American Born Chinese
Written and Illustrated by Gene Luen Yang
:01 (First Second Books)
Review by L’IndÃ©pendant
American Born Chinese (ABC) is a 3-part tale. The first tale is a Chinese fable of a monkey king who yearns to hang around with the gods. He masters the kung-fu arts, and enters into the heavens. At a party of the gods, he is turned away, since he himself is not a god, and takes out his frustration over this on everybody in attendance. This is the beginning of his troubles.
Jin Wang moves to a new town. Heâ€™s the first Chinese-American student there, and has a hard time making friends. He befriends a Taiwanese-American student who, like himself, likes to play with transforming toy robots. He falls in love with an white girl, and canâ€™t bring himself to tell her. Heâ€™s also being bullied by the â€˜cool kidsâ€™ and canâ€™t avoid their taunts and teases over his ethnicity.
Chin-Kee is a the ultimate in stereotypes of Chinese people. His cousin, Dan, is trying to make it through school, and struggling with his crush on his friend. Heâ€™s the best at everything, and is growing in popularity, leaving Dan behind. But thereâ€™s more to Chin-Kee than meets the eye.
These three stories are told in a way that leads one to wonder how they even connect at all, but it all concludes nicely and leaves one completely satisfied while providing a moral. ABC is a modern-day graphic fable, and is a wonderful read for people of all ages. The art is crisp and consistent, and Wang does a wonderful job using the art to further the story. Overall, this is a great read, and a wonderful addition to the medium.
Posted originally: 2006-09-30 02:02:25