American Born Chinese follows the lives of three different people who stories will collide in a way you never expected. Jin Wang, a middle school Chinese-American student, faces bullying and discrimination because of his race in school. Danny, a white high school student, tries to do damage control when his cousin Chin-Kee comes for his annual visit. Lastly, the Monkey King faces several hard life lessons about what it means to be a monkey.
I really enjoyed this book. This graphic novel has a lot to say about the experiences of Chinese-American students in America today. Not only does it makes great social commentary, but it is a quick and hilarious read. The images are easy to follow along with, and they will keep you entertained. I give this book a 5 out of 5. I would highly recommend this graphic novel to all my students.
Common Sense Media: 13+ years
The March trilogy, written by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell, explores the Civil Right’s movement in America through the eyes of John Lewis. This trilogy is a powerful showcase of the good, bad, and extremely ugly moments in America’s history as civilians and leaders fought for equality. Each book focuses on a different sector of events, such as the Greensboro sit-ins.
This trilogy is really wonderful. I love this current movement to put important historical events and stories into graphic novels. It makes the reading engaging, and it adds the right about of visualization. I would give these books a 5 out of 5. If you are looking to be more informed about American history, or you just want an engaging read, this one is for you.
Common Sense Media: 12+ years
I am a huge fan of graphic novels! Sometimes there is nothing better than reverting back to a child-like state and picking up a book filled with pictures. I think graphic novels are great for those looking for something different, kids that struggle with comprehension and informational texts that would ordinarily be boring. So as you might be able to tell, I was particularly excited about reading El Deafo.
El Deafo by Cece Bell is a graphic novel about her childhood. Being deaf, Cece faced many challenges when it came to friends, doing well in school, and feeling accepted by others. El Deafo is funny and filled with relatable moments about growing up and discovering oneself.
If you are looking a lighthearted novel for a lazy Sunday, I would definitely recommend this one. I love that Bell incorporates so many childhood moments that we can all relate to. I also love the unique perspective of what it is like growing up with a hearing impairment. I know that I personally had a lot of misconceptions about hearing impairments until I read this novel. I would give this book a 5 out of 5. Great, easy read!
Common Sense Media Rating: 9 yrs +