I checked American Born Chinese out of the library during the tail end of my graphic novel experiments; I suspected it might be too old for my oldest, but the idea of it interested me, so I decided it was worth a try. It didn’t take long to realize that my suspicions were correct–it’s WAY too old for my 9-year-old–but it was certainly interesting!
For much of the novel, American Born Chinese is really three separate stories. One is obviously folklore, while the other two take place in contemporary schools (whether junior or senior high was a bit murky). Gene Luen Yang obviously has much to say about the Asian-American experience, and he skillfully develops his three tales into a surprising conclusion; unfortunately for him, the stray penis joke was off putting for me. For older boys, however, I imagine this would be an engaging and entertaining look at culture clash. My one complaint about the story as a whole is that it ended very abruptly, but overall, I think this one will be a hit with its target audience–which is considerably younger and, well, male-r than I am.