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Little Monarchs

written and illustrated by
Jonathan Case

Hardcover edition
Holiday House
Margaret Ferguson Books
Violence: General
$22.84   $19.03

This graphic novel adventure tells the story of 10-year-old Elvie and her crucial mission to save humanity from extinction after a sun shift has changed life on earth as we know it.

It’s been fifty years since a sun shift wiped out nearly all mammal life across the earth.

Towns and cities are abandoned relics, autonomous machines maintain roadways, and the world is slowly being reclaimed by nature. Isolated pockets of survivors keep to themselves in underground sites, hiding from the lethal sunlight by day and coming above ground at night.

10-year-old Elvie and her caretaker, Flora, a biologist, are the only two humans who can survive during daylight because Flora made an incredible discovery – a way to make an antidote to sun sickness using the scales from monarch butterfly wings. Unfortunately, it can only be made in small quantities and has a short shelf life.

Free to travel during the day, Elvie and Flora follow monarchs as they migrate across the former Western United States, constantly making new medicine for themselves  while trying to find a way to make a vaccine they can share with everyone. Will they discover a way to go from a treatment to a cure and preserve the remains of humanity, or will their efforts be thwarted by disaster and the very people they are trying to save?

Little Monarchs is a new kind of graphic novel adventure—one that invites readers to take an intimate look at the natural world and the secrets hidden within. Elvie and Flora’s adventures take place in real locations marked panel-by-panel with coordinates and a compass heading. Curious readers can follow their travel routes and see the same landscapes—whether it be a secluded butterfly grove on the California coast or a hot-springs in the high desert. Through both comic narrative and journal entries, readers learn the basics of star navigation, how to tie useful knots, and other survival skills applicable in the natural world.

Creator Jonathan Case acquired the fact-based portion of Little Monarchs through intensive research and several expeditions to study monarchs across the western United States. Scientific support also came from the Xerces Society, the world leaders in monarch preservation.

Author’s note. Full-color illustrations. 

Violence: General




Page Count


Trim Size

9" x 6 4/5"




0: points 0



Scholastic Reading Counts


JLG Release

Jul 2022

Book Genres

Graphic Novels


Monarch butterflies. Monarch butterfly migration. Global environmental change. Environmental disasters. US Pacific Coast. Survival. Action and adventure. Scientific discovery. Medicine. Dystopia. Family. Friendship. Science fiction. 

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Grades 5-8
Graphic Novels Middle Plus
For Grades 5-8

Book-length narratives presented in comic book style, graphic novels foster both visual and verbal comprehension skills while exposing readers to interesting dialogue and satire, as well as affirming diversity.

JLG's selection of these unique books, some of them only published in softcover, are ideal for attracting reluctant readers and introducing them to literature they might not encounter otherwise. You may find that the 12 books in this category will turn your reluctant readers into eager readers.

14 books per Year
$293.02 per Year
Diversity,ESL,Fiction,Graphic Novels,Reluctant Readers,Transitional Readers,Funny/Humorous
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Grades 5-8
Graphic Novels Middle Plus
14 books per Year
$293.02 per Year

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