American Born Chinese

Chinese talesAmerican Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang is a graphic novel published in 2006. The book contains three stories and a culminating event. It is fully illustrated in color and is 233 pages in length.  The graphic novel has won several awards and was nominated for National Book Award for Young People. The story appeals to all audiences and age groups.

American Born Chinese story

The first story is a version of the Chinese folk tale of The Monkey King. In this story,  the monkey king is born from a stone and learns to master the twelve disciplines of Kung-Fu. As with any telling of the traditional story, the monkey king is precocious but ultimately powerful and wise.

Jin WangThe second story is of a Jin Wang, a young son of immigrants from China. He and his family are still steeped in Chinese culture.  This is a prototypical story about adjustment and coming of age.

American Born ChineseThe third story focuses on an American boy named Danny, whose Chinese cousin Chin-Kee comes for visit every year. The story is full of offensive Chinese stereotypes. The racism is overt and intentionally humorous but there’s a twist to it. Don’t worry, you can make it through.

The book culminates with a mature conclusion that binds the three stories together very nicely. We recommend this book. 16 out of 17 stars.

ISBN: 978-1596431522

Don’t be confused characters that are the opposite of those in this book. Bai Ling, for example, is a Chinese Born American. Bai Ling is a nutty sort of girl. Perhap someone should do a story about her.

Bang bang. Guns of Nanking.

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