This year, PW's Best Children's Books included a total of four graphic novels in its fiction and nonfiction categories. Comics aimed at young readers have been enjoying increased critical and commercial success as creators, both new and established, embrace stories for all ages as well as innovative modes of publishing.
In the fiction category, Bad Machinery: The Case of the Team Spirit by John Allison (Oni Press) and Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant by Tony Cliff (First Second) were first serialized online and amassed a grassroots fanbase prior to seeing print. In Bad Machinery, a group of British students investigate a supposed ghost haunting the local "footy" team, while Delilah Dirk follows the exploits of the titular adventurer in a fantastic Arabian world.
In the nonfiction category Relish: My Life in the Kitchen, by Lucy Knisley (First Second), is the cartoonist’s candid memoir of her migrant adolescence surrounded by food and culinary culture, whether it was accompanying her father to countless restaurants and eateries, or spending time in the kitchen and on the farm with her mother.
Finally there's Gene Luen Yang's Boxers and Saints, (Roaring Brook/First Second) a diptych of graphic novels that depicts two opposing perspectives of the Boxer Rebellion, which embroiled China in a internal culture war during the early 20th century. The books were recently nominated for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.