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Boxers & Saints Boxed Set
     

Boxers & Saints Boxed Set

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by Gene Luen Yang
 

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Gene Luen Yang is the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature.

Boxers & Saints Boxed Set Edition

One of the greatest comics storytellers alive brings all his formidable talents to bear in this astonishing new work.

In two volumes, Boxers & Saints tells two parallel stories. The first is of Little Bao, a Chinese peasant boy whose

Overview

Gene Luen Yang is the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature.

Boxers & Saints Boxed Set Edition

One of the greatest comics storytellers alive brings all his formidable talents to bear in this astonishing new work.

In two volumes, Boxers & Saints tells two parallel stories. The first is of Little Bao, a Chinese peasant boy whose village is abused and plundered by Westerners claiming the role of missionaries. Little Bao, inspired by visions of the Chinese gods, joins a violent uprising against the Western interlopers. Against all odds, their grass-roots rebellion is successful.

But in the second volume, Yang lays out the opposite side of the conflict. A girl whose village has no place for her is taken in by Christian missionaries and finds, for the first time, a home with them. As the Boxer Rebellion gains momentum, Vibiana must decide whether to abandon her Christian friends or to commit herself fully to Christianity.

Boxers & Saints is one of the most ambitious graphic novels First Second has ever published. It offers a penetrating insight into not only one of the most controversial episodes of modern Chinese history, but into the very core of our human nature. Gene Luen Yang is rightly called a master of the comics form, and this book will cement that reputation.

This boxed set includes the trade paperback Boxers as well as the trade paperback Saints, packaged together in one slipcase.

Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature

A New York Times bestseller
One of Publishers Weekly's Best Comic Books and Best Children's Books of 2013
A New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of 2013
A Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of 2013
An NPR Best Book of 2013

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Wesley Yang
The indie comic artist Gene Luen Yang, a child of Taiwanese immigrants to the United States and an observant Roman Catholic, wrestles with the central ambiguity of colonialism throughout his remarkable set of linked graphic novels, Boxers and Saints…The nuance conveyed in the dialectical design of the companion volumes counteracts the mythmaking that can result from combining history and fable in comic book form.
Publishers Weekly
11/25/2013
Boxers reviewWith a superbly executed triptych of graphic novels, Yang (American Born Chinese) employs parallel storylines to represent two opposing Chinese experiences during the Boxer Rebellion at the turn of the 20th century. Raised in an impoverished rural village, Little Bao and his older brothers embark on a crusade to save China from Christian missionaries and other “foreign devils” who are perceived to be the cause of their country’s woes. What begins as a righteous march to the capital, bolstered by Little Bao’s recurring visions of a pantheon of Chinese gods, quickly escalates in violence and rhetoric. By the time Little Bao and his amassed army, dubbed the Society of the Righteous and Harmonious Fist, reach the occupied city of Peking, morale is strained and the line between right and wrong has blurred. Yang doesn’t shy from the ensuing bloodshed (beheadings are not uncommon), yet moments of lightheartedness and potential romance humanize the combatants, even as their campaigns take on zealous dimensions. Yang’s artwork and storytelling are sober and accessible, and his character-driven approach brings compassion to a complex historical clash. Ages 12‚up. Agent: Judith Hansen, Hansen Literary Agency. (Sept.) Saints reviewIn the companion to Boxers, Yang shifts focus to Four-Girl, a mistreated Chinese girl who decides to become a Christian despite the heavy cultural stigma it carries. Although her initial reason for converting is misguided (she’s mainly a fan of the snacks she receives), she eventually embraces the religion and, inspired by visions of Joan of Arc, is spurred to become a “maiden warrior” for God. To prove her faith, Four-Girl (newly christened Vibiana) charges herself with defending Peking, which has become a refuge for foreigners and Christians from the approaching Society of the Righteous and Harmonious Fist. As in Boxers, the climactic battle is brutal; established characters meet their demises quickly and unceremoniously. Read separately, the books are honest and revealing character studies of two differing Chinese perspectives during the Boxer Rebellion. Together, they resonate electrically, partly due to their mirrored plots, but more so for capturing the historical context and dueling psychologies (the group vs. the self, national pride vs. spiritual pride) that underlie this political and cultural conflict. Ages 12 up. Agent: Judith Hansen, Hansen Literary Agency. (Sept.)
National Book Award Finalist and Newbery Honor winner Gary Schmidt
In Boxers and Saints, Gene Luen Yang once again masterfully draws us into the most difficult issues of self-identity and communal understanding, with characters who struggle to act out of their deepest cultural and spiritual selves. But when they find that their commitments lead them in terrible, frightening directions--one toward massacres, another toward martyrdom--they must ask questions for which there are no easy answers. The brilliance of this novel--and I mean, aside from the brilliance in the telling of a major historical episode about which most North Americans know very little and which provides some critical lessons in political relationships--the brilliance lies in the merger of fast action and humor and very real characters and startling graphics with a shattering sense of the brokenness of the world and our terrible need for compassion. Read this, and come away shaking.
From the Publisher

