Graphic Novels, Reviews

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

abc-cover

Title: American Born Chinese

Author: Gene Luen Yang 

Goodreads Plot: 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 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 rise, all the way up to the astonishing climax–and confirms what a growing number of readers already know: Gene Yang is a major talent.

My Thoughts: I really, really liked this book. Gene Yang did a beautiful job of weaving all three stories together. The use of three stories to illustrate the main book was fantastic especially when they all came together at the end. The illustrations were very well done. As a minority, I could relate with Jin’s struggle with finding a balance between his heritage and his desire to be a normal American kid. The illustrations were very clean and very aesthetically pleasing. They were comical when they needed to be (Chin-Kee) without being too cartoonish overall. It had a mixture of everything. I literally laughed out loud in some parts. In others, I was really taken aback by the depth of the content presented. And again, in some parts, I could feel the humiliation that “Dany” felt hen his cousin came to town. I highly recommend this graphic novel if you have interests in immigration culture or to anyone in general. Great read!

Rating: 9/10

 

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