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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 wayif they want fix the disasters their lives have become.
Gene Yang began drawing comic books in the fifth grade. In 1997, he received the Xeric Grant, a prestigious comics industry grant, for Gordon Yamamoto and the King of the Geeks, his first comics work as an adult. He has since written and drawn a number of titles, including Duncan’s Kingdom (with art by Derek Kirk Kim) and The Rosary Comic Book. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his lovely wife and children and teaches at a Roman Catholic high school.
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“Gene Luen Yang has created that rare article: a youthful tale with something new to say about American youth.”—New York Times Book Review
“Like Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye and Laurence Yep’s Dragonwings, this novel explores the impact of the American dream on those outside the dominant culture in a finely wrought story that is an effective combination of humor and drama.”—School Library Journal, Starred Review
“. . . brilliantly written and designed, sophisticated and wise.”—The Miami Herald
“. . . one of the most powerful and entertaining works of literature to be published this year . . .”—The San Francisco Chronicle
“Yang accomplishes the remarkable feat of practicing what he preaches with this book: accept who you are and you'll already have reached out to others.”—Publishers Weekly
“Kids fighting an uphill battle to convince parents and teachers of the literary merit of graphic novels will do well to share this title.”—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Each of the characters is flawed but familiar, and, in a clever postmodern twist, all share a deep, unforeseen connection. Yang helps the humor shine by using his art to exaggerate or oppose the words, creating a synthesis that marks an accomplished graphic storyteller. The stories have a simple, engaging sweep to them, but their weighty subjects––shame, racism, and friendship––receive thoughtful, powerful examination.”—Booklist
“This graphic novel could be especially cathartic for teens and adults of Asian descent, but people of any ethnicity would find themselves reflected in the universal themes of self-acceptance, peer pressure, and racial tensions.”—Voice of Youth Advocates