“A masterful work of historical fiction that happens to be in the form of a graphic novel, and a very accessible view into a complicated moment in Chinese history.” —Dave Eggers

“In Boxers and Saints, Gene Luen Yang once again masterfully draws us into the most difficult issues of self-identity and communal understanding,with characters who struggle to act out of their deepestcultural and spiritual selves. But when they findthat their commitments lead them in terrible, frightening directions--one towardmassacres, another toward martyrdom--they must ask questions for whichthere are no easy answers. The brilliance of this novel--and I mean, aside from the brilliancein the telling of a major historical episode about whichmost North Americans know very little and whichprovides somecritical lessons in political relationships--the brilliance lies in the merger of fast action and humor and very real characters and startling graphics witha shattering senseof the brokenness of the world andour terrible need for compassion. Read this, and come away shaking.” —National Book AwardFinalist and Newbery Honor winner Gary Schmidt, author of Okay for Now and The Wednesday Wars

Library Journal
★ 09/15/2013
History clashes with the idealizations of fiction in these interlocked tales of teens caught up in China's Boxer Rebellion between 1897 and 1901. Who is "right"? The Western missionaries who preach the Christian gospel but whose ranks include bandits and exploiters? Or the boxers, who call upon their pagan gods to help kill the Christian intruders and their Western protectors? Little Bao is a peasant lad whose village suffers at the hands of the missionaries. Inspired by visions, he joins in violent rebellion with thousands of other angry and hungry Chinese who deplore the greedy Westerners. But in another village, unwanted Four Girl finds a home and new name—Vibiana—with Christian missionaries. Through Bao and Vibiana, we see how no crusade is "pure." VERDICT This excellent two-part graphic novel teaches history through a double-lens narrative, showing how factors interact to create unwanted tragedies by both sides. The winsome, magical-realist art of Yang (American Born Chinese) plays ironically against the bloody conflict enhanced by artist Lark Pien's colors. Heartbreaking and sometimes funny, this boxed set is for teens and adults interested in international politics and people's rebellions.—M.C.
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2013-08-15
Printz Award winner Yang's ambitious two-volume graphic novel follows the intertwined lives of two young people on opposite sides of the turn-of-the-20th-century Boxer Rebellion. Little Bao, whose story is told in Boxers, grows up fascinated by the opera's colorful traditional tales and filled with reverence for the local deities. Appalled by the arrogant behavior of foreign soldiers, Christian missionaries and their Chinese supporters, he eventually becomes a leader of the Society of the Righteous and Harmonious Fist, fighting under the slogan "Support the Ch'ing! Destroy the Foreigner!" The protagonist of Saints--an unlucky, unwanted, unnamed fourth daughter--is known only as Four-Girl until she's christened Vibiana upon her conversion to Catholicism. Beaten by her family for her beliefs, she finds refuge and friendship with foreign missionaries, making herself a target for the Boxers. Scrupulously researched, the narratives make a violent conflict rarely studied in U.S. schools feel immediate, as Yang balances historical detail with humor and magical realism. Ch'in Shih-huang, the first emperor of China, and Joan of Arc serve as Bao's and Vibiana's respective spiritual guides; the rich hues of the protagonists' visions, provided by colorist Lark Pien, contrast effectively with the muted earth tones of their everyday lives. The restrained script often, and wisely, lets Yang's clear, clean art speak for itself. This tour de force fearlessly asks big questions about culture, faith, and identity and refuses to offer simple answers. (bibliography) (Graphic historical fiction. 12 & up)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781596439245
Publisher:
First Second
Publication date:
09/10/2013
Series:
Boxers & Saints Series , #1
Pages:
512
Sales rank:
72,928
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 8.80(h) x 1.90(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Gene Yang began drawing comic books in the fifth grade. He was an established figure in the indie comics scene when he published his first book with First Second, American Born Chinese, which is now in print in over ten languages. ABC's instant critical and commercial success, along with its status as a National Book Award finalist and winner of the Printz Prize, catapulted Yang into stardom as a brilliant writer for teens and young adults. Boxers & Saints is his most recent graphic novel.

