American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

American Born Chinese Jin Wang is the new kid at Mayflower Elementary. He is one of only three other Asian American kids, including shy Suzy Nakamura and brainy Wei-Chen Sun. Though Jin is friends with Suzy and Wei-Chen, he wishes he were as popular as blond-haired, blue-eyed Greg, who seems to have everything, including the attention of Amelia Harris, the girl Jin has a crush on. But when Greg asks a special “favor” of Jin that involves “staying with his own kind,” Jin decides he’s has enough of other people’s assumptions of who he is and where he comes from. Channeling the strength and cunning of legendary Chinese trickster, Monkey King, Jin finds a way to break free of negative Asian stereotypes and learn to be comfortable in his own skin. This brightly colored, charismatic graphic novel is rich in wisdom and folklore, and ripe with humor and pop culture references. You don’t have to be American Born Chinese to appreciate the universal message of acceptance, self-esteem, and identity in Gene Yang’s thought-provoking and multi-layered story.

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