American Born Chinese

American Born Chinese

by Gene Luen Yang

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Overview

All Jin Wang wants is to fit in...
When his family moves to a new neighborhood, he suddenly finds that he’s the only Chinese-American student at his school. Jocks and bullies pick on him constantly, and he has hardly any friends. Then, to make matters worse, he falls in love with an all-American girl...
Born to rule over all the monkeys in the world, the story of the Monkey King is one of the oldest and greatest Chinese fables. Adored by his subjects, master of the arts of kung-fu, he is the most powerful monkey on earth. But the Monkey King doesn’t want to be a monkey. He wants to be hailed as a god...
Chin-Kee is the ultimate negative Chinese stereotype, and he’s ruining his cousin Danny’s life. Danny’s a basketball player, a popular kid at school, but every year Chin-Kee comes to visit, and every year Danny has to transfer to a new school to escape the shame. This year, though, things quickly go from bad to worse...
These three apparently unrelated tales come together with an unexpected twist, in a modern fable that is hilarious, poignant, and action-packed. American Born Chinese is an amazing ride, all the way up to the astonishing climax - and confirms what a growing number of readers already know: Gene Yang is a major talent.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781466804722
Publisher: First Second
Publication date: 09/05/2006
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 158,700
File size: 48 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range: 12 - 18 Years

About the Author

Gene Luen Yang began drawing comic books in the fifth grade. In 1997, he received the Xeric Grant, a prestigious comics industry grant, for Gordon Yamamoto and the King of the Geeks, his first comics work. He has since written and drawn a number of titles, including Duncan's Kingdom (with art by Derek Kirk Kim), The Rosary Comic Book, Prime Baby and Animal Crackers. American Born Chinese, his first graphic novel from First Second, was a National Book Award finalist, as well as the winner of the Printz Award and an Eisner Award. He also won an Eisner for The Eternal Smile, a collaboration with Derek Kirk Kim. Yang lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he teaches high school.
Gene Luen Yang writes, and sometimes draws, comic books and graphic novels. As the Library of Congress’ fifth National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, he advocates for the importance of reading, especially reading diversely. American Born Chinese, his first graphic novel from First Second Books, was a National Book Award finalist, as well as the winner of the Printz Award and an Eisner Award. His two-volume graphic novel Boxers&Saints won the L.A. Times Book Prize and was a National Book Award Finalist. His other works include Secret Coders (with Mike Holmes), The Shadow Hero (with Sonny Liew), New Super-Man from DC Comics (with various artists), and the Avatar: The Last Airbender series from Dark Horse Comics (with Gurihiru). In 2016, he was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow.

Read an Excerpt

American Born Chinese


By Gene Luen Yang

Roaring Brook Press

Copyright © 2006 Gene Yang
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-59643-152-2



CHAPTER 1

ONE BRIGHT ANS STARRY NIGHT, THE GODS, THE GODDESSES, THE DEMONS AND THE SPIRITS GATHERED IN HEAVEN FOR A DINNER PARTY.

YOUR PEACHES ARE LOOKING ESPECIALLY PLUMP TODAY, MY DEAR!

TEE HEE! OH STOP IT, LAO-TZU!

I DON'T MEAN TO BOAST, BUT THAT THUNDERSTORM I PUT TOGETHER LAST NIGHT IMPRESSED EVEN MYSELF!

THEIR MUSIC AND THE SCENT OF THEIR WINE DRIFTED DOWN ...

... DOWN ...

... DOWN ...

... TO FLOWER-FRUIT MOUNTAIN ...

... WHERE FLOWERS BLOOMED ROUND ...

... AND FRUITS HUNG HEAVY NECTAR ...

... AND MONKEYS PROLICKED UNDER THE WATCHFUL EYE OF THE MAGICAL MONKEY KING.

NOW THE MONKEY KING WAS A DEITY IN HIS OWN RIGHT.

LEGEND HAD IT THAT LONG AGO, LONG BEFORE ALMOST ANY MONKEY COULD REMEMBER, THE MONKEY KING WAS BORN OF A ROCK.

WHEN HIS EYES FIRST OPENDED, THEY FLAGHED RAYS OF LIGHT DEEP INTO THE SKY.

ALL OF HEAVEN TOOK NOTICE.

WHAT THE-?

SOON AFTER, HE PURGED FLOWER-FRUIT MOUNTAIN OF THE TIGER-SPIRIT THAT HAD HAUNTED IT FOR CENTURIES.

