Gene Luen Yang is the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. A tour-de-force by "New York Times" bestselling graphic novelist Gene Yang, "American Born Chinese" tells the story of three apparently unrelated characters: Jin Wang, who moves to a new neighborhood with his family only to discover that he's the only Chinese-American student ...
Gene Luen Yang is the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. A tour-de-force by "New York Times" bestselling graphic novelist Gene Yang, "American Born Chinese" tells the story of three apparently unrelated characters: Jin Wang, who moves to a new neighborhood with his family only to discover that he's the only Chinese-American student at his new school; the powerful Monkey King, subject of one of the oldest and greatest Chinese fables; and Chin-Kee, a personification of the ultimate negative Chinese stereotype, who is ruining his cousin Danny's life with his yearly visits. Their lives and stories come together with an unexpected twist in this action-packed modern fable. "American Born Chinese" is an amazing ride, all the way up to the astonishing climax. "American Born Chinese" is the winner of the 2007 Michael L. Printz Award, a 2006 National Book Award Finalist for Young People's Literature, the winner of the 2007 Eisner Award for Best Graphic Album: New, an Eisner Award nominee for Best Coloring, a 2007 Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year, and a "New York Times"bestseller.
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This graphic novel is cleverly conceived and thoroughly engaging. It is essentially about the split in personal identity experienced by a young American-born Chinese, Jin Wang (perhaps a pseudonym for the author?) who both loathes his Chinese identity and desires to be something he is not, white. Woven in with his storyline is the ancient Chinese legend of the Monkey King, essentially the embodiment of Jin's desire and loathing. All throughout, Yang manages to weave in motifs of his Christian faith, but he does so non-intrusively. Kudos to Yang for a great work of fiction which will inspire its readers.
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