EBSCO Information Services and the Children’s Book Council (CBC) are excited to highlight five finalists for the 2020 SEE-IT Award (Stories Engagingly Expressed — Illustratively Told) for youth graphic novels. Selected from a pool of more than 100 applicants dedicated to this unique art form that marries graphic arts and literature, this year’s finalists have been thoroughly reviewed and were selected by the nine-member jury on the basis of three criteria: literary quality, successful interweaving of art and story, and lasting impact and distinguished contribution to the format and to youth literature.

The finalists for the 2020 SEE-IT Award are:

I Was Their American Dream

Author & Illustrator: Malaka Gharib
Publisher: Clarkson Potter
Summary: This relevant and timely graphic memoir exemplifies the hardships many immigrants face when trying to “Americanize” themselves, while staying true to their racial and cultural identities. I Was Their American Dream pays tribute to immigrant families through author and illustrator Malaka Gharib’s experience as a first-generation American of Filipino and Egyptian decent.

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me

Author: Mariko Tamaki
Illustrator: Rosemary Valero-O'Connell
Publisher: First Second
Summary: Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O'Connell marry visual mastery with an enthralling, yet relatable, storyline that allows readers to imagine themselves going through the trials and tribulations of young love. Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me brings light to toxic relationships with a modern twist.

New Kid

Author & Illustrator: Jerry Craft
Publisher: Harper Collins
Summary: New Kid depicts the struggles children of varying ethnicities face when starting at a new school where diversity is almost nonexistent and the desire to fit in is as great as ever. Author and illustrator Jerry Craft offers a full-color depiction of the internal struggle one child faces as he navigates a new school while staying true to himself.


Author & Illustrator: Jen Wang
Publisher: First Second
Summary: Author and illustrator Jen Wang draws from her own childhood experiences to portray life as an Asian American. This lively graphic novel explores themes about friendship and fitting in while simultaneously illustrating the differences in peoples’ lifestyles and beliefs and the importance of supporting one another.

They Called Us Enemy

Authors: George Takei, Steven Scott and Justin Eisinger
Illustrator: Harmony Becker
Publisher: Top Shelf Productions
Summary: They Called Us Enemy provides a detailed account of author George Takei’s past as a child imprisoned within American concentration camps during World War II. With the help of co-authors Steven Scott and Justin Eisinger and illustrator Harmony Becker, Takei explores what it truly means to be American.

For More Information:

The announcement of the 2020 SEE-IT Award winner will be made in June. For more information on the award, follow us on Twitter or visit the SEE-IT website.