Denver’s Pop Culture Classroom Announces Awards for Excellence in Graphic Literature

By Miclpea

Denver’s Pop Culture Classroom (PCC) announced its 2021 winners and finalists for the Excellence in Graphic Literature (EGL) Awards Book of the Year and Mosaic Award. 

The titles were selected by juries as well as an advisory board of diverse professionals in education, library management, and publishing. They represent the best in graphic literature across both fiction and non-fiction titles. 

The Excellence in Graphic Literature Awards was established in 2017 to help educators, librarians, and readers of all ages identify the best graphic novels to bring into their homes, classrooms, and libraries. It strives to highlight and celebrate the authors, artists, and publishers creating today’s most inspiring, inclusive, and captivating titles. For more information about The Excellence in Graphic Literature Awards, click here

The 2021 Book of the Year award winner is Displacement, a First Second publication by Kiku Hughs. Displacement is a historical graphic novel that weaves an intricate and compelling intergenerational tale of sacrifice and resilience in the face of discrimination. 

Here are the other finalists in this year’s competition. 

2021 Book of the Year Finalists  

  • Aspara Engine by Bishakh Som (Feminist Press)  
  • Bear by Ben Queen; art by Joe Todd-Stanton (BOOM! Studios) 
  • Cat Kid Comic Club by Dav Pilkey (Scholastics/Graphix) 
  • Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio by Derf Backderf (Abrams ComicArts)  
  • The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen (RH Graphic – Random House   Children’s Books Imprint)  
  • Snapdragon by Kat Ley (Macmillan Publishers) 
  • Superman Smashes the Klan by Gene Luen Yang; art by Gurihiru (DC) 

PCC also announced the 2021 winner and finalists for the Excellence in Graphic Literature Awards’ Mosaic Award.  The Mosaic Award honors those titles that showcase diverse voices and spotlight stories about and from different ethnicities, nationalities, belief systems, genders, and sexual orientations. 

The 2021 Mosaic Awards award winner isThe Magic Fish, a Random House Graphic publication by Trung Le Nguyen.  

 The Magic Fish has been described as a deeply personal and beautiful work of art about how stories can both connect and teach the readers. 

The other finalists for the Mosaic award are:

 2021 Mosaic Award Finalists  

  • Aspara Engine by Bishakh Som (Feminist Press) 
  • Bear by Ben Queen; art by Joe Todd-Stanton (BOOM! Studios) 
  • Black Heroes of the Wild West by James Otis Smith (TOON Books) 
  • Fights: One Boy’s Triumph by Joel Christian Gill (Oni Press) 
  • Go with the Flow by Karen Schneemann & Lily WIlliams (Macmillan Publishers)
  • Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera; art by Celia Moscote (BOOM Studios)
  • Noisemakers: 25 Women Who Raised Their Voices & Changed the World Edited by Erin Bried (Knopf – Random House Children’s Books)

Readers may remember that PCC previously was associated with the Denver Pop Culture Con (now Fan Expo Denver since it was purchased by Informa, the corporate owner of the Fan Expo group of conventions).  However, PCC will continue to be involved with Fan Expo Denver when they have their annual convention on Halloween weekend this year, October 29-31, 2021. For more information about Fan Expo Denver, click here

If you want to continue this discussion, please join us on the FoCC Forum (click here), Facebook, or Twitter.


I love going to conventions around the US. I'm an ardent fan of all things science fiction and especially The Expanse. I'm a staff writer for Friends of CC and I have co-written a science-fiction script called Punctuated Equilibrium.

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