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Gene Luen Yang

Gene Luen Yang began drawing comic books in the fifth grade. In 2006, his graphic novel, American Born Chinese — a memoir about growing up as an Asian American — became the first graphic novel to win the American Library Association’s Printz Award. He is the author of the Secret Coders series and has written for the hit comics Avatar: The Last Airbender and Superman. In 2016, Yang was named the 5th National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and selected as a MacArthur Fellow. Visit Gene Yang's official website.

The National Ambassador for Young People's Literature raises awareness of the importance of young people's literature as it relates to lifelong literacy, education, and the development and betterment of the lives of young people. The initiative is sponsored by The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, the Children’s Book Council, and Every Child a Reader.

 

Meet the Middle-Aged Asian Guy Book Club!

September 22, 2016

Gene and his good friend and creative collaborator, Thien Pham (Level Up), just started a book club, inspired by their newfound love of YA romance novels. In their first book club get-together, they talk about Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell, a love story of two young people from different worlds. Are Eleanor and Park are too young for "true love"? Would their relationship  be different today (the book is set in the 80's)? What are the three words Eleanor writes on the postcard to Park at the very end of the book?

Gene and Thien also share their secrets for getting into a new book if you are a slow reader. Thien, for example, says he likes to cast a story's characters for the movie version. They both debate the merits of audiobooks.

Bonus for all book club listeners: enter a chance to win a copy of Eleanor and Park with fan art from Gene and Thien (entry deadline: October 7, 2016). See the video for details.

So grab your snacks, take a seat, and listen in!

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"To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark." — Victor Hugo, Les Miserables