external image 1596431520.01._SY190_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpgAmerican Born Chineseprintz.gif
by Gene Luen Yang
First Second, 2006
233 pages
No Lexile

Annotation: Jin Wang is the son of two Chinese-American immigrants who struggles to fit in at school. The Monkey King attempts to attend a party in heaven only to be turned away at the door because he is a monkey. Chin-Kee is a negative Chinese stereotype who ruins his cousin Danny's life on an evening sit-com. The stories of these three begin far from each other but slowly weave together as both Jin and the Monkey King realize the importance of self-love and acceptance.

Topics: multicultural, folklore, immigration, racism

Thematic statement: Love yourself for who you are.

Range of appeal: Grades 8 through 12.

Plot: Jin's parents immigrated to the United States before he was born, but despite his American citizenship, Jin struggles to find a sense of belonging in school. Juxtaposed to Jin's storyline is that of the Monkey King who is turned away from a party in Heaven because he doesn't wear shoes. The Monkey King becomes a kung-fu master in order to deal out retribution to the spirits who snubbed him. The spirits ask for help from He-Who-Is, the creator, who intervenes to tell the Monkey King he is a monkey, He-Who-Is made him a monkey, and no amount of kung-fu can change that. The Monkey King (after being imprisoned under rock for 500 years for stubborness) becomes He-Who-Is' emissary and brings a similar message to Jin.

Evaluation/ Mini-rationale: Every young adult goes through a period of self acceptance. This is the central message and conflict in American Born Chinese.

Thought Questions: How to other people view us and how does that affect our self-image and identity?

Additional notes:

Links: LibraryThing, WorldCat