If you've seen my summer reading list then you know that one of my top five books to read this summer is American Born Chinese. I've been wanting to read this since a classmate recommended it and because I don't read that many graphic novels; I've been wanting to give graphic novels more of a chance. The first thing I noticed with the change in format is that uh. . . I'm old. The font was smaller and therefore harder for me to read. Time to get glasses?
Once I got over the format adjustment, I started to enjoy the book. The first thing that threw me for a loop was that the story is actually three stories that combine at the end of the book. This confused me at first and I can see it being confusing for my students as well. As the book continued, I got more comfortable with the format and stories and they started to blend together and make sense. Also, I had to do something for a minute so I put down the book. My husband picked it up and was like, "this book is awesome!" so perhaps more of a "guy book" than a "girl book."
American Born Chinese is about a boy who is trying, desperately, to assimilate to American culture so he can fit in. He eventually realizes that this comes at the cost of giving up not only his heritage and culture but, ultimately, himself. I love that the theme becomes learning to be who you are no matter how others treat you or who they want you to be. I think this is relatable to all teenagers, and people, whether they are a minority or not. So, the theme really won me over more than anything else.
You would like American Born Chinese if you like books that are. . .
witty / funny
about self discovery / being yourself
What are some other good graphic novels? I'm looking for more!
"'Have you really read all those books in your room?' Alaska laughing- 'Oh God no. I’ve maybe read a third of ‘em. But I’m going to read them all. I call it my Life’s Library. Every summer since I was little, I’ve gone to garage sales and bought all the books that looked interesting. So I always have something to read.'" -John Green