Fast Facts

Title: American Born Chinese
Author: Gene Luen Yang
Publication date: 2006
Genre: Graphic novel, Comics, Fiction, Children’s literature
Recommended for: 10+
Rating: 4/5

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang is a fictional graphic novel that follows three different characters and the challenges they face. The first is the Monkey King. The Monkey King struggles to accept himself, as he is ridiculed for being a monkey. Jin Wang is a chinese boy who was brought up in California and has to navigate through life after he moves to a new school. Danny is a 16 year old boy who gets an unexpected visit from his cousin from China.  All three of these stories are different, but share similar themes and concepts, and similar protagonists.

This was overall a good book, and the illustrations were also a nice addition to the storytelling. All three stories are equally unique and interesting, and I found them to be very enjoyable. One thing I think this book did really well is keeping the plot engaging, through the multitude of stories. For example, the story of the Monkey King is fantasy and has magical creatures, deities, and monsters. However, Jin Wang’s story covers his life in general, showing how he grows up and what he faces. One thing that this book addresses is discrimination/racism, as the characters go through an internal conflict of not fitting in. This is a rather short read, and did not take me too long to finish, but is a good one nonetheless. This is a great graphic novel and I would recommend reading it.