Sunday, February 24, 2008

American Born Chinese - Gene Luen Yang

wow. i've been waiting forever to read this book. it was worth the wait. yang's printz award winning graphic novel was amazing. this story is really three stories that all come together somewhat unexpectedly at the very end. there's jin wang, the only chinese kid in a largely white suburb who wants desperately to fit in despite the racism he encounters. when wei-chen sun moves to the neighbourhood from taiwan jin is initially embarrassed to be seen and associated with this somewhat awkward newcomer. then we have the story of the monkey king, an old chinese fable about monkey who wishes to become a god. his desire to be accepted as something he is not eventually leads to downfall. and finally the story of popular all american kid danny who's cousin chin-kee (a horrible chinese stereotype) is ruining his life. what do these three stories have in common? how do they all come together? well, you'll have to read american born chinese to find out. and it's well worth it.

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