Boxers & Saints, Gene Luen Yang’s bestselling graphic novel set against the backdrop of China’s Boxer Rebellion, has made the shortlist for the 2013 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, announced this morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. Yang’s 2006 work American Born Chinese was the first graphic novel to be nominated for a National Book Award.
The other finalists in the category are: Kathi Appelt, The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp; Cynthia Kadohata, The Thing About Luck; Tom McNeal, Far Far Away; and Meg Rosoff, Picture Me Gone. The winner will be announced Nov. 29.
Published by First Second Books, the two-volume Boxers & Saints tells two parallel stories set against the backdrop of the Boxer Rebellion: the first is of Little Bao, a peasant boy who joins in the violent uprising against Westerners following the destruction of his village; and the second is of a girl taken in by Christian missionaries when her village has no place for her. Boxers & Saints was released just last week.