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Winner of the 2007 Michael L. Printz Award
A National Book Award finalist and ALA's Printz Award winner, this fable stars the mythological Monkey King, realistic youngster Jin Wang of Taiwanese parentage, and TV sitcom teen Danny. All three are dogged by an unwanted identity and humiliated by others' prejudice. The Monkey King trains to be a god but is unceremoniously bounced out of heaven and urged by "he who is" (the great god) to be what he is: a monkey. Jin tries to be accepted and romance a fellow student but gets picked on by classmates. Danny does well with friends until Chinese cousin Chin-Kee, a bitingly funny bundle of racist stereotypes, makes his annual visit and behaves so offensively that Danny must change schools. Finally, the three stories suddenly merge, to center on Jin coming to terms with his minority experience and moving beyond his own fear and hostility. Coalescence comes almost too quickly, but the trivision approach and treatment are unique and moving. The art is simple, colorful, and both attractive and effective. Some potty humor; recommended for teen and adult collections.
Posted February 20, 2010
Three characters, three stories, one graphic novel. Each and everyone of them wants to fit in. The first character is Jin-Wang, who is an American-Chinese elementary and middle school student. He is a pretty realistic character, but I find her an unimpressive, strange person. He does some unusual things, such as using soap as deodorant, and the general story is a bit awkward, since it focuses on the bad parts of his life. Then there's my favorite character, the Monkey King of the Flower Fruit Mountain. He wishes to be a god, but he isn't allowed to since he was a monkey, even though he had mastered the twelve arts of Kung-fu. He is a very funny character, and his story is quite interesting. I like him, except for the fact that the author shows him as a denying character, when he begs and fights to become a god. But he's still a classic cartoon character. The last character is Danny, who is an american high-schooler, but is also someone who seems to be very sad and complaining. Every year, his cousin Chin-kee visits him from China. He ruins everything for Danny, with his teachers and his friends. I personally don't like him, since he is too emotional about what Chin-kee does (although I hated Chin-kee because of how he treated other characters). Overall, this graphic novel is a bit immature, and I wasn't extremely impressed by it. It sort of gave me a bad image of graphic novels, so I'm not planning on reading another one soon (but maybe I'm stereotyping graphic novels). Oh well, it was still a fun break from the rest of my books.
2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 19, 2007
This graphic novel is much more than it may seem- simply just a graphic novel. While on the surface it is an interesting tale about a boy that doesn't fit in, underneath the surface there lies a whole world of myth and legend, individuality, cultural and self acceptance. An absolute must read.
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 16, 2011
The book starts out as a mythological story then envelops into a new era , bringing in the other characters of the book, showing how the main characters all have something in common. This books shows that being yourself is always something to consider, but if you dont read the book you will not understand what I am trying to say. GREAT BOOK and GREAT MEANING.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 28, 2010
i read this book with high school book club recently and did not like it at all. it is not organized well and the characters were not belivable. dont waste your money
1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 18, 2014
American Born Chinese consists of three tandem narratives. A second generation immigrant and the only Chinese-American student at his new school in a predominantly white area, Jin Wang just wants to be a typical American boy. The immortal Monkey King is a proud kung fu master who is trying to become more than just a monkey. And all-American Danny is embarrassed by his Chinese cousin Chin-Kee, who puts every Chinese stereotype into loud, off-putting action.
As I read along, I wondered what, if anything, these storylines had to do with each other. Were they merely different perspectives on common themes, since all three addressed issues such as racism and intolerance? When the connections between these three narratives were revealed: wow! I was stunned. An entirely new and profound layer of understanding opened up for me.
I loved the artwork and the message of this one. Though aimed at grades 7 and up, it's a great selection for adults as well. It's an incredibly fast read, so it would be a nice pick for a read-a-thon.
Posted January 15, 2014
Posted October 12, 2013
This book was utterly amazing, being a color graphic novel was exceptional. While I was reading it I couldn't help but laugh, when I found myself finished with it I was pretty upset.
The characters are all very well thought out and I love all of them. So please read this book if you're looking for not only a funny read but a quick one too.
Posted September 9, 2013
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Posted March 13, 2012
U sond just like my bff bailey she would put a smiley face just like that and also her favorite word is pie.....awwwww pie!!!!!!!!
0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 10, 2012
Yang brought me back to all the awkwardness of growing up Asian in America: being ashamed of my allegedly odd-smelling, funny-looking lunches; crushes on blond-haired, blue-eyed “All-American” boys; and trying to speak a new language while struggling with debilitating shyness. Yang also reminded me of the Chinese fables I learned through watching random CCTV (mainland China broadcaster) Journey to the West episodes dubbed in Vietnamese. I never really related to the mischievous and egocentric Monkey King, but Yang captures him wonderfully in both words and images. I love the two-paneled scene where the Monkey King changes into his giant form as the Dragon King sits on a throne laughing at him. In the second panel, the Monkey King steps on the Dragon King, “STOMP!” and the text box reads: “The Dragon King was convinced.” The entire book is filled with these visual and verbal nuggets of the painful and ridiculous: Jin Wang’s misadventures in dating, the Monkey King’s comeuppance and “test of virtue,” and cousin Chin-Kee’s mortifying antics.
Yang is a master at creating real characters and situations within a graphic genre featuring limited text (some pages are completely text-free) and hilarious caricatures of what it means to be Chinese. Ultimately, American Born Chinese is a story about self-acceptance and true friendship. I’d recommend it to anyone who can relate to Jin Wang and Danny’s experiences, or anyone interested in a good laugh, a great story, and very entertaining art.
0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 6, 2012
Posted December 13, 2011
I would highly recommend this book to anyone in the teen age group. It is a very good book, based on how every teen want's to either be somebody else or change who they are. And in the end they always find out that their true personality will always be golden.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 26, 2011
This book is about finding the truth in people (in a funny way) and that no matter who or what you are you are loved and you mean something to people. P.S. I'm 11 years old.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 24, 2011
Posted May 30, 2011