Victoria Jamieson’s Rollergirl, a graphic novel about a girls dream of becoming a roller girl star, was named a Newbury honor book, this morning, one of several honors awarded to graphic novels. The awards were announced in Boston and you can see the complete list here.
The selection is the second year in a row a graphic novel was chosen for the honor list of the highest literary accolade in children’s books. :Last year, El Deafo was named a Newbery Honor book.
Several other comics were selected as honor books for various awards as well.
Liz Suburbia’s Sacred Heart (Fantagraphics) won an Alex Award, presented to the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences.
Liniers’s Written and Drawn by Henrietta (TOON Books) was a Mildred L. Batchelder Award honor book, presented to an outstanding children’s book translated from a foreign language and subsequently published in the United States.
Don Brown’s Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans (HMH) was named an Honor book for the Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for most distinguished informational book for children
In something of a surprise, the top Newbery Book, Last Stop on Market Street, is also an illustrated book, Matt de la Peña and illustrated by Christian Robinson. It seems that pictures are no longer an impediment to literary value.
Graphic novels have become a mainstay of children’s publishing, and these awards are a good indicator that this is a permanent move and not an anomaly.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.