The Excelsior Award is the only fully independent, nationwide book award for graphic novels and manga - where kids aged 11-18 decide the winner by rating each book as they read it! In 2021, twelve graphic novels/manga were selected for the four age-appropriate shortlists and it now attracts over two hundred schools from all over the UK and Ireland! The overall goal of this scheme is to encourage reading amongst teenagers. However, its secondary target is to raise the profile of graphic novels and manga amongst school librarians and teachers. This storytelling medium has been a largely underused resource within education for many years. The Excelsior Award attempts to highlight some of the amazing books that are out there - books that fully deserve to be in our school libraries alongside regular fiction!
Mark Markz has found his place on Earth as both a decorated police officer and as the beloved superhero, Barbalien. But in the midst of the AIDS crisis, hatred from all sides makes balancing these identities seem impossible--especially when a Martian enemy from the past hunts him down to take him back, dead or alive.
- Browns Books Synopsis
The books on the Excelsior Award Black shortlist have been designated as suitable for children aged 16+ (or Sixth Form in schools).
We are avoiding topics that could be considered "offensive" or "too adult" for a school library, but books on this shortlist may include moderate swearing and moderate violence, akin to a 15-rated movie.