Wednesday, July 25, 2012

American Born Chinese

Author: Gene Luen Yang
Year: 2006
Publisher: First Second
Pages:  233

Jin Wang is a first generation Chinese American boy and at his new school, he's the only Chinese American student. He has problems fitting in with the other students and his peers often lump him in with all Asians and don't recognize the differences. And Jin wants is to fit in and be like everybody else. 

This is a story about finding one's identity and being proud of who you are. Yang weaves within Jin's story two other stories. One is the story of the Monkey King - a Chinese parable. The other is the story of Chin-Kee. Chin-Kee is the stereotypical Chinese person. In the end, the three stories come together beautifully.

I flew threw this graphic novel which is a bit unusual because usually graphic novels still take a little time even though they are quick reads. I thought it was brilliantly written. I loved the way the three stories were brought together because I did wonder for about half the book what they had to do with each other. I felt like more could have been done to help me know Jin Wang and identify with  him more. I felt like the character wasn't developed as much as it could have been. The novel's definitely worth the read. 


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