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American Born Chinese

Author/Illustrator: Gene Yang

Publisher: First Second Books

Grade levels: 6-8, 9-12

Subject: Social Studies

Genre: Fiction

Special Attractions: Multicultural lead characters, Teen lead characters, Social issues, For adults, too

Synopsis:  Jin Wang starts at a new school where he’s the only Chinese-American student. When a boy from Taiwan joins his class, Jin doesn’t want to be associated with an FOB like him. Jin just wants to be an all-American boy, because he’s in love with an all-American girl. Danny is an all-American boy: great at basketball, popular with the girls. But his obnoxious Chinese cousin Chin-Kee’s annual visit is such a disaster that it ruins Danny’s reputation at school, leaving him with no choice but to transfer somewhere he can start all over again. The Monkey King has lived for thousands of years and mastered the arts of kung fu and the heavenly disciplines. He’s ready to join the ranks of the immortal gods in heaven. But there’s no place in heaven for a monkey. Each of these characters cannot help himself alone, but how can they possibly help each other? They’re going to have to find a way—if they want fix the disasters their lives have become. (from the publisher’s site)

Awards:  2006 National Book Award Finalist for Young People’s Literature,  winner of the 2007 Eisner Award for Best Graphic Album: New,  Eisner Award nominee for Best Coloring and 2007 Bank Street – Best Children’s Book of the Year.

Publishers Weekly review

The Graphic Classroom review

Author’s book page

Publisher’s book page