American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

Cover of "American Born Chinese"
Cover of American Born Chinese


“Indie graphic novelist Gene Yang’s intelligent and emotionally challenging American Born Chinese is made up of three individual plotlines: the determined efforts of the Chinese folk hero Monkey King to shed his humble roots and be revered as a god; the struggles faced by Jin Wang, a lonely Asian American middle school student who would do anything to fit in with his white classmates; and the sitcom plight of Danny, an All-American teen so shamed by his Chinese cousin Chin-Kee (a purposefully painful ethnic stereotype) that he is forced to change schools. Each story works well on its own, but Yang engineers a clever convergence of these parallel tales into a powerful climax that destroys the hateful stereotype of Chin-Kee, while leaving both Jin Wang and the Monkey King satisfied and happy to be who they are….”


I have not read a graphic novel for quite a long time. Well, I do not believe I have ever read an authentic graphic novel, I have read a Warrior Series graphic novel but I am not sure if that qualifies.

This book was quite interesting. I am usually not a person who reads graphic novels because I feel that it does not give me the satisfaction of a regular book. I like to have to use my imagination  to see the characters and I like to see them in my own eyes. When you read a graphic novel, the characters are drawn for you. There is no imagination involved as you read the captions to go along with the story. Graphic novel’s, I believe, are for reluctant readers. They get you to read as they are good stories but they do not require a lot of concentration. I read this book in under a day as it was so simple. Do not get me wrong, it was a good book and the pictures were well done, but I personally do not like .

The pictures in this book were well done. I do like graphic novel drawings. They are a unique style of drawing and I respect people who can do it as it is quite an amazing art form. It was also a humorous book. Not like splitting your sides funny but it had its moments.

I personally believe that this is really a boy book though. There was no violence as such (even though at one point someone got speared and put over a spit but is saved) but the story line just came across to me as being a boy type of story line. I cannot explain how but that is the vibe that I got.

This book was a National Book Award Finalist. It also won a Michael L. Printz Award for young adult literature.

I would recommend you to read the book as it is a graphic novel and it is a good change from reading a regular book. I hope that you enjoy.

If you have read it tell me what you think about it.