Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Graphic Novels Rock!

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang is definitely a worth-while read.

The story line is really eye-opening to the issues of current-day assimilation, which are told through the eyes of the narrator Jing Jang. Carefully interwoven into Jing Jang's story are two other stories/fables that connect with Jing Jang's near the end of the novel.

The themes of race, culture, stereotyping, family, identity, and, in a sense, history are at the forefront and intelligently dealt with in a funny and, at the same time, emotionally honest manner.

Also, as a graphic novel it is easy to read. Some graphic novels are hard to follow because there's too many frames on one page, too much going on in each frame, and the print is too small to read. American Born Chinese has few frames to each page, which makes it easy to follow text/dialog, and Jang uses a good size font. Also, the drawings are very visually appealing and do an excellent job of conveying the (as I call it) "unsaid."

National Book Award finalist and winner of other literary awards, American Born Chinese is rich and thoughtful. It left a lasting impression on this reader.

4 1/2 Hello Kittys.

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