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The Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature recently announced that graphic novelist and cartoonist Gene Luen Yang will keynote the 2017 One Book Two Book Children's Literature Festival set for Feb. 24 to 26 in Iowa City.
Yang is a graphic novelist and cartoonist whose work for young adults demonstrates the potential of comics to broaden our understanding of diverse cultures and people. Yang has produced full-length graphic novels, short stories and serial comics, many of which explore present-day and historical events through a contemporary Chinese American lens.
Yang's 'Boxers & Saints,” a two-volume graphic novel about the Boxer Rebellion was nominated for a National Book Award and won the L.A. Times Book Prize.
In 2006, his book 'American Born Chinese” became the first graphic novel to be nominated for a National Book Award and the first to win the American Library Association's Printz Award. It also won an Eisner Award for Best Graphic Album - New.
His other comics include Dark Horse Comics' continuation of the popular Nickelodeon cartoon 'Avatar: The Last Airbender” and DC Comics' 'Superman.”
A former high school computer science teacher, Yang is currently writing a series of graphic novels, 'Secret Coders” that introduces computer coding within a mystery plot.
Yang has taught in Hamline University's MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults since 2012 and is currently serving as the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature for the Library of Congress, Every Child A Reader and the Children's Book Council.
The One Book Two Book Children's Literature Festival also announced that the deadline is Friday, Dec. 16 for students in first through eighth grade attending an Iowa City-Cedar Rapids Corridor area school district, or home school students in those equivalent grades, to submit their writing for the festival.
This can be any type of writing: story, essay, poem, song lyric, graphic novel page, etc. The piece must be an original work, written this school year and ready for publication.
The student work will be judged by a team from ACT in Iowa City. Recognized students will be honored at a special 'Write Out Loud” event during the festival on Feb. 26. Two grade level winners will be chosen, one in each of the following categories: The Write Stuff and From the Heart.
For details on the contest, visit www.onebooktwobook.org