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Writer Gene Luen Yang Inducted as Ambassador for Young People’s Literature

Yang, Gene Luen

Gene Luen Yang, author the award-winning graphic novel American Born Chinese, was honored at the Library of Congress as the fifth National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.

The Ambassador program, established in 2008, is a literary honor presented to authors or illustrators who have made a substantial contribution to young people’s literature.

“Gene’s message of inclusion and acceptance of all people is especially relevant today. The Library of Congress looks forward to the next two years of Gene’s promotion of reading and literacy among young people,” said the John Y. Cole, the director of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress.

During his tenure as ambassador, Yang will be traveling nationwide to speak to kids and teens nationwide about the importance of literacy in their lives, in his platform Reading Without Walls. He will also be speaking with everyone else invested in young people’s literacy on how to better encourage youths to love reading.

In his speech at the inaugural ceremony Thursday, Yang speaks of books themselves as the ambassadors for young readers.

“Books were ambassadors to me into a world I didn’t understand.” said Yang of his journey in writing a nonfictional work about the highs and lows of a high school basketball team.

Yang ended his speech with an encouraging message for all readers, young and old, “Read without walls and see what happens.”

Read Yang’s entire inaugural speech here in Boing Boing.


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