Gene Luen Yang, a graphic novelist and a two-time finalist for the National Book Award, has been named the Library of Congress' fifth National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. He succeeds Kate DiCamillo, whose two-year term has expired.
Yang's book, "American Born Chinese," was the first graphic novel to be nominated for a National Book Award. His two-volume graphic novel "Boxers & Saints" was also a finalist for a National Book Award. "Boxers & Saints" also won the Los Angeles Time Book Prize.
(Here's an interview with him conducted by William Alexander, Minnesota author and winner of the 2012 National Book Award.)
As national ambassador, Yang will travel around the country speaking to kids, teens and their caregivers about his platform, "Rading Without Walls," which focuses on engaging non-readers, embracing diversity and eliminating barriers to reading.
Yang lives in California and teaches in Hamline University's MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults.