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CompleteMartialArts.com - American Born Chinese

List Price: $19.95
Our Price: $13.57
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Manufacturer: First Second
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5

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Binding: Hardcover
Dewey Decimal Number: 741.5973
EAN: 9781596433731
ISBN: 1596433736
Label: First Second
Manufacturer: First Second
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 240
Publication Date: 2007-10-30
Publisher: First Second
Reading Level: Young Adult
Release Date: 2007-10-30
Studio: First Second

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Editorial Reviews:

A tour-de-force by rising indy comics star Gene Yang, American Born Chinese tells the story of three apparently unrelated characters: Jin Wang, who moves to a new neighborhood with his family only to discover that he’s the only Chinese-American student at his new school; the powerful Monkey King, subject of one of the oldest and greatest Chinese fables; and Chin-Kee, a personification of the ultimate negative Chinese stereotype, who is ruining his cousin Danny’s life with his yearly visits. Their lives and stories come together with an unexpected twist in this action-packed modern fable. American Born Chinese is an amazing ride, all the way up to the astonishing climax. 

Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5
Summary: Prize winning graphic novel
Comment: American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang is the first graphic novel I've read. I read it for the Book Awards Challenge II. It won the Michael L. Printz Award in 2007 and was a finalist for the National Book Award for Young People's Literature. It is the first graphic novel recognized by the National Book Foundation. American Born Chinese starts out by telling three stories. The wonderful illustrations were colored by Lark Pien.

* The first is the story of The Monkey King. He wanted to rule, but he didn't want to be a monkey.

* The second story is about Jin Wang, a young boy who was born in America to parents who immigrated from China. Jin Wang never feels like he fits in with the American students he goes to school with.

* The third story is about Danny, an All-American boy who is embarrassed when his Chinese cousin, Chin-Kee comes for his annual visit.

The stories don't tie together until the end of the book. The book is about learning to live with and accept who you are. It was a very quick read. I think this book would really appeal to young males. While this was a fun, fast read, I don't think I'll be picking up another graphic novel anytime soon. I appreciate how much work went into the drawings, but they just weren't enough to justify the price in my mind.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5
Summary: Moral of the Story: Be a Monkey
Comment: Some people mentioned it is offensive to Christians. Ha, I didn't even catch that because I'm not religious. Some say it's racist. I disagree. The book merely points out some of the things the main character experiences while he is in school which is racism! However, I really expected a lot more from this book. You see the main character suffering from racism, low self-esteem given the racism, and some other things, but those cannot be the only problems an American Born Chinese would face. How about home relationships with parents and relatives? So much emphasis is on his school life, there is nothing about home and relatives. The main message is just be yourself which is nice, but does that really require over 200 pages to say this? This is a quick read given it's a graphic novel and the pages are very small, not your average 8-1/2 x 11. I finished this in like an hour. The artwork is really simple, clean-cut drawings. Nothing spectacular and very mediocre. Writing, well there is not that much writing. So given lack of story, lack of good writing, lack of quality artwork, I really can't recommend this book.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Sheer brilliance...don't let the graphic novel format deter you!
Comment: When I first heard mention of this book, I had no idea what it was. I was just intrigued by the title, being an American Born Chinese myself. It was already checked out at the library, so I was on the wait list. When my turn came up at the Library to borrow this book, I saw it was in a graphic novel style, and wasn't quite sure what to make of it (it's not a genre I would typically chose to read).

This book is sheer brilliance. There are three different stories that seem to be completely separate, but are woven together masterfully at the end. Also, you do not need to be Chinese, Asian or any distinct ethnicity to read and appreciate this book (though it may hit closer to home for some of us who actually grew up as American Born Chinese to Immigrant Parents). Ultimate, the moral of the story is timeless and applies to everyone, and that is to accept who you are, THE WAY YOU WERE CREATED. Ultimately, you will be happier being yourself than trying to be someone else. It's an oft-repeated theme in many forms, but the way it was brought together in this book was poignant and ultimately uplifting, but not overbearing or sledgehammer-like as done in some stories.

Also, this is classified as a young-adult literature. Of course young adults will appreciate this, but it's not exclusively for young adults, though the main characters in two of the story threads are High School age, so the young adult readers should relate well to the teenage angst pictured by the characters. This book is appropriate for all ages, and it's a quick read. I enjoyed it enough that I plan to purchase this book for my personal collection, and make sure my children have a chance to read it when they're older!

Gene Luen Yang's book shows multiple strokes of brilliance! This book is well deserving to be a recipient of the Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature from The American Library Association as well as a National Book Award Finalist.

Even if you're not normally a reader of graphic novels, Ethnic-centered stories or even young adult literature, I recommend American Born Chinese! It was a great read with a universal message appropriate for all.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Quality graphic novel that is keeps you reading!
Comment: I am a reading tutor and had to read this book for a multicultural literature class. What a treat! Not only does this book offer multiple story lines that come together for great classroom discussions, but the illustrations are beautiful. Parents should read this too!

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Oh. My. Gosh.
Comment: Here's how this book came to be in my hands: I attended teacher training, was given a list of 50 "great" young adult titles, and decided that my reluctant readers would be attracted to the graphic novel format. I gurgled a bit when I saw the retail price, but decided that between the Amazon discount and the fact that this book could very well get my kids reading, I made the decision to choke up the change.

I am so glad I did.

The book came in the mail today, and I pulled it out and tossed it at my mom while telling her she had to read it. She complied readily, out of curiosity I think. I wondered at her when I heard occasional chuckles, but I knew I was on to something special when, teary-eyed, she put the book down and sat musing for some time.

I snatched it up from her and let my toddler run amok as I held my two-month-old in my arms and devoured the book over the next 45 minutes. It was worth the ensuing chaos by aforementioned toddler! Three seemingly unrelated story lines are artfully told and then bound together with wisdom, humor and skill. The difficult topics of racism, growing up, identity, power, and belonging are addressed with the greatest sensitivity and impact. The story gets deeper and larger, yet it narrows to a precision point at the end that leaves the reader quite a bit of meat to chew on afterward. The characters are wonderfully portrayed, and the art is truly communicative and inspiring.

I realized as my mom was reclaiming the book that I couldn't take this copy up to school--I would have to purchase a second copy so I could keep this one. I can guarantee that this book will get stolen off my shelves before next May, and it will be worth it. If one of my students truly 'gets' it, I'll buy a copy every year for the express purpose of having it taken.

It's that good.

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