You are king, but have no kingdom. You are chinese, but want to become white. Your name is chin-kee but you are, wait what? In the book, American born chinese, the story of three totally different people are told, coming together to make a wonderful story of how they all came together. This is no ordinary youth comic book, but it tells the other side of being a youth as a american and as a chinese american, and what either will do to reach the same goal.
The story starts out with the great tale of the monkey king. Who he is and how he became the most powerful being in the universe. Through his thousands of years of training, he became know as a king without kingdom, and had to fight to earn respect. But in the end, all he ever wanted was to be the king. He fought every enemy that came his way. He soon became invincible and no one dare stand up to him. But in the end, he was still a monkey. All the goddesses and gods of the universe came together to overthrow the monkey king, but all he wanted was to be respected.
Jin wang is a chinese boy who has an incredible passion for an american girl. He and his best friend Wei-chen go through years of school being the only asians, but their school drama could not be any different from any other boy. Throughout the book, they go through ups and downs as any good friends, all the time growing and secretly wishing they could be like all the other american boys. All the time trying to get that american girl.
Chin-kee comes to visit his cousin Danny every year from china. He is an unusual boy who becomes very popular at Danny’s school for his extreme show of culture. The thing is, Danny is awfully embarrassed by him. Every year, after Chin-kee leaves, Danny is so embarrassed by his classmates that he has to change schools, and has to start all over again. As anyone who has ever gone to a new school, you know how though it is to switch schools, to make new friends and fit in. And Danny, simply does not look forward to this part of the year.
In Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese, a sense of racial exclusion and racial inclusion in the community of high school is made where all the character, different as they might be, come together to get what they want. This award winning book show the struggle of that many teens go through while they try to fit in. With every character being a comical and interesting, there is something original to say about youth in america, in a not original way.