AwardsComic Books & Graphic Novels

Excellence in Graphic Literature Winners Announced

The winners have been announced in the 2021 Excellence in Graphic Literature Awards.

Established in 2017 by Pop Culture Classroom, the awards recognize world-class creators of graphic literature and honor the best and brightest graphic novel work, both in fiction and non-fiction categories.  The goal is to assist educators and librarians identify high quality graphic literature to include in educational settings. Pop Culture Classroom posts on their website, that their organization is working to legitimize and advocate for the teaching of pop culture literacy in 21st century classrooms.

Winners are marked in red.

Best in Children’s Graphic Literature – Fiction

  • Bear by Ben Queen, art by Joe Todd-Stanton (BOOM! Studios)
  • Cat Kid Comic Club by Dav Pilkey (Scholastics/Graphix)
  • Donut Feed the Squirrels by Mika Song (RH Graphic)
  • Frankie and the Creepy Cute Critters by Caitlin Rose Boyle (Oni Press)
  • The Wolf in Underpants Freezes His Buns Off by Wilfrid Lupano, art by Mayana Itoiz & Paul Cauuet (Lerner Publishing Group)

Best in Children’s Graphic Literature – Non-Fiction

  • Black Heroes of the Wild West: Featuring Stagecoach Mary, Bass Reeves, and Bob Lemmons: A Toon Graphic by James Otis Smith (TOON Books)

Best in Middle-Grade Graphic Literature – Fiction

  • Go With The Flow by Karen Schneemann & Lily Williams (Macmillan Publishers)
  • Snapdragon by Kat Leyh (Macmillan Publishers)
  • Stepping Stones by Lucy Knisley (RH Graphic)
  • Superman Smashes the Klan by Gene Luen Yang, art by Gurihiru (DC Comics)
  • Twins by Varian Johnson, art by Shannon Wright (Scholastics/Graphix)

Best in Middle-Grade Graphic Literature – Non-Fiction

  • Action Presidents 4: John F. Kennedy! by Fred Van Lente, art by Ryan Dunlavey (HarperCollins Children’s Book)
  • Astronauts: Women on the Final Frontier by Jim Ottaviani, art by Maris Wicks (First Second)
  • History Comics: The Great Chicago Fire by Kat Hannigan, art by Alex Graudins (Macmillan Publishers)
  • Noisemakers: 25 Women Who Raised Their Voices & Changed the World edited by Erin Bried (Knopf)
  • Seen: Edmonia Lewis by Jasmine Walls, art by Bex Glendining (BOOM! Studios)

Best in Young Adult Graphic Literature – Fiction

  • A Map to the Sun by Sloane Leong (Macmillan Publishers)
  • Displacement by Kiku Hughes (Macmillan Publishers)
  • Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera, art by Celia Moscote (BOOM! Studios)
  • Lizard in a Zoot Suit by Marco Finnegan (Lerner Publishing Group)
  • The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen (RH Graphic)

Best in Young Adult Graphic Literature – Non-Fiction

  • Constitution Illustrated by R. Sikoryak (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Drawing the Vote by Tommy Jenkins, art by Kati Lacker (Abrams ComicArts)
  • Shame Pudding by Danny Noble (Street Noise Books)
  • Spellbound: a Graphic Memoir by Bishkay Som (Street Noise Books)
  • The Mars Challenge by Alison Wilgus, art by Wyeth Yates (Macmillan Publishers)

Best in Adult Graphic Literature – Fiction

  • Algeriennes: The Forgotten Women of the Algerian Revolution by Swann Meralli, art by Deloupy (Penn State University Press)
  • Fights: One Boy’s Triumph Over Violence by Joel Christian Gill (Oni Press)
  • Invisible Differences: a Story of Aspergers, Adulting, and Living a Life in Full Color by Julie Dachez, art by Mme. Caroline (Oni Press)
  • Quince: The Definitive Bilingual Edition by Sebastian Kadlecik & Kit Steinkellner, art by Emma Steinkellner (Fanbase Press)
  • Soldiers Unknown by Chag Lowry, art by Rahsan Ekedal (Great Oak Press)

Best in Adult Graphic Literature – Non-Fiction

  • Guantanamo Voices edited by Sarah Mirk, art by Various (Abrams ComicArts)
  • Happiness Will Follow by Mike Hawthorne (BOOM! Studios)
  • Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio by Derf Backderf (Abrams CoimcArts)
  • Phoolan Devi: Rebel Queen by Claire Fauvel (NBM Graphic Novels)
  • Year of the Rabbit by Tian Veasna (Drawn & Quarterly)

Jason P. Hunt

Jason P. Hunt (founder/EIC) is the author of the sci-fi novella "The Hero At the End Of His Rope". His short film "Species Felis Dominarus" was a finalist in the Sci Fi Channel's 2007 Exposure competition.

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