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MARCH MARCHES ON

March  Book Three coverCongressman John Lewis made history at the 2017 American Library Association (ALA) Youth Media Awards (YMA) on Monday, January 23, when Top Shelf’s March: Book Three, the third and final installment in a graphic-novel trilogy that has Lewis’s 1965 Selma March as its dramatic centerpiece, written with Andrew Aydin and illustrated by Nate Powell, took four YMA wins, including the Robert F. Sibert Medal, the Coretta Scott King Author Award, and the YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award and, the crowning honor, reported Christina Vercelletto and Sara Bayliss at slj.com — the Michael L. Printz Award.

Previously, March: Book Three earned the 2016 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature as well as the 2017 Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature, the RFK Award, and the Eisner.

It irks me just a little that all these awards, an indisputably distinguished list of honors, proclaim the book as children’s literature thereby ignoring its suitability for adult readers as well. It’s almost as if — “Well, comics — it’s for kids, right?”

No, not any more. But you couldn’t tell by looking at the awards the book has collected.

Lewis, however, was not inclined to carp. “I love books and I love librarians,” he said. “When I was growing up, I tried to read every single thing I could. I hope these awards will help inspire all of our young people — and some of us not so young — to read, to learn, and to act. March is a guidebook reminding us that we all must speak up and stand up for what is right, what is fair, and what is just.”

For more Rants & Raves with its comics news and reviews, gossip and cartooning lore, visit www.RCHarvey.com

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