American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
Call Number: YA GRAPHIC YANG
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American Born Chinese is a graphic novel that tells three seemingly disconnected tales.
Monkey is not satisfied with being a mere simian. He is the king of his mountain, darn it! He conquers all the various forms of kung fu but, in the end, learns that being a monkey might not be so bad.
Chin-Kee is the oh-so-racist stereotype of Chinese culture often seen in the media. (He reminds me a lot of Long Duck Dong from the 1980s movie, 16 Candles.) He gets into one awkward social situation after another – much to the embarrassment of his blond, Caucasian cousin, Danny.
Jin is a Chinese-American boy who yearns to fit in at his nearly all-white school. With a lack of friends and an over-abundance of bullies, he struggles to find a balance between the many aspects of who he is.
I love this book. It does a phenomenal job of making the reader laugh while forcing them to question what they think they know about culture and the experiences of first-generation immigrants. The book weaves together mythology, satire, and realistic fiction to create a powerful story about self-acceptance and strength.
Also by Gene Luen Yang: