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Gene Luen Yang Became the Bully Once and Knew That Had to Change

Author and Illustrator Gene Luen Yang felt like an outsider at school. He was a nerd, not good at sports, and few others shared his cultural heritage. But at a summer computer camp, he was the king of coding, and derived a sense of power from that place of comfort and confidence. He ended up picking on a kid who was not a good coder, and to this day, he regrets his ugly behavior. Reading and writing books, he believes, is a great way for him to step outside his comfort zone, push himself to discover new places, and to meet people he wouldn’t have expected to connect with.

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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.