HE ESTABLISHED HIS KINGDOM AND MONKEYS FROM THE FOUR CORNERS OF THE WORLD FLOCKED TO HIM.


THE MONKEY KING RULED WITH A FIRM BUT GENTLE HAND.

PLAY NICE.

HE SPEND HIS DAYS STUDYING THE ARTS OF KUNG-FU. JE QUICKLY MASTERED THOUSANDS OF MINOR DISCIPLINES AS WELL AS THE FOUR MAJOR HEAVENLY DISCIPLINES, PREREQUISITES TO IMMORTALITY.

DISCIPLINE ONE: FIRST-LIKE-LIGHTNING

DISCIPLINE TWO: THUNDEROUS FOOT

DISCIPLINE THREE: HEAVENLY SENSES

A DINNER PARTY!

THE MONKEY KING LIKED DINNER PARTIES VERY MUCH.

MY DEAR SUBJECTS, I MUST TAKE LEAVE OF YOU TONIGHT FOR THERE IS A VERY IMPORTANT PARTY I MUST ATTEND.

DISCIPLINE FOUR: COULD-AS-STEED

THE MONKEY KING WAITED IN LINE FOR WHAT SEEMED LIKE AN ETERNITY.

HE FIDGETED THIS WAY AND THAT (MONKEYS JUST AREN'T VERY GOOD AT WAITING) BUT FORCED HIMSELF TO STAY IN LINE.

ALL THE WHILE HE THOUGHT ABOUT HOW MUCH HE LIKED DINNER PARTIES.


BY THE TIME THE MONKEY KING ARRIVED AT THE FRONT GATE. HE WAS BESIDE HIMSELF WITH ANTICIPATION.

ANNOUNCING THE ARRIVAL OF AO-JUN. THE DRAGON KING OF THE WESTERN SEA!

"AHEM" PARDON ME SIR, BUT MIGHT YOU STEP THIS WAY FOR A MOMENT?

OH, I'M SORRY.


YOU MAY ANNOUNCE THAT I AM THE MONKEY KING OF FLOWER-FRUIT MOUNTAIN!

YES, YES, I APOLOGIZE PROFUSELY SIR, BUT I CANNOT LEY YOU IN.


YOU HAVEN'T ANY SHOES.

BUT THERE MUST BE SOME MISTAKE! I AM THE SOVEREIGN RULER OF FLOWER-FRUIT MOUNTAIN, WHERE THE FLOWERS BLOOM YEAR ROUND AND THE FRUITS HANG HEAVY WITH NECTAR!

THOUSANDS OF SUBJECTS PLEDGE LOYALTY TO ME.

I, TOO. AM A DEITY! I AM A COMMITTED DISCIPLINE OF THE ARTS OF KUNG-FU AND I HAVE MASTERED THE FOUR MAJOR HEAVENLY DISCIPLINES, PREREQUISITES TO IMMORTALITY!


(Continues...)

Excerpted from American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang. Copyright © 2006 Gene Yang. Excerpted by permission of Roaring Brook Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

