Gene Luen Yang: Reading Without Walls

March 31, 2017 | Beau

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On Wednesday, April 5th, award-winning graphic novelist and literacy advocate Gene Luen Yang will be visiting the Toronto Reference Library to speak about his Reading Without Walls platform in a program co-presentation between Toronto Public Library and the Toronto Comic Arts Festival. Reading Without Walls is Yang's campaign to encourage readers of all ages to explore books about characters who look or live differently than them, about topics they haven't previously explored, or in formats they haven't yet tried.

In 2016, Yang was named as the fifth National Ambassador for Young People's Literature by the Library Of Congress, The Children's Book Council and Every Child A Reader. In this role, he has issued his Reading Without Walls Challenge and continues to advocate for the role of comics and graphic novels in promoting literacy and learning. 

After working as a computer engineer and a high school teacher, Yang published his first graphic novel (Gordon Yamamoto and the King of the Geeks) in 1997. The complete Gordon Yamamoto mini-series and a sequel (Loyola Chin and the San Peligran Orderwere published together in a collection named Animal Crackers in 2010.

Animal Crackers

Yang's 2006 graphic novel American Born Chinese (eBook) was a finalist for the National Book Awards and won the 2007 Michael L. Pintz Award and Eisner Award for Best Graphic Album: New, in addition to many other accolades. He is also well-known for his work on the Avatar: The Last Airbender and Superman series of graphic novels, in addition to original works such as Level Up, Boxers (eBook) and The Eternal Smile: Three Stories.

                          American Born Chinese

        Level Up     Avatar      Superman

                              Boxers      The Eternal Smile

We hope you will join us at Toronto Reference Library on April 5th for Gene's talk about his Reading Without Walls Challenge. In his words, "Read without walls and see what happens.  I bet it’ll be something amazing!"


Program information:

Gene Luen Yang: National Ambassador for Young People's Literature

Wednesday, April 5th

6:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Toronto Reference Library atrium (ground floor)

Drop in, no registration required