Gene Luen Yang’s two-volume Boxers & Saints is among the finalists for the 2013 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. His 2006 work American Born Chinese was the first graphic novel to be nominated for a National Book Award.
Published by First Second Books, 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.
The longlist for Young People’s Literature features nine other nominees: Kathi Appelt, The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp;Kate DiCamillo, Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures; Lisa Graff, A Tangle of Knots; Alaya Dawn Johnson, The Summer Prince; Cynthia Kadohata, The Thing About Luck; David Levithan, Two Boys Kissing; Tom McNeal, Far Far Away; Meg Rosoff, Picture Me Gone; and Anne Ursu, The Real Boy.
Finalists in the other categories will be announced throughout the week. The winners will be presented Nov. 20.