Copyright,
Dedication,
Also By Gene Yang,
Begin Reading,

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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American Born Chinese 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 173 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book starts out as a mythological story then envelops into a new era , bringing in the other characters of the book, showing how the main characters all have something in common. This books shows that being yourself is always something to consider, but if you dont read the book you will not understand what I am trying to say. GREAT BOOK and GREAT MEANING.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This graphic novel is much more than it may seem- simply just a graphic novel. While on the surface it is an interesting tale about a boy that doesn't fit in, underneath the surface there lies a whole world of myth and legend, individuality, cultural and self acceptance. An absolute must read.
Mademo More than 1 year ago
Literally sucked butt.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book. I had to read this book as a reading assignment for a class, it turned out it was fun and wanted to keep reading at the end. I highly recommend it if you want to read something light, yet entertaining and funny.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good
jeriannthacker on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Refreshingly honest, powerful, funny. Takes rascism seriously by making fun of it. Printz Award Winner.
frazrat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is a great way to introduce Graphic novels into the literature scene. A threefold of story lines combined to represent the theme of learning to be ok with who you are. This book applies to any child trying to fit in at school.
spacecat77 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An amazing graphic novel that artfully combines three stories to create a coming of age/self acceptance book.
vortega on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
American Born Chinese is a visually vibrant, totally engaging fantasy, built around human behaviors and attitudes, the good the bad. Although it can be read quickly there is a subtle sophistication in the choice and variety of words, depending on the tale and the speaker. The color in each frame is dynamic and each page is to be savored for its artistry and characterization. The paper is thick and page numbers are centered, Chinese page numbers in red at the top of each page and in Arabic numerals in black at the bottom. It is a graphic novel at its finest.
dmcolon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The more I read graphic novels, the more I like them. American Born Chinese is an amazing piece that discusses Asian identity, racism, stereotypes, and a host of other issues. At heart, it's about trying to find one's identity in adolescence and should appeal to anyone who has been through that type of struggle.As someone from a multiracial background (Anglo and Puerto-Rican), the book resonated particularly well with me and "Danny's" efforts to integrate himself into "mainstream" society ring true. The author's blending of traditional Chinese mythology in the form of the Monkey King was especially powerful. I find reading graphic novels to be an oddly melancholy experience, though I cannot quite explain why. The "Chin-Kee" character, as the embarrassing stereotyped cousin reminded me of my own embarrassment with my Latino heritage when I was growing up. Trying to fit in and avoid looking different took was very important to me as an adolescent and Yang captures that feeling perfectly. The path to accepting and being proud of one's identity can be long and painful -- "American Born Chinese" does an incredible job portraying both the pain and joys of being from different backgrounds.
stephxsu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book became a groundbreaker for graphic novels by winning the 2007 Printz Award, the highest award given to young adult literature. What do a mythical monkey king, a Chinese boy, and a white boy have in common? More than you think!Jin Wang moves from his almost completely Asian neighborhood to a white suburb. The monkey king (a famous Chinese legend) deals with his arrogance and feelings of superiority, only to be taught humility. Danny, a white boy, must deal with annual visits from his super-Chinese cousin Chin-Kee, who always manages to ruin Danny¿s life just enough that he is forced to transfer schools at the end of every year.Each of their tales is touchingly real and raw with truth, and come together in a somewhat confusing ending. Asians and non-Asians alike will appreciate the myth, mystery, and reality that appear in AMERICAN BORN CHINESE. I highly recommend this novel.
adromero on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The novel has three seemingly separate stories, two that deal with acculturation of Chinese youth in the United States and a folk-tale regarding a Monkey who has trouble understanding his station and angers the gods. The two stories about the youth are a middle-school student named Jin who tries his best to ¿fit ¿in,¿ and a high school student named Danny who is ashamed of his Chinese cousin. The cousin acts in ways that do not fit with Western culture. Through these tales Yang tackles issues of self-identity and self acceptance for young people born of immigrant parents. The story¿s finale is when the three stories converge. The author employs this finale to illustrate how a person may perceive themselves and the changes that are brought about by the pressures of trying to ¿fit-in.¿
welkinscheek on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fantastic! I love the parallel story with the monkey king!
MeditationesMartini on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Aaaaah! Surprise! Delight! The Monkey King, a little Chinese-American boy, and Chin-kee the Bionic Racial Stereotype star in three separate affecting/hilarious stories that come together toward the end in a neat and surprising way. In a weird kind of way, I feel like my spiritual home is in a nonspecific Asia. Or maybe that's not so weird, coming from the west coast. Maybe the nonspecific Asia in question is Vancouver's Chinatown, or the Island of the Blue Dolphins.
h.kim on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Just wish I'd received it earlier, but even as a college student it struck home and was great. Some really relateable scenes. I'll have to go back over it again to remember the overall story-line, but in retrospect it was interesting for Yang to tie in the story of the Monkey-King, especially in the way he did it.
