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8 Reviews
5 star:
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4 star:
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3 star:    (0)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Debut, 12 Sep 2006
By 
A. Ross (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: American Born Chinese (Paperback)
This beautifully produced graphic novel contains three storylines which come together in a well-constructed final chapter. The first storyline concerns the classic Chinese tale of the Monkey King (Sun Wukong) and his egotistical quest to become a god above all others. The second storyline is a about a Taiwanese-American kid raised in San Francisco's Chinatown who moves with his family to the suburbs. There he tries to fit in at his new elementary school, and goes through the usual loneliness of the outsider, endures bullying, makes friends with the other two Asian kids, and falls in love with a pretty white girl. The third storyline is delivered as a tasteless sitcom about an all-American high-school boy whose life gets turned upside down when his bucktoothed stereotype of a Chinese cousin comes to visit. Although the tone is very different in each storyline, they all have something to say about being different and coming to terms with one's identity, and the way they morph into a single climax at the end is quite clever and effective. It's a nice book to give any kid who's struggling with trying to find their place in the nasty world. The artwork is very clean and simple, with traditional lettering, crisp colors, and very simple paneling (which is nicely framed by generous white space above and below). The printing is beautiful and the paper and binding is top-notch.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good comic book for 12+, 31 Aug 2009
By 
Minh Tran (Milton Keynes, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: American Born Chinese (Paperback)
This is a great comic for those in their early teens. It mixes humor with a thoughtful message. It is a story of personal struggle told through two strands: an immigrant who wants to fit in at school and the monkey king who wants to become a god. The themes deal with discrimination, alienation, relationships and ambition. I would highly recommend it as a gift to those starting high school. You will have to judge whether it is appropriate for younger readers in elementary. It is not particularly violent or vulgar, but the themes are complex. My only negative point about this book is the ending. I didn't think the author closed the story well enough.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poking fun at stereotypes, 9 May 2010
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This review is from: American Born Chinese (Paperback)
A great read, regardless if you happen to be Asian. Its one of the few comic books which touch on the issue of race and it does so brilliantly. I won't spoil the ending but the lives of the characters Yang creates are all intertwined well.

Highly recommended
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Monkeys, kung-fu, and love - what else do you need?, 4 Oct 2009
By 
Sam Quixote - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: American Born Chinese (Paperback)
"American Born Chinese" has three stories combined into one: the story of the Monkey King and his fight for acceptance among the pantheon of Gods; a lewd Western caricature of Chinese people called Chin-Kee; and at its heart the coming of age story of Jin, a young Chinese boy growing up in America.

The story is drawn in a cartoony/Manga type style and coloured by Lark Pien. The overall effect is a very attractive comic. The story though is brilliant. There were moments in Jin's story where his life mirrored my own (the girl at the cinema part) and despite the pervading message - accept who you are and be happy - it's neither patronising or overbearing.

The three stories become one by the end and it all becomes a bit magical-realism-y but its such a good story told and drawn so well you won't mind. A fantastic read and a great book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it, although......., 22 July 2013
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This review is from: American Born Chinese (Paperback)
I really loved this book and I enjoyed every part of it although some of it did not make sense to me. I still loved the book mostly because of the end where all 3 stories come together and have something in common. The part I disliked the most was when the boys cousin was talking. Yes it was funny, but something made some of the words harder to understand than you would expect it. Anyway I would recommend this book to a lot of people because it was funny and you would enjoy reading this book. And I am sure you will give it a 5 star rating too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A lot more to it, 27 Nov 2012
By 
J. Smith (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: American Born Chinese (Paperback)
A modern graphic novel which has something to say. Makes you think about stereotypes and cultural misunderstandings. Can be read on lots of levels.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 8 April 2012
This review is from: American Born Chinese (Paperback)
What I really loved about this graphic novel is that it goes against the main criticism which most people find with graphic novels: that they spell everything out for you, and they require little imagination as the pictures tell you how to see what is being described. Which 'American Born Chinese' you really have to think about what it is you are seeing and, at the end, look back and consider what it is you have really read and seen. It is short, to the point, memorable and the illustrations and layout are striking and beautiful.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed 'Persepolis' and 'Blankets' as it has the same humorous memoir vibe yet also integrated with religious imagery and folklore and cultural symbols. I will definitely be reading this again soon.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars American Born Chinese book review, 7 Sep 2009
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This review is from: American Born Chinese (Paperback)
The product arrived earlier than expected considering that it was coming from the US. In terms of the book itself, a truly enjoyable read.
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American Born Chinese
American Born Chinese by Lark Pien (Paperback - 1 Dec 2006)
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