Book Review: American Born Chinese, by Gene Luen Yang

Aside from the glowing recommendations, I didn’t know much about the book. Which is why I was just a little confused at the three storylines that emerged as I started the book. Once I found my footing, though (and that didn’t take long), I got into the rhythm of this surprisingly profound fable. And that’s the best way I can describe this book: surprisingly profound. It’s about fitting in, the need to belong, the trouble we all feel as outsiders, but ultimately it’s about accepting OURSELVES for who we are and who we are meant to be. The author uses the specific circumstance of race to tell this tale, but I truly feel the meaning can be applied to anyone who has ever struggled with their identity.

This was an extremely satisfying read, and just one more notch in my growing respect for graphic novels.


  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: First Second; Revised edition (September 5, 2006)
  • Recognition: Finalist, 2006 National Book Awards; Winner, Michael L. Printz Award, 2007; many other “top pick” or “best of” awards!