Kid reviews for American Born Chinese

Common Sense says

First graphic novel to win major child lit awards.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 8 reviews
Teen, 17 years old Written byoctober1985 July 24, 2009
Funny graphic novel, may have some objectional content but it's fairly tame
Teen, 15 years old Written byDechean November 30, 2008
Teen, 15 years old Written byDivine_Munchie_99 July 7, 2009

Not that racist

Not TOO racist. The whole stereotype thing is played for laughs. Take a chill pill, Common Sense! You really need it! Oh, and there's a scene where a guy pees on another guy's hand, which was in the form of 5 gold pillers.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Teen, 16 years old Written bybradley4846 September 6, 2010

Bad, Just Bad

THis was the worst summer reading book ive ever read. It wasn't that it was innaproprite, it was just an odd book. The only thing good about it is it took me a half hour. There is some minor language
Teen, 14 years old Written byTheAlmightyCastform January 6, 2018

Stories about Chinese myths, going to a foreign school, and dealing with relatives tied together with a slightly confusing ending.

This graphic novel is one of those books where there are several separate stories that come together at the end. I will call them “the Monkey King story”, “the Jin-Wang story”, and “the Danny and Chin-Kee story”. They appear to have no relation to each other until the climax. The Monkey King story is about the egotistical titular character trying to prove himself to the gods and “He Who Is” in the ancient times. The Jin-Wang story is about the titular character going to an American school from Chinatown, where kids and teachers make fun of him for his ethnicity. Th Danny and Chin-Kee story is about Danny, a boy who has to deal with his cousin, Chin-Kee’s visits. Chin-Kee embodies all of the Chinese negative stereotypes, and only one positive stereotype (He knows about everything except how to be civilized). The Monkey King story is narrarated in the third person, the Jin-Wang story is narrarated in the first person, and the Danny and Chin-Kee story has no narration, but is instead presented as (a parody of) a sitcom, complete with a laugh track at the bottom of the panel, which is genius, showing how nearly every sitcom would present Chin-Kee’s stereotypes as humor. In all three stories, the characters go through a lot of development throughout the book. The Jin-Wang story is obviously the stand-out one, with the Danny and Chin-Kee story being the least interesting until the climax, when it all makes sense, The book has a slightly confusing ending, which you won’t hear about here. This, overall, is a pretty good read. However, in the Monkey King story, a monk gets stabbed through the chest (with blood), so be warned of that.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Teen, 16 years old Written byRuby Ahdoot April 13, 2017

A book with hidden metaphors

In this graphic novel, I did not love the story line because of the three different perspectives which interrupted each chapter. It did include important themes such as identity, transformation, and acculturation. In addition, it contained many hidden meanings such as using "I" instead of "you," which were hard to understand at times. There was one violent scene where a monk was stabbed through the chest and roasted over a spit, but he survived.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Kid, 10 years old February 20, 2017

Great book for teens!! They should seriously read it!!

This book is great, although there is some things parents need to know before they just let their kid read it. There is some mild language, and a lot of the parts, especially towards the end of the book, are confusing. A kid moves from China town to a different town, and is sometimes made fun of for being Chinese. Later another boy comes in from Thailand, and at first the main character doesn't like the boy, but then they start to be friends. The book also includes and ancient Chinese legend called Journey to the West: The Monkey King. It is a great story and they add a lot of humor in the book. Although there is one part where a Buddhist monk is stabbed through the stomach and blood is shown, but is then helped by Sun Wukong, aka The Monkey King. If I were a parent, I would read the book first before I'd let my kid read it to see if it's appropriate. I recommend this to all teens ages 13 and up!! :)

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Language
Teen, 17 years old Written bywizardortitan August 27, 2018

A great graphic novel for anyone old enough to understand/relate to it.

I studied this graphic novel for a class and greatly enjoyed it. It has a strong message about being true to yourself and the circumstances of your birth. i recommend it for those who are at least of middle school age. There is some mild fantasy violence (there is one illustration of a bloody wound, but the rest is very mild), language, and infrequent innuendo. Young children may not be able to understand the racial stereotyping that is being parodied with the character of "Chin-Kee", but it can be a great discussion starter for families and older readers.