Monday, February 20, 2012

Review of American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

Title: American Born Chinese
Author(s): Gene Luen Yang
Release Date: September 5th, 2006
Publisher: First Second
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
Pages In This Edition: 240
Rating: 4/5

On the Cover:

Beyond the Cover:


Summary from Goodreads:

"A tour-de-force by rising indy comics star 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 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 and a 2007 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year."

Review:

When I picked this up I had no idea what it was about. Misty from The Book Rat had been hosting a graphic novel week, and this was one of her picks for her favorite graphic novels. Usually I love what she recommends, so I thought I would give this a try. Also, since this is a graphic novel, I knew it wouldn't take me long at all to read it.

Within the trip home from the library and about ten minutes at home on the couch, I had finished this book. It definitely wasn't what I was expecting. What I was expecting was a light read with some great art. What I got was a look into what being different meant, and what some people who do to change it, and great art. I can't really same much about the plot, because the whole thing is kind of confusing until near the end. The end itself is something I could never have guessed. It's pretty crazy.

Basically (without trying to spoil anything), American Born Chinese follows three main characters on a quest to find themselves. It's full of funny moments, insightful moments, and great full-color art that had me wishing that I was better artist myself. :( Oh,well.

If you like graphic novels and haven't read this one yet (I can't believe I hadn't considering the fact that it won the Printz award. I LOVE Printz award winners.) then you NEED to pick it up. It's probably the most insightful graphic novel I've ever read.

--Alexis

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Hi my name is Alexis and I'm so excited to be heading to Oregon State University in the fall. I will be majoring in English and hope to become an editor or technical writer in my future.

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With Beyond the Cover, I want to help people interested in YA with a resource to refer to. This blog will be composed of reviews as well as other book related subjects.



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