According to a recent article in Publishers Weekly, a new program designed to expand the reading choices of young people will launch this year in April, and become an annual event. “Reading Without Walls” began as an initiative in 2016 designed by the current National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Gene Luen Yang.Gene is a talented graphic novelist who has won numerous awards. His novel American Born Chinese was a National Book Award finalist and winner of both a Printz and Eisner awards (given for best young adult novel and best creative achievement in American comic books, respectively).
“Reading Without Walls” challenges the reader in 3 areas: first, to read a book about a character “who does not look or live like you”, 2) to read a book on a topic that “you know nothing about” and 3) to read a book in a format that is unfamiliar to you (ie. graphic novel, novel in verse, etc.) And to really “go for the gold”, he suggests choosing a book that addresses all three challenges.
It sounds like a wonderful program; if you are interested in learning more or to download a free starter kit, check out this site.