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The Book Peddler

  • Writer's pictureGraphic Grim Reader

American Born Chinese Book Review

Cover of the graphic novel American Born Chinese

Title: American Born Chines

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Young Adult, Teen

Page Count: 240

Author: Gene Luen Yang

Artist: Gene Luen Yang

ISBN: 978-1250811899

Publisher: First Second


This review does not contain spoilers.


"American Born Chinese" by Gene Luen Yang is a groundbreaking graphic novel that skillfully weaves together three distinct narratives to explore themes of identity, cultural assimilation, and the search for acceptance. Through the intertwining stories of Jin Wang, a Chinese-American boy struggling with his identity; the Monkey King, a mythical figure seeking divine recognition; and Danny, a popular American teenager grappling with his Chinese heritage, Yang crafts a poignant and thought-provoking narrative that resonates with readers of all backgrounds.


One of the most compelling aspects of "American Born Chinese" is Yang's ability to tackle complex themes with both humor and sensitivity. From the awkwardness of adolescence to the pressures of fitting in, Yang deftly navigates the challenges faced by his characters with a blend of wit and empathy that makes their struggles feel both relatable and profound. Whether it's Jin Wang's quest to find acceptance in a predominantly white school or the Monkey King's desire to transcend his lowly status, each storyline is imbued with a sense of authenticity and emotional resonance that will resonate with readers of all ages.


"American Born Chinese" is a great work of graphic storytelling that deserves its reputation as a modern classic. Yang's graphic novel offers readers a poignant and timely exploration of the immigrant experience and the universal quest for identity and belonging. Though this book took at most an hour to read, it stuck with me. On one level for the story, on another for the harmful stereotypes this book address of how asian cultures have been/are portrayed in media. It amazes me that things like this are still an issue.



American Born Chinese Book Review Ratings and Recommendation

Rating: 4/5

Recommended: Yes


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The Graphic Grim Reader - Jennifer Swartwood-Walker illustration and signature

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