MARCH: BOOK THREE makes history by winning National Book Award
The #1 bestseller, about Congressman John Lewis and the Civil Rights Movement, is the first graphic novel recipient in the awards' 67-year history.
NEW YORK (November 17, 2016) — Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell received an unprecedented honor last night, as their book March: Book Three became the first graphic novel to ever receive the National Book Award.
The March trilogy, published by Top Shelf Productions / IDW Publishing, depicts Lewis’s firsthand account of the Civil Rights Movement, reflecting on the role of young people in the “nonviolent revolution” of the 1960s and its direct legacy in the modern day. Its previous honors include the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, the Eisner Award, two Harvey Awards, and a Coretta Scott King Author Honor. March is rapidly being adopted by universities and public school systems from New York to San Francisco, and recently spent six continuous weeks holding the top 3 spots on the New York Times Bestseller List.
“This is unbelievable,” said Congressman Lewis after receiving the award from Katherine Paterson, chair of the Young People’s Literature award jury. His voice shook with obvious emotion as he recalled a childhood visit to the public library in rural Alabama, where “we were told that the library was for whites only and not for coloreds. Now, to come here and receive this award, with these two… it’s too much.”
Nate Powell dedicated the award to his children “and their generation that will inherit this earth,” as well as to the incoming president of the United States, expressing a wish that it might transform his heart.
“There are two important lessons from this,” concluded Andrew Aydin, after many thank-yous. “One is that the story of the Movement must be told. We all must know it, if we are to understand the politics of today. And two: let the prejudice against comic books be buried once and for all.”
Archived video of the ceremony’s livestream is available online at http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/92795242.
The three volumes of March are available wherever books are sold, separately as well as together in a slipcase set.
"Congressman John Lewis has been a resounding moral voice in the quest for equality for more than 50 years, and I'm so pleased that he is sharing his memories of the Civil Rights Movement with America's young leaders. In March, he brings a whole new generation with him across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, from a past of clenched fists into a future of outstretched hands." — President Bill Clinton
"With March, Congressman John Lewis takes us behind the scenes of some of the most pivotal moments of the Civil Rights Movement. In graphic novel form, his first-hand account makes these historic events both accessible and relevant to an entire new generation of Americans." — LeVar Burton
"March is one of the most important graphic novels ever created — an extraordinary presentation of an extraordinary life, and proof that young people can change the world. I'm stunned by the power of these comics, and grateful that Congressman Lewis's story will enlighten and inspire future generations of readers and leaders." — Raina Telgemeier
"An incredible accomplishment. It is the history of John Lewis, the Civil Rights Movement and his role in it... a book that explains — more deeply than anything else I’ve ever read — the methods and the moral foundations of the civil rights movement, how civil rights activists did what they did and won what they won, and how they had the strength to do it in the most difficult circumstances imaginable." — Rachel Maddow
"Brave acts of civil disobedience... [give] March its educational value even as Powell's drawings give Lewis's crisp narration an emotional power." — The New York Times
"There is perhaps no more important modern book to be stocked in American school libraries than March." — The Washington Post
"Essential reading... March is a moving and important achievement... the story of a true American superhero." — USA Today
"A riveting chronicle of Lewis’s extraordinary life… it powerfully illustrates how much perseverance is needed to achieve fundamental social change." — O, The Oprah Magazine
"March offers a poignant portrait of an iconic figure that both entertains and edifies, and deserves to be placed alongside other historical graphic memoirs like Persepolis and Maus." — Entertainment Weekly