Rep. John Lewis won the National Book Award for young people’s literature with the third installment of his graphic novel about the march on Selma and the civil rights movement.
Lewis choked up Wednesday as he accepted the award for “March: Book Three,” written with Andrew Aydin and illustrator Nate Powell, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune
“This is unreal,” Lewis said, according to the Star Tribune. “This is unbelievable. I grew up in rural Alabama, very, very poor, very few books in that home.”
Colson Whitehead won the award for fiction for “The Underground Railroad,” and the nonfiction award went to Ibram X. Kendi for “Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America.”
The poetry award went to Chilean-American poet Daniel Borzutzky for “The Performance of Becoming Human.”
Lisa Lucas, the first black woman to head the National Book Foundation, said that judges read 1,464 books to come up with the list of finalists.