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Best of the National Book Festival: Graphic Novels, 2018

Welcome to our ongoing celebration of the Library of Congress National Book Festival. Each weekday, we will feature a video presentation from among the thousands of authors who have appeared at the National Book Festival and as part of our new year-long series, National Book Festival Presents. Mondays will feature topical nonfiction; Tuesday: poetry or literary fiction; Wednesday: history, biography, memoir; Thursday: popular fiction; and Friday: authors who write for children and teens. Please enjoy, and make sure to explore our full National Book Festival video collection!

Sarah Burnett, director of operations for the Small Press Expo, a festival sponsor, opened the Graphic Novels panel on the Genre Fiction stage at the 2018 Library of Congress National Book Festival. Michael Cavna, creator of The Washington Post’s “Comic Riffs” column, moderated. On the panel were:

  • Patrick McDonnell, discussing “The Mutts: Spring Diaries.” One of the most popular comic strips of all time, McDonnell’s “Mutts” is syndicated in more than 700 newspapers in 20 nations
  • Pénélope Bagieu, discussing “Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World.” Bagieu was born in Paris to Corsican and Basque parents. She is a best-selling graphic novel author, and her editorial illustrations have appeared all over French media
  • Tillie Walden, discussing “Spinning.” Walden is a cartoonist and illustrator from Austin, Texas. She is a graduate of the Center for Cartoon Studies and is a two-time Eisner nominee and Ignatz Award winner
  • Ed Piskor, discussing “X-Men: Grand Design.” Piskor is also the creator behind “Hip Hop Family Tree,” the New York Times best-selling series that won the 2015 Eisner Award for best reality-based work

Says Cavna at the beginning of the program: “The power of comics is to activate your brain in different areas. Some of us are visual learners. … A big reason we do this is because graphic novels and comics are a huge [motivator] to get people to read.”

The 2020 Library of Congress National Book Festival will celebrate its 20th birthday this year. You can get up-to-the-minute news, schedule updates and other important festival information by subscribing to this blog. The festival is made possible by the generosity of sponsors. You too can support the festival by making a gift now.

Best of the National Book Festival: Kwame Alexander, 2015

Our ongoing celebration of the Library of Congress National Book Festival continues with author Kwame Alexander discussing his children’s book “The Crossover” on the Teens stage at the 2015 Festival. This post includes prompts for writing and thinking that young readers, families and teachers can use to explore the author and the author’s work—recommended for ages 8+.

Best of the National Book Festival: Jason Reynolds, 2020

Our ongoing celebration of the Library of Congress National Book Festival continues with the inauguration of Jason Reynolds as the seventh National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature in 2019. This post includes prompts for writing and thinking that young readers, families and teachers can use to explore the the author and the author’s work—recommended for ages 9+.