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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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3,0702451,851 (4)146

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English (245)  Japanese (1)  French (1)  All languages (247)
Showing 1-5 of 245 (next | show all)
I really enjoyed this book. It was the first graphic novel I've read in a long time. I enjoyed the three parallel plots that enable the author to explore in greater depth the topic of cultural identity and fitting in. I also found the kung fu reference entertaining. Though, not all students have to deal with the stress of living between two cultures, everyone finds themselves feeling like an outsider at some point. The message that essentially we are what we are supposed to be is a good one for young people who are searching for themselves. This would be a great book to incorporate into a unit on bullying, or coming of age, or the experiences of minorities in America. ( )
  allisonreadsalot | Feb 10, 2016 |
A boy named Jin Wang who just wants to fit in. A monkey king who wants to rule over the whole universe. A popular boy named Danny who is plagued by his extremely annoying cousin, Chin-Kee. These three seemingly unrelated stories are brought together at the end of this novel to teach readers that it is okay to be who they are. Whether you are a Chinese American or simply a teenager trying to survive jr. high, readers will relate to this bildungsroman graphic novel because it illustrates something that everyone has to experience—accepting not only the people around them, but being happy with the person they were born to be. ( )
  AngelClaw | Feb 3, 2016 |
We follow three stories, that of Jin Wang, the only Chinese American at a white school until Wei-Chen becomes a new student. Second is the Monkey King who doesn't want to be a monkey but aspires grandiosely to be among the gods. Third is white Danny's cousin, Chin-Kee, the ultimate Chinese stereotype. The story's twist is that a humbled Monkey King came down to earth in the form of Wei-Chan and Chin-Kee, and Jin Wang, in his attempts to fit in at his school, had morphed into Danny.
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
Wonderfully insightful story of a boy straddling two cultures. My only complaint was that it was too SHORT. ( )
  AmeliaHerring | Jan 22, 2016 |
Entertaining and illuminating. Yang's interwoven tales, backed by wonderful illustrations, present the issues of assimilation and identity in ways that are funny, touching and refreshingly original. (Even the story of the Monkey King, which I've seen and heard before, gets an unique twist that dovetails perfectly with Yang's themes.) I almost skipped one of the three narrative strands because of a character's very stereotyped depiction (being an American-born Chinese myself, I found that content rather painful to read), but stick with it -- there's a good reason he's that way. ( )
  bostonian71 | Jan 19, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 245 (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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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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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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