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Boxers & Saints Boxed Set 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As with many of Gene Luen Yang’s stories, Boxers & Saints is an unexpected and engrossing story. The historical fiction two part series tells the story of the Boxer Rebellion, from the viewpoints of either side of the story. Both graphic novels begin in the childhood of the main characters, Little Bao and Fourth-Girl. The two stories interact with each other often, however the two characters only meet twice. Little Bao grows up in the Shandong Province, at the end of the 19th century. The Christian Europeans, known as foreign devils, bully the Chinese and attempt to convert them. Bao is trained to fight with Kung Fu, and learns to use spiritual powers. Bao teaches the Brother-Disciples of the Big Sword Society, and they join together to reunite China and restore its power. With the help of their god-like abilities, they attempt to expunge every Christian from the land. On the other side of the conflict, lies Fourth-Girl. Her family did not want her, so they did not even bother giving her a name. She eventually finds a family with the Christian Church, which she originally thought was devil training. After her Baptism, the girl chooses her first real name, Vibiana. She then begins to have visions of Joan of Arc, who helps to guide Vibiana through the rebellion. These stories are short and seem to be written for children at first glance. However, I was surprised to find many adult themes and content in them. The battles, both physical and psychological, are extremely brutal for everyone involved. Since the story is told from both sides, many flaws and misconceptions are pointed out. For example, the Boxers believe they transform into gods before battle, however the Saints see them as average Chinese. Though they are comparable to modern terrorists, I could not help feeling sorry for the Chinese. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes moral conflict, or anyone looking for a very short yet interesting read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Two sides. Awesome easy read
JimRGill2012 More than 1 year ago
This two-volume graphic narrative set against the historical events of the Boxer uprising in turn-of-the-century China tells the complementary tales of Little Bao, an adolescent Chinese boy who leads the Society of the Righteous and Harmonious Fist in defense of his homeland against British and European imperialists, and Vibiana, an adolescent Chinese girl who converts to Catholicism in an effort to seek a sense of belonging. Their stories intertwine in plausible and compelling ways that force us to examine the reasons why adolescents—even in the most dire of circumstances—value community and peer support. Without taking sides, Yang masterfully depicts his protagonists as flawed but sympathetic teens who earnestly attempt to grow, learn, and develop their principles amidst a backdrop of political and religious conflict. Both Little Bao and Vibiana experience mystical encounters with spiritual beings who guide them through their ordeals; the magical realism infuses their stories with metaphysical resonance and calls to mind the ancient Greek epic of the Iliad, during which the gods fought alongside mortals. Joan of Arc appears as Vibiana’s spiritual guide, foreshadowing Vibiana’s sad fate. In addition to the rich history covered in these two volumes, Yang addresses issues of gender through his depiction of the Red Lanterns (the distaff counterparts of the Society) and Vibiana herself, a strong-willed tragic heroine who stumbles upon her faith almost accidentally but ultimately comes to value it over all else. I highly recommend these narratives for their engaging depictions of complex adolescent protagonists as well as their value as historical texts that tell a story unfamiliar to most Western teens.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although this amazing story is set in China, it actually applies to ALL conquered peoples throughout the world. Fascinating book(s).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A truly fascinating point of view from 2 sides of the same conflict