Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2022) Featured Review of Run: Book One by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, L. Fury, and Nate Powell

Run: Book One by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, L. Fury, and Nate Powell
Abrams ComicArts / Abrams Books
Publication Date: August 3, 2021
ISBN: 9781419730696

The song “We Shall Overcome” comes to mind as you read the graphic novel memoir of the great John Lewis. His memoir centers on illuminating the reality of our country’s battle with racism. From sharing the history of the Vietnam War to showing the challenges of voting as Black Americans—and the brutal treatment that Black people endure just to advocate for equality—each moment can be felt, seen, and heard as you turn the pages of this memoir. This nonfiction graphic novel is a great tool to supplement textbooks.

This much needed work illustrates the complex struggles of being Black in America. The graphic novel depicts the stories of desegregation and the protests that Congressman Lewis partook in with the hopes of overcoming. Lewis narrates this book and highlights important areas neglected in history books to show just how Black people are still trying to overcome systemic racism. He provides real stories and situations that highlight the history of our country and the fight for equality.

Give Run to teens who enjoy learning about Black history and are determined to be an ally. This is also a great selection for those that have enjoyed Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi or So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo. Run provides necessary history that should be implemented and supplemented in classwork, while still serving as an engaging memoir of civil rights leader John Lewis.

—Kiera Vargas

Other Nominated Titles

  • Witch Hat Atelier, v.7 by Kamome Shirahama (February 2, 2021)
  • A Man and His Cat, v.3 by Umi Sakurai (February 23, 2021)
  • Teen Titans: Beast Boy Loves Raven by Kami Garcia and Gabriel Picolo (September 28, 2021)
  • X-Factor by Leah Williams, v.2 by Leah Williams, David Baldeon, Lucas Werneck, and David Messina (July 16, 2021)
  • Champions, v1: Outlawed by Eve Ewing and Kim Jacinto (June 8, 2021)
  • My Love Mix Up!, v.1 by Wataru Hinekure and Aruko (October 5, 2021)
  • Boys Run the Riot, v.3 by Keito Gaku (October 5, 2021)

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination. 

Each week, the teams will feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation will be listed as well. At year’s end, the team will use that list of nominated titles to select a final list and Top Ten. The previous years’ lists are also made available on The Hub.

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Great Graphic Novels for Teens

Great Graphic Novels for Teens Blogging Team @ YALSA's The Hub.