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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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Showing 1-5 of 277 (next | show all)
This National Book Award finalist YA graphic novel explores the ideas of the American Dream for immigrants and their children, who might not meet some of the parameters. Three seemingly separate stories—of Monkey from the ancient tale Monkey: The Journey to the West; of Jin, the son of immigrants; and of Chin Kee, every offensive stereotype rolled into one--all connect at the end.

I wonder how many of the people who pick up this book are even familiar with Monkey and his journey to the west (which I do really need to finish, though at this point I also need to start over). I wonder if I am missing something important in this story because I do not know his well enough. ( )
  Dreesie | May 18, 2016 |
This book exposes the many perspectives of racism and stereotypes for the Asian culture, and how the people being discriminated against are effect by it. I think this book would be a great addition to the classroom because it not only shows a great example of a graphic novel, and is exciting with its stories and the images, but it also teaches a lesson of tolerance for those who are different, which is such a valuable lesson for adolescents to learn as early as possible. ( )
  emmaoc | Apr 27, 2016 |
Even though this book was not my favorite of this class, this section on graphic novels in the classroom really appealed to me. I really enjoy and appreciate when graphics can be incorporated into the classroom, mostly because as a student with ADHD, it is a miracle when something can easily hold my visual attention and keep my interest focused. This book is vibrant and full of different stories that run parallel to discuss a boy who is trying to blend in as a Chinese immigrant. I love how this book addressed many common issues like stereotypes that kids still currently deal with on a regular basis, sadly. This narrative takes many different directions in order for Jin to find peace with his identity and heritage. He is tested throughout the novel and we see many different points of view including ancient Chinese tales. ( )
1 vote MorganGuess | Apr 26, 2016 |
I've been revisiting some books that I loved in the early days of my LibraryThing and finding that the thrill of the comic books, in particular, can have a somewhat limited halflife--it is certainly true as a fundamental matter that this book was not written to appeal to me in particular, and I can't begin to imagine how the stuff about "Chin-kee," the goofy racist stereotype sitcom Chinese cousin, would resonate if I had grown up a first-generation Chinese immigrant of my own generation, but from my limited viewpoint I do muse that the world has changed a fair bit--when this came out a little less than a decade ago we were still reading pieces by young Asian men about being undateable in high school, about the other kids shunning them because of the weird stuff in their lunches, about the whole grey parade of snubs and exclusions incumbent on the non-white immigrant. Whereas now the only part of that narrative we've retained is the "model minority" one--not (not!) to suggest there's no anti-Asian racism in North America, but we're well post–geeks inheriting the earth now, post–crisis, post–China as number one, post–Chinese capital flight and crazy real estate prices, and I think our new way of being racist against Asians has less to do with just base xenophobia and stigmatizing them as goony grinds and outsiders, and more with white resentment against a cadre of perceived meritocratic winners, nouveaux riches. Which is just as nasty, of course, and just as inaccurate, but very different. Then again, I live in Vancouver, which is no place to get a sense of how middle America sees Asian people, or anything. ( )
  MeditationesMartini | Apr 26, 2016 |
Author, Gene Luen Yang, weaves a tale of three characters that meld together in the end. The first tale is of Sun Wukong, the legendary monkey king, who is trying to be accepted as a god. The second tale is of Jin Wang, the son of immigrant parents, who meets the girl of his dreams and desperately tries to hide his Chinese heritage in order to blend into the white American culture. Jin even changes his name to Danny in order to be more American. And the third tale is of Chin-Kee, Jin's cousin and a stereotypical Chinaman, who visits and embarrasses Jin when Chin-Kee is with him. In the end of the novel, Danny fights Chin-Kee only to find out that he is the monkey king. Danny realizes that he needs to reclaim his heritage and he becomes Jin again.
Yang explores the theme of cultural identity and the theme of role reversal. These two themes form the basis of discussion about the melting pot versus the salad bowl; stories of retaining heritage and living in America
"Beauty" by Jane Martin Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtAtKUBvSd4
Roosevelt Hyphenated Americans http://lfvhenglish.weebly.com/uploads/8/2/5/6/8256468/no_room_for_hyphenated_ame...
Proud to Be a Hyphenated American https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/minority-report/201407/im-proud-be-hyphenated-american ( )
  sgemmell | Apr 21, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 277 (next | show all)

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 editionsconfirmed
Pien, LarkColoristsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
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
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

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.
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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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