Shocking the world by proving that comics are actually literature, March, the comic by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell has won the Young People’s Literature category at the National Book Awards tonight. Published by Top Shelf, the book tells the story of Lewis’s own life and involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, and was inspired by Martin Luther King and The Montgomery Story, a 1957 comic which itself inspired a teenage Lewis and served as a guide for he and fellow college students in non-violent protest. March aims to inspire young people today in that same fashion, and the comic has been highly acclaimed and won numerous awards. Now, one more.
In particular, March Book 3, the last in the trilogy, won the National Book Award tonight, defeating Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo, When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin, Ghost by Jason Reynolds, and The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. In your face, other books!
While the win does promote the idea of comics as literature, the fact that it occurred in the Young People’s Literature category undoes the work of decades worth of articles with headlines like “BAM! BIFF! POW! Comics Aren’t Just For Kids Anymore!” Well, baby steps. Congratulations to March on yet another award. It deserves it.
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