Wednesday, September 25, 2013

American Born Chinese

American Born Chinese
by Gene Luan Yang
First Second, 2006
Format:  Graphic Novel
Audience:  Grades 8 to 12
ISBN:  9781596431522
Publication Date:  September 5, 2006

Jin Wang wants to fit in at school, but as one of the very few Asian-American students, it's a harsh reality.  Chin-kee embodies every negative stereotype and embarrasses his cousin, Danny. The Monkey King rules over a large kingdom, but is not respected among the gods, so he sets out to destroy them.  These stories come together amazingly in the end to show that you must be true to yourself, your history and your heritage.

I saw Gene Yang at an author panel at ALA this summer.  He was so funny and charming and I wondered why I had never read anything by him.  Well, because he writes graphic novels.  But American Born Chinese is more than a graphic novel.  It's an incredible story that had me gasping in shock or surprise, then quiet is awe at the resolution.  I honestly feel a little inferior when reviewing this title because it is just so wonderful that my words can't do it justice.  

Let's just say that American Born Chinese is so amazing that it won the Printz Award for the finest work of Young Adult Literature in 2007.  It was also a National Book Award Finalist.  So, it's not just a graphic novel, it's a work of literature worthy of your time and attention.

If you think you don't like graphic novels, read American Born Chinese.  It will have you questioning your whole impression of the genre.  

And when your finished, check out Boxers and Saints, the newest books from Gene Yang.  I know I will!

Happy Reading

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