American Born Chinese is a phenomenal graphic novel and true pleasure to read. Yang weaves three deceptively different stories into a poignant tale. Through Jin, one can better understand the isolation of being the new kid at school, as well as a different ethnicity than the majority; the Monkey King fable allows one to discover China’s rich storytelling history; and Chin-Kee can show the stereotypes that many Chinese are still subject to.
American Born Chinese speaks to anyone who has the difficult task of reconciling opposite ends of their identity; celebrating their heritage while still fitting in with the whole. But I find the great cost many of us will attempt to accomplish normalcy speaks to a far wider audience, especially since American society still retains rigid views of what’s in and what’s out.
The art is simple and clean, elegantly contrasting with the complex themes hiding within; I finished the novel in two sittings but I enjoyed every page. Bottom line, American Born Chinese is worth the read. 4.5/5