(Today we are pleased to present the first post in our new monthly series, “What’s The Ambassador Reading?” Gene Luen Yang is a graphic novelist, avid reader, and earlier this year was appointed by the Library of Congress as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. You can read the same books as Gene by visiting your local library! For more great reading material check out the Reading Rainbow Skybrary.)
Jacqueline Woodson is one of the most decorated authors on the planet. She has enough metal stickers on her books to make herself an Iron Woman suit.
Locomotion is a book in verse, a story that’s told through poems. The book’s title is also the main character’s name. Eleven-year-old Locomotion has gone through some stuff — I’m not going to tell you exactly what because I don’t want to spoil it. He finds hope by writing poems. He writes short poems and long poems, poems that rhyme and poems that don’t. And when you read his poems, a little of Locomotion’s hope rubs off on you.
TOTALLY AWESOME HULK
You know what’s totally awesome? The Hulk. You may not have heard, but these days the Hulk is a Korean American kid named Amaedeus Cho! That’s right. The Hulk is still green. He’s still super-strong. He still smashes stuff. But now he’s AZN.
Amadeus and his super-genius little sister Maddy fight dinosaurs and villains out of a flying food truck. So totally awesome.
The Totally Awesome Hulk is written and drawn by Korean American creative duo Greg Pak and Frank Cho. It hasn’t been collected in graphic novel form yet, so you’ll have to pick up the individual issues at your local comics shop.
THE AIRPORT BOOK
My two younger kids are obsessed with The Airport Book by Lisa Brown. We’ve read it over and over and over. There’s nothing flashy about this book, no family tragedies or dinosaur fights. It’s just a beautifully-illustrated story about a family making their way through an airport. On every page, Ms. Brown adds charming little details that keep me and my kids enthralled.
Who knew going through security, waiting at the gate, and watching the baggage carousel could be so fun?
Tell us what YOU are reading in the comments below!
Gene Luen Yang has written and drawn many comics, including the hit Avatar: The Last Airbender series. American Born Chinese was a National Book Award finalist, as well as the winner of the Printz Award and an Eisner Award. He also won the LA Times Book Prize for Boxers & Saints. Yang lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Find out more about Gene on his website, or follow him on Twitter at @GeneLuenYang.