Ipswich, PA -- June 16, 2020. EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) and the Graphic Novel Committee of the Children's Book Council announced Stargazing, written and illustrated by Jen Wang, as the 2020 recipient of the SEE-IT Award. Stargazing epitomizes what the SEE-IT Award stands for through its ability to embrace and discuss difficult topics — such as mental health, income inequality, racial and cultural difference — while inspiring empathy and compassion.
Jen Wang is a cartoonist, author and illustrator living in Los Angeles. She is the author of The Prince and the Dressmaker, Koko Be Good, and co-author of The New York Times bestselling graphic novel In Real Life, with Cory Doctorow. Her work has appeared in Los Angeles Magazine, The Believer, Hazlitt, Slate, and McSweeney's, and she has written for the Adventure Time and Lumberjanes comic series. Wang is the co-founder and organizer of the annual festival Comics Arts Los Angeles.
SEE-IT Award juror Genevieve Grove says, "Graphic novels can carry just as much literary weight as their traditional cousins. The protagonists of Stargazing both illicit strong compassion in the reader and are complex characters whose journeys, both emotionally and physically, compel us to keep reading. We talk about books being both mirrors and windows for representation, self-identification and learning. This is exactly the type of literature that best exemplifies the concept, including highlighting diversity amongst racial groups that many in America might just consider monoliths. As a librarian, I can't wait to continue to share this book with kids for many years to come."
Developed by EBSCO and the Children's Book Council, the SEE-IT Award recognizes the cultural and literary impacts of youth graphic novels and is designed to celebrate the year's most distinguished graphic novels for young readers. The four additional finalists, announced in May 2020, included:
- I Was Their American Dream, written and illustrated by Malaka Gharib (Clarkson Potter)
- Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me, written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Rosemary Valero-O'Connell (First Second)
- New Kid, written and illustrated by Jerry Craft (HarperCollins)
- They Called Us Enemy, written by George Takei, Steven Scott and Justin Eisinger and illustrated by Harmony Becker (Top Shelf Productions)
EBSCO Information Services Vice President of Product Management for Books John Brennan says this year's SEE-IT Award feels particularly valuable as libraries and educators continue to integrate diverse content into their collections. "We are proud to support an award that recognizes an artform which engages young readers while educating them on important social issues."
A total of 100 submissions from more than 30 publishers were evaluated by a panel of nine librarian jurors, with each submission weighted against the following criteria:
- Literary quality
- Interweaving of art and story
- Lasting impact and distinguished contributions to youth literature
- An audience range of K-12, or young readers through young adults
For more information on the SEE-IT Award, visit the SEE-IT website at: https://www.ebsco.com/see-it.
About the Children's Book Council
The Children's Book Council (CBC) is the nonprofit trade association of children's book publishers in North America, dedicated to supporting the industry and promoting children's books and reading. For more information on the Children's Book Council, visit their website at: https://www.cbcbooks.org/
About EBSCO Information Services
EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) is the leading discovery service provider for libraries worldwide with more than 11,000 discovery customers in over 100 countries. EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) provides each institution with a comprehensive, single search box for its entire collection, offering unparalleled relevance ranking quality and extensive customization. EBSCO is also the preeminent provider of online research content for libraries, including hundreds of research databases, historical archives, point-of-care medical reference, and corporate learning tools serving millions of end users at tens of thousands of institutions. EBSCO is the leading provider of electronic journals & books for libraries, with subscription management for more than 360,000 serials, including more than 57,000 e-journals, as well as online access to more than 1,000,000 e-books. For more information, visit the EBSCO website at: www.ebsco.com. EBSCO Information Services is a division of EBSCO Industries Inc., a family owned company since 1944.