Wednesday, June 2, 2010
American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
This book is a graphic novel that has three intertwining stories. Each story is unique and the reader has no idea how the stories interconnect until the ending.
The first story recounts the famous tale of the Monkey King. The second story recounts the story of a boy named Jim Wang. Jim Wang is American Born Chinese and struggles with his identity. The third story is about a boy named Danny who has a cousin named Chin-Kee. Chin-Kee represents the racist stereotype of the “Fresh off the Boat”(FOB) Chinese.
This is the first graphic novel to win the Printz award (my favorite award)as well as the first graphic novel to be nominated for The National Book Award and to receive an honor. The author, Gene Luen Yang is a teacher in California by day, graphic novelist by night.
I would highly recommend this book. First of all, it is rare to find the main characters in a graphic novel Chinese. The book has something for everyone. It has a bit of fantasy, a dose of reality, problems typical of teenage boys and beautiful artwork. This book would greatly appeal to young males, although I enjoyed it as a grown woman. I would definitely read another book by this author.