Downloadable Materials Promote Titles of Gene Luen Yang, New National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature

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The Children’s Book Council, Every Child a Reader, and the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress have announced the appointment of two-time National Book Award finalist Gene Luen Yang as the fifth National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.

Yang, who succeeds Kate DiCamillo, the two- time Newbery Award-winning author of The Tale of Despereaux (Candlewick Books), is the author and illustrator of the graphic novel American Born Chinese (First Second Books), which in 2006 won the Printz Award and the Eisner Award and was nominated for the National Book Award.

To celebrate Yang’s appointment, First Second Books has created a number of easily downloadable assets to promote his books and made them available on Edelweiss. Booksellers can access the assets, which include shelf-talkers, sell sheets, and signs, through the Edelweiss title record for each book.

Over his two-year term as ambassador, Yang, who currently writes Dark Horse Comics’ Avatar: The Last Airbender series and DC Comics’ Superman, will travel nationwide speaking to kids and teens about his platform, “Reading Without Walls,” which focuses on breaking down barriers to reading, championing diversity in all forms, and engaging non-readers.

Of his “Reading Without Walls” platform, Yang said, “Reading takes us outside our walls. By reading, we get to know people who look and think and live differently than we do. We gain knowledge and skills others don’t expect from us. We discover passions we never knew we had.”

“Reading Without Walls means being open to new kinds of stories,” Yang added. “It means reading books that others might not expect us to like, that we ourselves might not expect to like. It means reading books with covers that show characters who don’t look like us. It means reading books in formats that may be unfamiliar.”

In 2016, Yang will be a speaker at the BookExpo America Children’s Author Breakfast on May 13 at McCormick Place in Chicago. Secret Coders: Secrets and Sequences, the second volume of Yang’s middle-grade graphic novel series about computer coding, is due out later this year.