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American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

American Born Chinese (2006)

by Gene Luen Yang

Other authors: Lark Pien (Colorist)

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3,3242861,632 (3.98)154

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English (286)  Japanese (1)  French (1)  All (288)
Showing 1-5 of 286 (next | show all)
American Born Chinese is a graphic novel that talks to anyone who wants to be other than what he/she is. This isn't to say that one shouldn't try to improve him/herself, but it warns against being ashamed of what you are and trying to hide it. Find hope, solace, friendship and pride in whatever you are born with. You can find the same sentiment in the last lines of "The Great Gatsby."
  edwardcandler | Mar 15, 2017 |
This book has three storylines. The main story tells that a young boy called Jin Wang who is a lonely Asian American middle school student want to fit in with his white classmates, and accept his cultural identity. I would use this book in my teaching, because it is really good to help those kids who come from other countries to find himself and to help others to understand those kids who come from other countries. The book also tells the story of a Chinese folklore about Monkey King. This book is good for 12-16 ages readers to read. ( )
  CNKE94297 | Feb 21, 2017 |
This graphic novel takes you on a hilarious journey with the main character who is your typical American Kid, but viewed as a foreigner because of his race. It approaches this issue and many stereotypes with light-heated humor bringing this point of view and common perceptive among Asian Americans. The switch between three characters, the boy, the stereotype and the monkey are quite amusing and revealing.This is a Teen/YA graphic novel. ( )
  Kaitlyn_Rivera | Feb 18, 2017 |
This graphic novel is about a teenage boy named Jin Wang who struggles to find and accept his cultural identity. Jim moved from China Town San Francisco to somewhere else in California. He the only Chinese American student at his new school, and all he really wants is to fit in with the rest of the kids, especially Amelia Harris, the pretty American girl with whom he falls in love. But Amelia never notices Jin, and he fades into the background. Soon, Jin is not the only Asian American student in his school—Wei-Chen arrives from Taiwan. But who wants to be friends with an FOB, (fresh off the boat). After countless attempts to fit into the mainstream crowd, Jin settles for Wei-Chen’s friendship.

Intertwined with Jin’s story are those of other characters who also do not fit into their surroundings. The Monkey King has ruled for thousands of years and has mastered all the heavenly disciplines, yet he yearns to leave the monkeys behind to join the ranks of the gods. His foolish acts get him into five hundred years of trouble at the hands of Tze-Yo-Tzuh, and and finds himself hopelessly buried under a big rock pile. The Monkey King must now rely on the trust of a stranger to lead him toward freedom. In yet a third story, Danny is a popular, athletic teenager whose life is amazing until his cousin Chin-Kee arrives from China. Chin-Kee is the epitome of Chinese stereotypes—eating cat gizzards, excelling in classes, speaking in broken English, big buck teeth slanted eyes—and Danny wants to hide him away and pretend he does not exist. But Chin-Kee ends up going to school with Danny every day, ruining Danny’s reputation. So much so that Danny has to change schools every year.

These three narratives alternate throughout the novel and arrive at a daring crossroads at the climax of the story. In the end, Jin realizes much about his perceptions of life and identity and sets off on his own path of redemption. Luckily, his best friend is there waiting.

Yang wrote American Born Chinese as a way to explore his own experiences growing up as an Asian American, and his novel is a valuable resource for exploring themes that revolve around acceptance, diversity, and identity. ( )
  jothebookgirl | Jan 3, 2017 |
I was not expecting to get this book. It has been on my radar for a couple of months, but I pretty much just happened upon it in Meltdown Comics and bought it. The book is basically three about stories that come crashing together in the end. The storytelling is excellent. It was surprising, but also logical and it wrapped up nicely in the end. The art is great too. I don't really have an immigrant story of my own, but there were still parts of the story that really resonated. And the monkey king is awesome. ( )
  jlharmon | Nov 3, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 286 (next | show all)
American Born Chinese is a graphic novel that talks to anyone who wants to be other than what he/she is. This isn't to say that one shouldn't try to improve him/herself, but it warns against being ashamed of what you are and trying to hide it. Find hope, solace, friendship and pride in whatever you are born with. You can find the same sentiment in the last lines of "The Great Gatsby."

School Library Journal Review
Starred Review. Gr 7 Up Graphic novels that focus on nonwhite characters are exceedingly rare in American comics. Enter American Born Chinese, a well-crafted work that aptly explores issues of self-image, cultural identity, transformation, and self-acceptance. In a series of three linked tales, the central characters are introduced: Jin Wang, a teen who meets with ridicule and social isolation when his family moves from San Francisco s Chinatown to an exclusively white suburb; Danny, a popular blond, blue-eyed high school jock whose social status is jeopardized when his goofy, embarrassing Chinese cousin, Chin-Kee, enrolls at his high school; and the Monkey King who, unsatisfied with his current sovereign, desperately longs to be elevated to the status of a god. Their stories converge into a satisfying coming-of-age novel that aptly blends traditional Chinese fables and legends with bathroom humor, action figures, and playground politics. Yang s crisp line drawings, linear panel arrangement, and muted colors provide a strong visual complement to the textual narrative. Like Toni Morrison s The Bluest Eye and Laurence Yep s Dragonwings, this novel explores the impact of the American dream on those outside the dominant culture in a finely wrought story that is an effective combination of humor and drama. Philip Charles Crawford, Essex High School, Essex Junction, VT Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. From: Reed Elsevier Inc. Copyright Reed Business Information

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gene Luen Yangprimary authorall editionscalculated
Pien, LarkColoristsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Original title
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Important places
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Awards and honors
To Ma,
for her stories of the Monkey King

And Ba,
for his stories of Ah-Tong, the Taiwanese village boy
First words
One bright and starry night, the Gods the Goddesses, the demons, and the spirits gathered in heaven for a dinner party.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
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Original language

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Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
A great mix of mythology and the second generation immigrant experience told with wit, insight and humour. The graphic novel format is spot-on for this book. The illustrations contribute powerfully to the text.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312384483, Paperback)

Indie graphic novelist Gene Yang's intelligent and emotionally challenging American Born Chinese is made up of three individual plotlines: the determined efforts of the Chinese folk hero Monkey King to shed his humble roots and be revered as a god; the struggles faced by Jin Wang, a lonely Asian American middle school student who would do anything to fit in with his white classmates; and the sitcom plight of Danny, an All-American teen so shamed by his Chinese cousin Chin-Kee (a purposefully painful ethnic stereotype) that he is forced to change schools. Each story works well on its own, but Yang engineers a clever convergence of these parallel tales into a powerful climax that destroys the hateful stereotype of Chin-Kee, while leaving both Jin Wang and the Monkey King satisfied and happy to be who they are.

Yang skillfully weaves these affecting, often humorous stories together to create a masterful commentary about race, identity, and self-acceptance that has earned him a spot as a finalist for the National Book Award for Young People. The artwork, rendered in a chromatically cool palette, is crisp and clear, with clean white space around center panels that sharply focuses the reader's attention in on Yang's achingly familiar characters. There isn't an adolescent alive who won't be able to relate to Jin's wish to be someone other than who he is, and his gradual realization that there is no better feeling than being comfortable in your own skin.--Jennifer Hubert

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:45 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Alternates three interrelated stories about the problems of young Chinese Americans trying to participate in the popular culture. Presented in comic book format.

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