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2007 – American Born Chinese, by Gene Luen Yang

April 7, 2009

All Jin Wang wants is to fit in…

When his family moves to a new neighborhood, he suddenly finds that he’s the only Chinese-American student at his school. Jocks and bullies pick on him constantly, and he has hardly any friends. Then, to make matters worse, he falls in love with an all-American girl…

Born to rule over all the monkeys in the world, the story of the Monkey King is one of the oldest and greatest Chinese fables. Adored by his subjects, master of the arts of kung-fu, he is the most powerful monkey on earth. But the Monkey King doesn’t want to be a monkey. He wants to be hailed as a god…

Chin-Kee is the ultimate negative Chinese stereotype, and he’s ruining his cousin Danny’s life. Danny’s a basketball player, a popular kid at school, but every year Chin-Kee comes to visit, and every year Danny has to transfer to a new school to escape the shame. This year, though, things quickly go from bad to worse…

These three apparently unrelated tales come together with an unexpected twist, in a modern fable that is hilarious, poignant, and action-packed. American Born Chinese is an amazing ride, all the way up to the astonishing climax — and confirms what a growing number of readers already know: Gene Yang is a major talent.

Post links to reviews of or your thoughts on this book in the comments.

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. April 7, 2009 11:37 am

    Here’s my review:
    http://thebluestockings.com/2009/03/american-born-chinese/
    3.5 out of 5 stars.

  2. April 12, 2009 4:18 pm

    I read this book in June of ’07. Here are my thoughts then:

    Yang mixes in the story of his school years with an ancient story of the Monkey King and ends up with a deep look at feeling different. The text in a graphic novel often feels simplistic, but not so in this book.

  3. April 14, 2009 7:59 pm

    This was probably the very first graphic novel I picked up. I loved the story lines and how they merged. Very funny and also thoughtful. Great illustrations.

  4. agirlnamedsara permalink
    April 16, 2009 4:17 pm

    LOVED it! Here’s my review: http://yalitgoodbadugly.wordpress.com/2009/04/07/american-born-chinese-yang/

  5. May 5, 2009 1:10 pm

    Really enjoyed. Review is here.

  6. Kell permalink
    January 26, 2011 9:00 am

    This was the first graphic novel I ever read and I loved it. What a wonderful way of portraying this boy’s life and mash of cultures.

    I read this BEFORE I started a blog for a class. These were my fast notes on it for our discussion: “Very quick read. I LOVED how all three story lines came together at the end. “

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