(Gene Luen Yang/Courtesy of MacMillan)

THIS MORNING, the Library of Congress and its current Young People’s Literature ambassador, Gene Luen Yang, will formally announce that they are launching a “Reading Without Walls” challenge that will be celebrated every April.

Upon assuming his national ambassadorship last year, Yang — a two-time National Book Award finalist for “American Born Chinese” and “Boxers & Saints” — unveiled a “Reading Without Walls” plan that challenges students to read books featuring a character unlike themselves in appearance and experience. The program also encourages embracing new topics and book formats, such as comics.

The success of the program prompted the launch of the new April challenge.

“Throughout 2016, I got emails from teachers, librarians, and bookstore owners who found creative ways to issue the challenge to the kids in their lives,” Yang told The Post’s Comic Riffs. Such creativity included seasonal reading programs and wall murals that tracked community engagement.


Gene Luen Yang. (Cavna’s Canvas 2016 / The Washington Post)

For the new challenge, a “Reading Without Walls” website has launched, complete with support materials.

The formal public announcement, featuring Yang and Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress, will be at 10 a.m. Monday at the Library of Congress. The event will be live-streamed.

Before being named ambassador, Yang was a Bay Area-based high school teacher for nearly two decades, specializing in computer science.

Read more:

In the light of the Capitol, ambassadors illuminate the great power of graphic novels

Visual storytellers Gene Luen Yang, Lauren Redniss land the 2016 MacArthur ‘genius’ grant

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