Exciting news in the book and graphic novel world today: Gene Luen Yang has been named National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature! If you haven’t had a chance to read any of Yang’s work, now would be a great time. I’m a huge fan of American-Born Chinese, and his newest series, Secret Coders – I’m using it to get the kids in my library psyched about coding, with great success. Boxers and Saints was the first graphic novel to be a National Book Award Finalist, and American Born Chinese was the first graphic novel to win a Printz Award, so this is a perfect appointment. Mr. Yang is the first graphic novelist to be representing the whole children’s and young adult industry as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature!
I’m always excited to see graphic novels get more attention – okay, more positive attention – in the media. They’ve taken their knocks over the years, and it’s exciting to see parents and educators alike getting on board with comics and graphic novels as a great storytelling and literacy medium.
The inauguration ceremony, presided by acting Librarian of Congress David S. Mao and featuring both Ms. Yang and National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Emeritus, author Kate DiCamillo, will take place on Thursday, January 7 at 11 a.m. in room LJ-119 of the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington D.C. The event is open to the public; no tickets are required. I’d love to be there, but there’s no way I can make it. If anyone is able to go, take picture! Send links!
Congrats again to Mr. Yang – and check out the Secret Coders website for awesome coding printables and activities for the kids (and you know you want to learn, too)!