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Graphic Novel Reporter Newsletter

It’s been quite a year for graphic novels. Three BIG firsts:Gene Luen Yang was appointed the National Ambassador of Young People’s Literature; he also was named to the 2016 class of the MacArthur Fellows Program, receiving what is commonly called the "Genius Grant." The MacArthur Foundation that names the fellows said that his "work for young adults demonstrates the potential of comics to broaden our understanding of diverse cultures and people." I had the pleasure of seeing Gene interviewed by Calvin Reid of Publishers Weekly at the Miami Book Fair (see the photo above). Gene is passionate about his Reading Without Walls initiative, which encourages young readers to read outside their comfort zones in three ways: 1) Read a book about a character who doesn’t look like you or live like you; 2) read a book about a topic you don’t know much about; and 3) read a book in a format that you don’t normally read for fun. That might be a chapter book, a graphic novel, a book in verse, a picture book or a hybrid book. These ideas also will work for adults. His idea is so simple, but can make a real impact!