Gene Yang’s Boxers and Saints (First Second), an imaginative two-book fictional examination of the Chinese Boxer Rebellion, has been shortlisted for the National Book Award nomination for Young Peoples Literature. This is the second time a graphic novel has been nominated for the NBA for YPL and in both cases the books have been by Yang, whose graphic novel American Born Chinese was nominated for the prize in 2006 but did not win.
In September Boxers and Saints was named to the NBA longlist, a new listing of 10 titles instituted this year to give a broader range of titles NBA media exposure. Now, Yang has been shortlisted for the YPL prize for the second time.
Boxers and Saints is an inventively structured two-book set—the two books are separate and were published simultaneously by First Second—that looks at the Chinese Boxer Rebellion from the early 20th Century from the view of the insurrectionists (the Boxers) and from the point of view the Chinese Christian converts (the Saints) and English missionaries they fought against.
In addition to Yang’s Boxers and Saints, also shortlisted for the 2013 NBA YPL are Kathi Appelt’s The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp; Cynthia Kadohata’s The Thing About Luck; Tom McNeal’s Far Far Away and Meg Rosoff’s Picture Me Gone.
The winners will be announced at the gala National Book Awards dinner and ceremony on November 20 in New York City.