The National Book Awards longlists are being announced over at The New Yorker, and the Young People’s Literature category includes quite a few comics – no surprise, as graphic novels have been making themselves felt in these awards for a while. But half of the category this year are illustrated books, marking quite an accomplishment. Different publishers are also well represented, including, First Second, Random House Graphic and Scholastic. 

All in all, it’s a pretty stunning proof of the impact that comics have had on children’s books over the last decade – in the face of continuing book banning and censorship, it’s also an important statement that graphic novels are complicated, nuanced literature. 

The longlists will eventually be shortened to finalists and winners in each category. 

Erin Bow, “Simon Sort of Says
Disney-Hyperion Books / Disney Publishing Worldwide

Kenneth M. Cadow, “Gather
Candlewick Press

Alyson Derrick, “Forget Me Not
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers / Simon & Schuster

Huda Fahmy, “Huda F Cares?
Dial Books for Young Readers / Penguin Random House

Vashti Harrison, “Big
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers / Hachette Book Group

Roaring Brook Press / Macmillan Publishers

Dan Nott, “Hidden Systems: Water, Electricity, the Internet, and the Secrets Behind the Systems We Use Every Day
Random House Graphic / Penguin Random House

Dan Santat, “A First Time for Everything
First Second / Macmillan Publishers

Betty C. Tang, “Parachute Kids
Graphix / Scholastic, Inc.

Yohuru Williams and Michael G. Long, “More Than a Dream: The Radical March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom
Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers / Macmillan Publishers


The judges for the category this year are Sarah Park Dahlen, Kyle Lukoff, justin a. reynolds, and Sabaa Tahir.

Finalists will be announced on October 3, and the awards ceremony will be held November 15th (minus Drew Barrymore, but that’s a whole nother thing.)