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Are there shorter graphic novels? If so, page count?

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I have a book that is bigger than a picture book (also a little older than a standard pb). It seems to be falling into the GN range. But it's still not a HUGE book, plotwise. What's an acceptable length for a shorter-end GN for say, lower middle grade? (I am trying to plan out the pages for art.)
#1 - February 08, 2019, 11:11 AM

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Check out the GNs published by ABDO?
#2 - February 08, 2019, 01:33 PM
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I don't know if this article will help, but I found it interesting: https://bookriot.com/2018/04/18/must-read-middle-grade-graphic-novels/.
#3 - February 08, 2019, 04:01 PM
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ABDO does publish shorter ones, thanks for the recommendation. And I see on Robin's list is Hereville, which I remember being shorter as well.

I feel like right now, the book is somewhere between a picture book and a graphic novel. But I need to make it into a GN, so...
#4 - February 08, 2019, 05:35 PM

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We had a speaker on this topic last fall in the LI region. There are notes in the regional newsletter. Graphic novels have much less sophisticated plots than a standard novel. I can't remember what was specified in the notes, but it was a good presentation.
#5 - February 08, 2019, 06:26 PM
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What about Arty's Chicken books? They're more for early readers. I think many publishers have "bridge" books that are in CB category.
#6 - February 08, 2019, 07:39 PM
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What age range are you thinking of? I've seen middle grade & YA graphic novels that are as short as 80 pages. ZebraFish by FableVision/Peter Reynolds seemed short for the target age & it's 128 pages (not too short, just on the shorter side of norm). Sugar Falls: A Residential School Story by David Robertson & Scott Henderson is 40 pages long & shelved in the middle grade section at my local library - I see one recommendation online for ages 13 - 17 probably because of the difficult subject matter.

John Martz's Burt's Way Home is 48 pages. I think it's an all ages comic but seemed quite sophisticated - not really a picture book age book. Felt more suitable for ages 8 & up.

Ashley Spires has a number of GNs (Binky, Fluffy, Gordon) for ages 7 - 10, they range from 64 to 72 pages.

Jennifer & Matt Holm have a series called My First Comics - they are 22 page board books.
There are also plenty of PB that are heavily inspired by comics (Arree Chung's Ninja comes to mind, there are many more).

I think there is lots of leeway with graphic novel length. It would depend on the subject matter & how many pages you need to have to properly tell the story. In multiples of 8 of course.


#7 - February 09, 2019, 06:20 AM
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I think to make it a graphic novel rather than a picture book you'll likely be dealing with an older than picture book age character and a slightly more complex story. While GN stories are generally tighter in plot than a novel, they do have subplots. (Picture books don't have subplots). I'd go with the usual advice - read as many GNs as possible in the genre you think your book will fit into. That will give you a good feel for what works & what doesn't.
#8 - February 09, 2019, 06:26 AM
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:D Graphically, one must always think in multiples of 8, no?

I checked out a slew of GNs and have been reading, but they really are all different lengths. I'd say my characters are probably 4th-5th graders, with those kinds of concerns. There's basically one main plotline, but it's more plot than say, a 300 word pb might carry. I dunno, maybe I need to think up a related subplot that could be running in the background in the pictures? I feel it's more than a pb but on the short side for a GN. Then again, I have a book out right now that has four "chapters" and is told entirely in comic format. It's not a picture book, but it's short for a GN. (The library houses it in GN.)

Anyway, it's good to know that there is a wide range.
#9 - February 09, 2019, 03:44 PM

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I'm working a MG GN & I found the subplots came about very organically. I found Cheryl Kleins Magic Words & Mary Kole's Writing Irresistable Kidlit very helpful in understanding & figuring out my plot/subplots.
#10 - February 10, 2019, 05:30 AM
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I have a book that is bigger than a picture book (also a little older than a standard pb). It seems to be falling into the GN range. But it's still not a HUGE book, plotwise. What's an acceptable length for a shorter-end GN for say, lower middle grade? (I am trying to plan out the pages for art.)

Any update on this question/answer?  I'm working on one now that's about 40-60 pages, and am finding it hard to shake the feeling that it's too short.
#11 - February 19, 2021, 10:48 AM

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Take a look at some of Scholastic and Charlesbridge GNs for younger kids. I can't remember what they're called bridges or branches.
#12 - February 19, 2021, 12:28 PM
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I think Artie's Kung Pow Chicken series is similar to what you're talking about. They're published by Scholastic and the protagonists are about 8, so they're for beginning independent readers, early MG. Can't find my copy in a hurry, but check out the length. Just checked at Amazon: it's 80 pages, 2362 words, full colour. The division of Scholastic is Branches.

Also I highly recommend these for everyone, adults as well as children! They're hilarious, clever, nicely drawn, and full of puns. :chicken
#13 - February 19, 2021, 01:14 PM
« Last Edit: February 19, 2021, 01:21 PM by Barbara Etlin »
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Kung Pow Chicken series is hilarious!
#14 - February 19, 2021, 02:08 PM
Little Thief! Max & Midnight, Bound, Ten Easter Eggs & 100+ bks/mags
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