Visiting Authors for Schools Gene Luen Yang
Gene Luen Yang
Gene Luen Yang has just been named the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature! His job is to “raise national awareness of the importance of young people’s literature as it relates to lifelong literacy, education and the development and betterment of the lives of young people.”
DATE OF SCHOOL VISIT
Monday, October 3 (Gene will visit two schools; one in the morning, one in the afternoon.)
ABOUT THE BOOK
Secret Coders: Paths & Portals (The Secret Coders series, Book 2) Stately Academy is just crawling with mysteries to be solved! In the last volume, Hopper and Eni discovered a robot in the supply closet and programmed him to do mischief. Now they're trapped in an underground lair, and they must use their new programming skills to escape. Hot on the heels of the highly-anticipated first volume, Paths & Portals offers more of the same high-stakes adventure and real-world coding instruction. The Secret Coders series is an exciting new direction for Gene Luen Yang, one of the most popular creators in children's comics and is a wildly entertaining series that combines logic puzzles and basic programming instruction with a page-turning mystery plot.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gene Luen Yang began drawing comics in the fifth grade. His rise to prominence as a cartoonist began in 1997, when he received the Xeric grant for self-publishing for his Gordon Yamamoto and the King of the Geeks. After putting out several issues on his own, it was picked up by the independent comics publisher Slave Labor, who published it and Loyola Chin and the San Pelegran Order (later collected into a single volume as Animal Crackers). While working on these comics, Yang received his Master’s degree in education from Cal State Hayward and began teaching at a San Francisco school. He is a founding member of the Bay Area’s Art Night Crew, a local group of cartoonists.
American Born Chinese, Yang’s first graphic novel with the then-fledgling publisher First Second, put him on the map in the bookstore and the library market, where it was one of the leading graphic novels to make a real impact. American Born Chinese, the story of a teenager struggling with his identity, was the first-ever graphic novel ever to be named a finalist for the National Book Award, causing a firestorm of controversy about whether graphic novels were eligible for the award, and whether they were “real books.” The book went on to win the Printz Award, the ALA’s award for the best young adult book published that year. It is the only graphic novel to ever receive the Printz. To date, it has sold around 400,000 copies, and it is taught in high schools and colleges around the country.
Yang’s next solo graphic novel, the groundbreaking diptych Boxers & Saints, was also a National Book Award finalist. This book is the story of China’s Boxer Rebellion, told from alternate perspectives – a young man who joined the Boxers, and a young woman who as a Chinese Catholic, is persecuted by them. The book went on to receive the Printz Honor and the LA Times Book Prize for Young Readers.
Currently, Gene is writing the graphic novel series Secret Coders, illustrated by Mike Holmes. This middle-grade series takes Yang’s background in education and as a teacher of computer science and combines that knowledge with comics storytelling, using the narrative to teach kids about computer programming. He is a strong proponent of using comics in education, and of representing diversity through the comics medium, which he does in all of his comics work.
A strong believer in collaboration, Yang has published books in partnership with esteemed cartoonists Derek Kirk Kim (The Eternal Smile, Duncan’s Kingdom), Thien Pham (Level Up), and Sonny Liew (The Shadow Hero). Yang’s work has also been included in the anthologies Up All Night, Secret Identities, Strange Tales, Nursery Rhyme Comics, Shattered, Open Mic, and Comic Squad: Recess. After speaking out against the lack of diversity in the casting of the Avatar: The Last Airbender movie, Yang was asked to write the Avatar: The Last Airbender comics, which he does to this day, as well as writing Superman (with John Romita Jr., Klaus Janson, and Howard Porter) for DC Comics.
SCHOOL TYPE & GRADES
Middle school, grades 4-8
DESIRED # OF STUDENTS
The larger the audience the better. School-wide or grade-wide assemblies would be great.
LENGTH & TOPIC OF PRESENTATION
45 mins, focused on Reading Without Walls
Projector, screen, microphone. (GLY travels with a PC laptop for a PowerPoint presentation). And a bottle of water.
Tattered Cover will design an order form that the school should distribute in advance of the author visit, and again on the day of the event to all student attendees.