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Animal Crackers: A Gene Luen Yang Collection (2004)
by Gene Luen Yang
No current Talk conversations about this book.
Just stellar. The storytelling, the panels, the intertwined story lines, the purpose....all top-notch. ( )
Summary: Animal Crackers is a collection of two of Gene Luen Yang's earliest stories, "Gordon Yamamoto and the King of the Geeks" and "Loyola Chin and the San Peligran Order". They're interconnected stories, the first starting a rather dumb bully, who discovers he has an alien spaceship lodged in his nose, and the only one who can help him is his former victim. The second involves a girl from the same school, who discovers the truth of what the nose-aliens are doing, and has to choose between her heart and her head when it comes to what she's going to do about it.
Review: This book has all of the lovely little absurdities that are familiar from Yang's later work (I mean, you communicate with the aliens by plugging a TV cable into your nostril, for heaven's sake), but those absurdities don't overwhelm the story that Yang is trying to tell. There's a stronger religious (Christian) element to the second part of the book than I normally prefer, but in this case, it strangely didn't bother me (probably because there's also nose aliens). There's also a lot of high-school realities in there, although they are probably also dialed up for storytelling's sake. I was a little shocked how cavalierly the revelation that the bullying victim builds bombs and brings them to school was treated, especially since this was written (I believe) in a post-Littleton world. 4 out of 5 stars.
Recommendation: It's Yang's early work, but it's almost as polished as American Born Chinese, and I actually enjoyed the story a little bit more.
Luen Yang continues to create contemporary allegorical myths for adolescents.
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Wikipedia in English (1)
The early work of Gene Luen Yang, author of American Born Chinese, iscollected in this special edition containing Gordon Yamamoto and the King of theGeeks, and Loyola Chin and the San Peligran Order, plus an all-new story byYang. Ani
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