American Born Chinese (paperback)
by Gene Luen Yang
AR Level 3.3, 1 point
American Born Chinese is 3 separate stories in one graphic novel, and they’re all connected at the end. The Monkey King struggles with not being recognized for who he thinks he is. Jin Wang is a Chinese immigrant in San Francisco who has a crush on a girl, but he cannot be with her, because he is Chinese. Danny is an American boy with a Chinese cousin who demonstrates all of the American stereotypes of Chinese people (accent, clothing, behavior, etc.). It turns out that Danny and Jin Wang are the same person, and the Monkey King comes and reminds Danny of who he really is. It is a confusing story, to be honest.
What I liked about this book was the way Chinese stereotypes were all laid out there for the reader, so there was no opportunity for them to think of their own. There was also an underlying message to be yourself and not to try so hard to be someone you’re not. Honestly, that was about it. I didn’t really care for this book.
What I didn’t like about this book was that it was confusing. I get now how the 3 stories were connected, but only because I had to look it up. I blame being in a newborn fog from lack of sleep and hormonal imbalance, because I normally love books like this, but it just didn’t interest me.
Book 14 of 40 (40 Book Challenge)