It’s a thrilling mix of suburban drama and otherworldly mysteries, and it’s been praised for its nostalgia and reflections on childhood.

Why Read It? It’s a thrilling and suspenseful graphic novel series that blends sci-fi, adventure, and mystery. It’s been adapted into a TV series, too!

aNYA’S GHOST By Vera Brosgol

Anya's Ghost Book Cover

Description: Anya never expected to make a new friend at the bottom of an old well – let alone one who’s been dead for a hundred years. But a tumble down the well gives her a chance to escape her everyday struggles: feeling embarrassed by her family, self-conscious about her body, and not fitting in at school. A ghostly companion may be just what she needs – or so she thinks.

Why Read It? Poignant and relatable, it deals with the themes of identity, friendship, and the consequences of our choices.

THE STONEKEEPER By Kazu Kibuishi

The Stonekeeper Book Cover

Description: Emily and Navin’s world turns upside down when their dad passes away, and they and their mom move into their great-grandfather’s mysterious old house. But when a tentacled creature lures their mom through a door in the basement, Em and Navin follow her into a fantastical world of robots, strange plants and talking animals. Will they save their mom and set things right?

Why Read It? An epic and imaginative graphic novel of a thrilling adventure through a magical world filled with danger, discovery, and self-discovery.

THE GOLDEN COMPASS By Philip Pullman

The Golden Compass Book Cover

Description: Lyra embarks on an epic journey to the icy North, a land ruled by witch clans, armored bears, and the dreaded Gobblers who steal children. But Lyra’s mission is more than just a rescue – she must help her fearsome uncle Asriel build a bridge to a parallel world. Can this small girl make a difference in such a dangerous task? Lyra is brave, cunning, and loyal, and she must decide who to trust if she is to succeed. The fate of two worlds rests in her hands.

Why Read It? A captivating and thought-provoking fantasy novel that takes readers on a thrilling journey through Lyra’s richly imagined world. This fantasy fiction appeals to fans of both YA and adult fiction.

LUMBERJANES By ND Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Shannon Watters, & Brooke A. Allen

The Lumberjanes Book Cover

Description: Join Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley as they spend their summer at Lumberjane camp. Their summer plans involve defeating supernatural creatures like yetis, three-eyed wolves, and giant falcons. But nothing can come between these pals and their determination to make the most of their summer together. Get ready for an exciting and action-packed tale of friendship.

Why Read It? This delightful series of graphic novels is written by Nimona’s creator, and features a group of young women going on adventures.

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About The Author: Leo Flynn

Hi! I run Road Less Read, curating my scifi, fantasy + YA favorites from reading 100+ books a year! Email me for a hyper-specific rec?

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