Pop Culture Classroom Announces 2020 Excellence in Graphic Literature Awards Winners

  • White Bird: A Wonder Story by R.J. Palacio is the EGL Book of the Year
  • Kiss Number 8 by Colleen AF Venable and Ellen T. Crenshaw wins Mosaic Award Elevating Inclusive Representation in Graphic Literature
  • Best in Children’s, Middle-Grade, Young Adult, and Adult Graphic Literature winners listed in copy below

(DENVER, April 17, 2020) — Pop Culture Classroom, the Colorado-based nonprofit education and community group behind Denver Pop Culture Con, today announced today its 2020 Excellence in Graphic Literature (EGL) Awards winners.

“In these times of social distancing, comic books, graphic novels and other graphic literature can offer some of the most thought-provoking, imaginative, educational, and downright engaging stories out there,” said Adam Kullberg, Education Director and Interim Executive Director at Pop Culture Classroom.

“The 2020 EGL winners are works that tackle humor, hope, identity, and diverse human emotions and experiences in an especially powerful way,” Kullberg continued. “We are so excited to celebrate the creators and publishers behind these incredible titles.”

The Excellence in Graphic Literature (EGL) Awards honor the best fiction and nonfiction graphics novels, with winners selected by an advisory board and juries composed of experts in graphic literature from publishing, library, and education industries.

The awards help educators and librarians — and readers of all ages —identify the best graphic novels to bring into their homes, classrooms, and libraries, as well as shine on a spotlight the creators and publishers putting some of the most innovative and exciting titles being published today.

This year’s EGL Book of the Year Award winner, White Bird: A Wonder Story by R. J. Palacio from Random House Children’s Books, received the highest overall marks from our juries and advisory board of expert educators, creators, and librarians. A fictionalized tale of a World War II-era Jewish girl in hiding from Nazi occupation forces in France, this deeply nuanced, beautifully illustrated, and emotionally rich tale provides a timeless message about the power of empathy and how simple acts of kindness are often the most courageous.

The EGL Mosaic Award honors graphic literature that respects and elevates stories about and from different ethnicities, nationalities, belief systems, genders, and sexual orientations in order to better reflect the diverse backgrounds of readers. The 2020 winner of the Mosaic Award is Kiss Number 8 by Colleen AF Venable and Ellen T. Crenshaw from First Second Books. This coming-of-age tale about a teen struggling to balance family, faith, and sexuality is filled with moments of both heartbreak and hope, ultimately showing that joyful self-acceptance will always overcome fear and prejudice.

“It’s easy to love Kiss Number 8,” continued Kullberg. “Humor and hope abound in this thought-provoking tale about the pain and joy that comes with following your heart.”

All this week, Pop Culture Classroom has announced winners for Best in Children’s, Middle-Grade, Young, Adult, and Adult Graphic Literature.

2020 Excellence in Graphic Literature Awards Winners


Book of the Year

  • White Bird: A Wonder Story by R. J. Palacio (Random House Children’s Books)


Mosaic Award

  • Kiss Number 8 by Colleen AF Venable and Ellen T. Crenshaw (First Second)


Best in Children’s Graphic Literature

  • Fiction Akissi: More Tales of Mischief by Marguerite Abouet & Mathieu Sapin (Flying Eye Books)


Best Middle Grade Graphic Literature

  • Fiction – White Bird: A Wonder Story by R. J. Palacio (Random House Children’s Books)
  • Nonfiction – Guts by Raina Telgemeier (Scholastic)


Best in Young Adult Graphic Literature

  • Fiction Kiss Number 8 by Colleen AF Venable and Ellen T. Crenshaw (First Second)
  • Nonfiction King of King Court by Travis Dandro (Drawn & Quarterly)


Best in Adult Graphic Literature

  • Fiction – The Hard Tomorrow by Eleanor Davis (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Nonfiction A Fire Story by Brian Fries (ABRAMS Books)


“These titles are all well-told and compelling stories, and we can’t thank the publishers and creators enough for all the amazing submissions we received this year,“ concluded Kullberg. “Each of this year’s winners would make a great addition to your reading list and recommendations.”

Learn more at the website below:


Media Contact: Christopher Burley, Pop Culture Classroom

# # #

Pop Culture Classroom is the educational non-profit behind Denver Pop Culture Con. Founded in 2011, the organization’s mission is to ignite a love of learning, increase literacy, celebrate diversity and build community through the tools of popular culture and the power of self expression. Visit www.PopCultureClassroom.org to learn more about our goals, programs and objectives

Denver Pop Culture Con is one of the most attended pop culture conventions in the U.S. due in part to its unique educational programming schedule and its family-friendly mission and environment. One of the largest portions of the show floor (approximately 10,000 square feet in 2019) is dedicated to teens and children with activities designed to engage kids in education through pop culture. Visit www.DenverPopCultureCon.com for more information and to buy tickets.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.