Gene Luen Yang, DRAGON HOOPS

Gene Luen Yang is the author, illustrator, and cartoonist of American Born Chinese, the first graphic novel ever to be nominated for the National Book Award and the American Library Association's Printz Award, which he won. Gene also won an Eisner Award for best graphic album as well as several other awards. Gene's two-volume graphic novel, Boxers & Saints, was also nominated for a National Book Award and won the LA Times Book Prize. He's written and illustrated many other graphic novels like Secret Coders and the Avatar series. Gene’s latest book Dragon Hoops is a nonfiction graphic novel that follows the ups and downs of a varsity men's basketball team. My son is such a fan of Gene’s books that I just had to let him join me for the interview. It was such a special treat! Gene and I chatted about creating and selling his first comic book at age five, why reading diversely is a great way to develop your brain, his important role as National Ambassador for Young People's Literature and why Gene believes graphic novels belong in the classroom. Make sure to listen to the end of the episode to catch Gene’s fantastic advice for anyone feeling the need to create art, especially now.

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