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American Born Chinese (2006)

by Gene Luen Yang

Other authors: Lark Pien (Colorist)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,4753232,074 (3.97)177
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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English (323)  Japanese (1)  French (1)  All languages (325)
Showing 1-5 of 323 (next | show all)
"Gene Luen Yang was the fifth the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature and is a MacArthur Fellow, a recipient of what's popularly known as the MacArthur "Genius" Grant.

A tour-de-force by New York Times bestselling graphic novelist Gene Yang, American Born Chinese tells the story of three apparently unrelated characters: Jin Wang, who moves to a new neighborhood with his family only to discover that he's the only Chinese-American student at his new school; the powerful Monkey King, subject of one of the oldest and greatest Chinese fables; and Chin-Kee, a personification of the ultimate negative Chinese stereotype, who is ruining his cousin Danny's life with his yearly visits. Their lives and stories come together with an unexpected twist in this action-packed modern fable. American Born Chinese is an amazing ride, all the way up to the astonishing climax.

American Born Chinese is the winner of the 2007 Michael L. Printz Award, a 2006 National Book Award Finalist for Young People's Literature, the winner of the 2007 Eisner Award for Best Graphic Album: New, an Eisner Award nominee for Best Coloring, a 2007 Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year, and a New York Times bestseller." www.amazon.com
  CDJLibrary | May 1, 2022 |
Really spellbinding art with clean lines. Graphic novel on coming of age as an asian american. ( )
  jennybeast | Apr 14, 2022 |
A fantastic graphic novel about identity and the desire to belong.

Yang weaves three separate story lines together in surprising ways with an interesting intersection at the end. Jin Wang is a schoolboy who wants nothing more than to fit in with his classmates. He's willing to go to great lengths to have a bestfriend and a girlfriend. The Monkey King is snubbed at a gathering of the gods and denies his true self in an attempt to be accepted. His rebellion, punishment, and redemption are taken from the 16th-century Chinese novel, Journey to the West. Chin-kee is the embodiment of negative stereotype Americans have about the Chinese. Together these three stories explore what it means to be different.

In his afterword the author writes about the overwhelming response he has had from people.

"What I've found is that the outsider's experience is nearly universal. Almost all of us have a story about not fitting in. It's so common that, ironically, it can be a way for us to understand and connect with one another. The outsider's experience can be our common ground." ( )
  labfs39 | Mar 29, 2022 |
American Born Chinese alternates seemingly disparate chapters that in the end come together. It is an engaging tale about a Chinese-American boy growing up in an almost all-white town and his feelings of alienation from most of his school mates. ( )
  Dairyqueen84 | Mar 15, 2022 |
This is a graphic novel (a.k.a. comic book ?). The story is about a Chinese boy who experiences racial discrimination at school, which leads him to renounce his Chinese-ness and see himself as white instead. The author connects this experience with a retelling of the Monkey King, in which the Monkey King doesn't wan't to be a monkey anymore due to the discrimination he faced from other gods. The Monkey King eventually has an encounter with God, who told him he was fearfully, wonderfully, and lovingly made and wants him to embrace who he is. After initial resistance, the Monkey King accepts who he is and lives for God's purpose. The Monkey King connects with the Chinese boy who see himself as white and helps him see he should embrace his Chinese-ness as well. And I think he did. (Didn't really understand the ending....It's my best guess.) The racial discrimination/racial stereotype segments are brutal. They left quite an impression on me. ( )
  CathyChou | Mar 11, 2022 |
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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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To Ma,
for her stories of the Monkey King

And Ba,
for his stories of Ah-Tong, the Taiwanese village boy
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One bright and starry night, the Gods the Goddesses, the demons, and the spirits gathered in heaven for a dinner party.
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Alternates three interrelated stories about the problems of young Chinese Americans trying to participate in the popular culture. Presented in comic book format.

No library descriptions found.

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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