Gene Luen Yang, National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, is Auditorium Speaker at 2017 ALA Annual Conference

For Immediate Release
Wed, 03/29/2017


Amy McGuigan

Conference Manager

Conference Services

American Library Association

Gene Luen Yang, teacher, cartoonist and author, began drawing comic books in the fifth grade and in 1997 received a Xeric Grant for his first comic, Gordon Yamamoto and the King of the Geeks.  A MacArthur Fellow, 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. American Born Chinese, his first graphic novel was a National Book Award finalist, as well as the winner of the Printz Award and an Eisner Award. He currently writes Dark Horse Comic's Avatar: The Last Airbender series and DC Comic's Superman. Secret Coders, his middle-grade graphic novel series with cartoonist Mike Holmes, teaches kids the basics of computer programming. Yang is a long-time educator who champions comics and graphic novels as educational tools in the classroom and has delivered a TEDx Talk on the subject. The session will take place on Saturday, June 24, 8:30-9:30am, at the 2017 Annual Conference & Exhibition in Chicago.

As National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Yang is focusing on his program “Reading Without Walls,” showing kids and teens—and adults invested in young people’s literacy—that reading is a vital part of their lives, and the importance of “reading without walls.” This might mean reading a book about a character who doesn’t look like them or live like them, reading a book about a topic they don’t know much about, or reading a book in a format they don’t usually choose.

Yang said he was thrilled to serve as Honorary Chair of the 2016 National Library Week. “Libraries were such an important part of my childhood, and they're an important part of my life today.  I visit my local library to research, to read, to write, and to be inspired. I'm deeply grateful for our nation’s libraries and librarians.”

Yang’s appearance at the conference is sponsored by Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group and Dark Horse Comics.

Ways to stay in touch and get updates include: Annual Conference website; Twitter @alaac and #alaac17), Facebook Event, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram (#alaac17).

ALA Annual Conference—Transforming Our Libraries, Ourselves

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2017 ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition

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