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Author and Illustrator Gene Luen Yang on Why We Need Diverse Books

The world needs diverse books. Author and Illustrator Gene Luen Yang says that every kid needs a book that is a mirror, which reflects our own lives back to us and teaches us to love ourselves, and a book that is a window, which offers us a glimpse into the lives of other people who at least on the surface seem very different from us and which show us our common humanity. 

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Gene Luen Yang

Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Nonfiction, Graphic Novels

Gene Luen Yang

Gene Luen Yang writes, and sometimes draws, comic books and graphic novels. 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 and a National Book Award finalist. His two-volume graphic novel Boxers & Saints won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and was a National Book Award finalist. His other works include Dragon Hoops, the Secret Coders series (with Mike Holmes), The Shadow Hero (with Sonny Liew), New Super-Man from DC Comics (with various artists), and the Avatar: The Last Airbender series from Dark Horse Comics (with Gurihiru) and Superman Smashes the Klan (with Gurihiru).

In 2016, Yang was named the 5th National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and selected as a MacArthur Fellow.