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Comics for All Ages: American Born Chinese

Find American Born Chinese at your library!

Other books by Gene Yang

American Born Chinese

Yang, Gene Luen. American Born Chinese. Color by Lark Pien. Square Fish: New York, 2006. Print.

American Born Chinese cover

American Born Chinese weaves together three seemingly unrelated stories to show readers how all of our decisions and choices in life are interconnected. The lives of Jin Wang, the only Chinese-American student in his school who just wants to love all things American, Danny, an all-American boy who is trying to deal with his obnoxious cousin Chin-Kee’s visits, and the Monkey King, who is just trying to join the immortal Gods in Heaven, all illustrate how everyone struggles to fit in with their friends and family and just how to fix how their lives have turned out.

Visual and textual style: panels in a box, organized, stereotypes, anthropomorphic

Potential readers/appeal factors: high school and up, coming-of-age, struggling to fit in, middle school and up, very relatable story, fantasy, anthropomorphic


  • ALA Best Books for Young Adults
  • YALSA Great Graphic Novel for Teens
  • YALSA Outstanding Books for the College Bound and Lifelong Learners
  • Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year
  • Best Graphic Novel of the Year
  • CYBIL Award
  • Reuben Award Winner
  • National Book Awards – Finalist
  • NPR Holiday Pick
  • San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year
  • Chinese American Librarians Association Best Book Award for 2006/2007
  • Booklist Editors’ Choice
  • Booklist top 10 Graphic Novel for Youth
  • Library Media Editor’s Choice
  • Publisher’s Weekly Comics Week Best Comic of the Year
  • Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year
  • School Library Journal Best Books of the Year
  • New York Public Library Books for the Teen Ages
  • Time Magazine Top Ten Comic Pick of the Year
  • American Born Chinese won:
    • 2007 Michael L. Printz Award
    • 2007 Eisner Award Best Graphic Album – New
  • American Born Chinesenominated for:
    • 2006 National Book Award in the category of Young People’s Literature
  • Gene Yang
    • Got the Xeric Grant for Gordon Yamamoto and the King of Geeks in 1997
    • The Eternal Smile won an Eisner Awrds
    • Boxers & Saints was a 2013 National Book Award Nominee and a 2014 LA Times Book Prize Nominee
  • Lark Pien won:
    • 2007 Harvey Award for Best Colorist for American Born Chinese
    • 2009 Best New Talent from the Friends of Lulu

Other pertinent information

  • American Born Chinese is three tales all woven together.
  • Gene Yang has a website at that has his blog, Twitter feed, comics list, events, contact information, and list of websites.

Subject Guide

More books by Gene Yang

Boxers &  Saints is a two volume project Yang put together to highlight the Boxer Rebellion fought in China that began on November 1899 and ended on September 7, 1901.