Congressman John Lewis’s “March: Book 3” Is Now A National Book Award Finalist

It’s the first time since 1957 (since JFK’s Profiles in Courage) that a sitting member of Congress has earned such an honor.

Congressman John Lewis’s “March: Book 3” Is Now A National Book Award Finalist
Congressman John Lewis with Nate Powell (left) and Andrew Aydin reenacting a march at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con. [Photo: Susan Karlin]

WHAT: The 67th Annual National Book Awards has named March: Book Three (Top Shelf/IDW)—the final installment in Congressman John Lewis’s autobiographical graphic novels—a National Book Award finalist in the Young People’s Literature category.

WHO: Congressman John Lewis, co-writer Andrew Aydin, and illustrator Nate Powell are all up for the award.

WHY WE CARE: In an election season rife with increased civil unrest and racism, this honor caps a cascade of accolades earned since the debuted in 2013. The autobiographical series chronicling Lewis’s firsthand account of the Civil Rights Movement has already won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, Eisner Award, two Harvey Awards, and a Coretta Scott King Author Honor. It’s being adopted by universities and public school systems across the country and recently spent six continuous weeks holding the top three spots on the New York Times Bestseller List. It also comes the same week the U.S. Navy announced it’s naming a ship after Lewis.

“This is amazing to me,” says Lewis via statement. “I’m overwhelmed and deeply moved. It is my hope that this honor inspires many more people to read March and learn the transformative lessons of our ongoing struggle to create the beloved community.”

Only a handful of other graphic novels have achieved this status. Winners will be announced Nov. 16.

About the author

Susan Karlin is an award-winning journalist in Los Angeles, covering the nexus of science, technology, and arts, with a fondness for sci-fi and comics. She's a regular contributor to Fast Company, NPR, and IEEE Spectrum, and has written for Newsweek, Forbes, Wired, Scientific American, Discover, NY and London Times, and BBC Radio.