mrcmyoung on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Three stories are artfully woven together: Jin Wang tries to fit in at his mostly white school. Danny's mysterious and stereotypical cousin, Chin-Kee ruins his high school social life when he comes to visit. And a Monkey King who aspires to be taken seriously as a god learns to accept who he is.
fyrefly98 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Summary: American Born Chinese tells three very disparate stories. The first is of Jin Wang, a young boy who is the only Chinese student in his school, who is isolated, picked on, and in love with a white girl who barely knows he's alive. The second is of the Monkey King, a Chinese fable about a monkey who is not content to be merely a monkey, but who wants to be one of the gods. The third is a sitcom, in which Chin-Kee, the embodiment of all of the negative Chinese stereotypes, comes to visit his cousin Danny, and generally ruin Danny's popularity... and life. And, in the end, it turns out that the three stories aren't quite so disparate after all.Review: This was an interesting book with an important message, but it never really grabbed me the way I wanted it to. The whole thing was done with an interesting blend of humor and seriousness, and of stereotypes blended with respect that made it more than a typical coming-of-age/racism-is-bad-mmkay story. The inclusion of the Monkey King mythology in particular was an interesting element. Although the book is obviously based on and arguably geared towards Asian-Americans, I don't think it's limited to only speaking about the immigrant experience. I think that anyone who's ever felt marginalized will find the stories here relatable, and find something to take away. 3.5 out of 5 stars.Recommendation: I enjoyed it well enough, but I suspect I'm not really the target audience; I think actual young adults may find it more compelling than I did.
randoymwords on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As is usual with the graphic arts, great visual talent is spent on a mediocre story. There are three interlocking pieces to this book. The colorful and exciting story of the Monkey-King and his quest to become a god. He's ashamed at being a monkey, the other gods all laugh at him, oooooh, could this be a metaphor? The ho-hum domestic story of an Asian kid in America, having to deal with stupid kids being racist and being too shy to get a girlfriend. As a child he wants to grow up and be a "Transformer", he's ashamed of his "more" Chinese friend, yes, yes. And to hit us over the head with even more metaphor, a really bad story set up as a sitcom where a typical high schooler's stereotypical Chinese cousin shows up to make his life wacky. Embarrassing. Being teased and having a shy disposition does not make for exciting antagonism. Most people get over that stuff. It's called growing up, something that the bio-comic genre still needs to do apparently...
francescadefreitas on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a quick and enjoyable read - an odd thing in a book that shows a fair amount of racism but this is less about people who are racist, instead it focuses on how other people can change the image we have of ourselves, and what it is to feel you are an outsider. Monkey King strives to become a god, Jin Wang has to go to a new school, and Danny's life is being ruined by his stereotypical Chinese cousin. These three tales intertwine into a tale of how survival and success in not about adapting, but about staying true to who you are. Jin's desire to fit in is easy to identify with. The retelling of Monkey's story is enjoyable, I especially loved his grimaces. And telling Danny's story as a sitcom really hammers home how stereotypes of all kinds are engrained in North American culture. I was having wincing flashbacks to my laughing at the sitcom Perfect Strangers. The art isn't spectacular, but the stylised facial expressions are delightful. I'd give this to someone who enjoys memoirs, interested in reading about the experiences of young Asian Americans, coming of age stories, or high school stories.
amanda_c on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Quality: American-born Chinese is an excellent full-color graphic novel.Potential Use: This book would be excellent for older children interested in art, graphic novels and fiction that depicts Asian-American experiences.Appeal: This book will appeal to any child who appreciates graphic novels, and, perhaps especially, to Asian-American children who want to see depictions which may reflect their experiences.
4sarad on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
American Born Chinese is one story made up from three parts: A traditional Chinese tale about the Monkey King, a story about a middle school student named Jin who was born in America but whose parents were immigrants, and the story of Danny and his embarrassing cousin Chin-Kee. The Monkey King, Jin, and Danny are all ashamed of their appearance and culture in some way, and Yang does a fantastic job of bringing their three stories together into one when they each find the strength to appreciate who they really are. This is a very well written, engaging book. Its graphic novel format will appeal to many young adults and will make it a more likely pick for reluctant readers. The three story lines all come together in the end and the moral of the story is clear. I believe this is a novel with important themes that young adults will really appreciate as it doesn¿t require a lot of interpretation and explanation to understand the meaning.
noblechicken on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wonderful graphic novel coming of age fable. Awkwardness, racism, and puberty all covered here, but it also addresses more deep-rooted issue of what it means to be growing up "American". National Book Award Finalist.
xollo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have recently started reading and loving graphic novels and American born Chinese is no exception. The three parallel plot lines were each wonderful, but it was thinking about them in the context of the others that proved most rewarding, and the ending was brilliant and beautiful. Funny, poignant, and intelligent, I would recommend this for anyone who has ever felt like he or she didn¿t fit in.
marnattij on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The stories of the Monkey King, Jin-Wang lonely middle school student, and Danny who is embarrassed by his Chinese cousin entwine in this memoir-style graphic novel.It's a great story, well told.
yarmando on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Terrific story, cutting between the life of Chinese American boy Jin Wang, a folktale of the Monkey King, and a sitcom about Danny and his cousin "Chin-Kee" (an offensive racist stereotype). The three storylines begin to resonate against each other, finally coming together in a way that is jarring but satisfying. Worth repeated reading.