Tuesday, August 18, 2009

American Born Chinese, by Gene Luen Yang, Multiple Award-Winning Graphic Novel

Gene Luen Yang's colorfully illustrated graphic novel weaves three distinct stories together depicting his experiences growing up Asian American. The first stars the Monkey King, folk hero of Chinese legend; the second recounts the struggles of a Chinese-American boy trying to fit into a predominantly white suburb; and the third is a sit-com starring everybody's favorite racial stereotype, Cousin Chin-Kee.

Tweens, teens and adults will enjoy the book on different levels. I asked a thirteen-year-old boy to read it and give me his opinion. He thought it was interesting and funny. The plots were easy to follow, however, he did not perceive any deep spiritual message in it. I enjoyed reading it also and could appreciate the plot twists and how the author took a traditional Chinese tale and stories from the Bible and made them his own. A great book to start spiritual discussions from.

This book has won multiple awards including the Michael A. Printz Award, Publisher's Weekly Best Book of the Year, and was a National Book Award finalist in 2006.


  1. Yes, this book/graphic novel was definitely a great read!
    I also found it funny and interesting, and was pleasantly surprised when I saw the nativity written into it.
    There's not much else to say, except read it! ;)

  2. he was a computer science teacher at my high school! i was super pleased to see this book at a bookstore in alameda!


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