Friday, April 10, 2015

Graphic Novel Review - "American Born Chinese" by Gene Luen Yang

It wouldn't really be fair to call this one novel, because it's really 3 separate stories that all kind of tie together at the end.

Story 1: Timmy starts as a third grader at a new school. His parents are both Chinese, and immigrated to America but he was born in the States. He struggles as kids tease him about his name and if he eats dog or not. He kind of reluctantly becomes friends with the one other asian kid in his class who is also new. We follow him as he gets older and struggles with the normal teenage things like liking girls and wanting to fit in.

Story 2: Danny is just trying to be an all american teenage but than his cousin comes to visit. His cousin Chin-Kee is every bad chinese stereotype. Buck teeth, the pyramid shaped bamboo hat, the problem with some word pronunciation ("brockoree" instead of broccoli). He wreaks havoc on Danny's tentative social life, and he starts to ruin everything for Danny, so he says.

Story 3: The Monkey King is (wait for it) king of the monkeys. He studies a lot and has learned to many things making him a powerful king. Than he gets slighted by other gods and goddesses and kings and gets maaaaad. It turns him into a power hungry jerk that "forgets where he came from".

I'm kind of ambivalent about this book. It was fine. I liked the style of the art. I wasn't really all about the 3 story and then tying it together. I'm just very "meh" about it. The best part is the art. I guess a 2.5 out of 5?



  1. I wanted to like this one better than I did. (Boxers and Saints is FAB) I liked this one but it kind of fell apart at the end, in my opinion.

    1. Agreed, it did not finish strong for me either. I've seen Boxers and Saints on goodreads, I'll have to check into that one and see if I have better luck!

  2. I still haven't read this, but I agree with Jennifer that I really enjoyed Boxers and Saints (which had very similar artwork!).


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