Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
American Born Chinese Paperback – September 5, 2006
See the Best Kids' Books of 2017
Looking for great new reads for kids of all ages? Browse our editors' picks for the best kids' books of the year including gorgeous picture books, fun new series starters, and captivating young adult novels.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
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.
Yang skillfully weaves these affecting, often humorous stories together to create a masterful commentary about race, identity, and self-acceptance that has earned him a spot as a finalist for the National Book Award for Young People. The artwork, rendered in a chromatically cool palette, is crisp and clear, with clean white space around center panels that sharply focuses the reader's attention in on Yang's achingly familiar characters. There isn't an adolescent alive who won't be able to relate to Jin's wish to be someone other than who he is, and his gradual realization that there is no better feeling than being comfortable in your own skin.--Jennifer Hubert
From Publishers Weekly
As alienated kids go, Jin Wang is fairly run-of-the-mill: he eats lunch by himself in a corner of the schoolyard, gets picked on by bullies and jocks and develops a sweat-inducing crush on a pretty classmate. And, oh, yes, his parents are from Taiwan. This much-anticipated, affecting story about growing up different is more than just the story of a Chinese-American childhood; it's a fable for every kid born into a body and a life they wished they could escape. The fable is filtered through some very specific cultural icons: the much-beloved Monkey King, a figure familiar to Chinese kids the world over, and a buck-toothed amalgamation of racist stereotypes named Chin-Kee. Jin's hopes and humiliations might be mirrored in Chin-Kee's destructive glee or the Monkey King's struggle to come to terms with himself, but each character's expressions and actions are always perfectly familiar. True to its origin as a Web comic, this story's clear, concise lines and expert coloring are deceptively simple yet expressive. Even when Yang slips in an occasional Chinese ideogram or myth, the sentiments he's depicting need no translation. Yang accomplishes the remarkable feat of practicing what he preaches with this book: accept who you are and you'll already have reached out to others. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Favorite quote: "I was forbidden to date until I had at least a Master's degree" (163). Spent a good 30 second laughing a hearty laugh.
Although outside of the superhero genre, American Born Chinese isn't lacking in outlandish characters. The novel opens with the tale of China's Monkey King, an actual literary character in Chinese culture from the classic Journey to the West novel. Yang adapts the beginnings of the Monkey King's origins in adept fashion that truly makes perfect use of the graphic novel format. He intermixes prose and art in a way that conveys the story without leaving anything out. The artwork is colorful and comedic, helping to pull the reader in.
The Monkey King's tale then leads way to the much more mundane tale of Jin Wang. Jin Wang's parents moved to the U.S. from China to attend university and remained there afterwards living in a section of San Francisco with a strong Chinese expatriate network. They relocate to a mostly white suburb requiring Jin Wang to switch to a mostly white school where he struggles to fit in.
While the first tale is of the fantastical and the second of the everyday world, the third is a hybrid of the two. It features Danny, a caucasian all-American boy who is also starting a new school. Unlike Jin Wang, Danny is fitting in nicely at his new school. He has a pretty girlfriend and has made the basketball team. The problem for Danny is that his cousin, Chin-Kee, has just showed up for his annual visit from China. Chin-Kee is a Chinese stereotype from the early 20th century, mispronouncing R's for L's, having a pigtail and exaggerated front teeth, and plotting to find a woman whose feet he can bind. He's a true outlandish character in a normal setting who ruins Danny's life -- in fact, it's because of Chin-Kee's yearly visits that Danny ends up changing schools so often.
These three tales seem completely distinct and self-contained as you read through the novel. And yet, near the end the author begins to find a way to weave them all together into a singular and cohesive story that's quite entertaining throughout.
Overall, the recommendation I originally mentioned -- that this is an excellent example of how the graphic novel medium can be used to portray true storytelling -- is spot on.
I would give the book 5 stars, but there is a string of sexism through it that, unlike the other forms of oppression, is not addressed, disrupted, or explored. This book is not only geared toward boys and men, it specifically pushes young women of color to the margins.
The only issue I had with the kindle (6 inch) version was that the formatting was too small. I needed to pinch and enlarge to read the text and in some panels, move the image around.