March:  Book Three, the third volume of Congressman John Lewis’ graphic memoir, has won the National Book Award, the first time a book in the comics medium has won the award. March won in the Young People’s Literature category, where it was one of five finalists (see “’March:  Book Three’ National Book Award Finalist”).  The awards were given by the National Book Foundation at a ceremony on Wednesday night. 

Five graphic novels have been previous Finalists in the 67-year history of the award; Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese was the first, in 2006 (see “’American Born Chinese’ Finalist for National Book Award”). 

Co-created with Andrew Aydin, drawn by Nate Powell, and published by Top Shelf Productions, the series is a firsthand account of Congressman Lewis’ experience during the Civil Rights Movement. Previous volumes of the series have earned multiple Eisners and Harvey Awards, the Coretta Scott King Author Honor, and the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. The trilogy has been optioned for an animated series as well (see “John Lewis' 'March' Trilogy Optioned”).     

In addition to the three individual volumes, the series is also available in a Trilogy Slipcase Set, released in September.