Let’s face it, 2006 was the year of FUN HOME and AMERICAN BORN CHINESE, both of them smashing through all genre barriers to announce…WIN! KUDO! Comics aren’t just for kids anymore. AMERICAN BORN CHINESE has racked up yet another prestigious first:
AMERICAN BORN CHINESE by Gene Luen Yang (First Second Books, an imprint of Roaring Brook Press; September 2006; $16.95; ISBN: 13-978-1-59643-152-0) is the first graphic novel to receive the prestigious Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in young adult literature, announced today by the Young Adult Library Services Association at the American Library Association’s midwinter conference in Seattle.
In addition to the Printz Award, AMERICAN BORN CHINESE was nominated for a National Book Award for excellence in Young People’s Literature in 2006, and was the first graphic novel ever to be nominated in any category the award’s 57 year history. Other accolades include: Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2006; a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year; a Booklist Editor’s Choice Book; a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year; an NPR Holiday Pick, and Best Graphic Novel/Comic of the year by Amazon.com.
AMERICAN BORN CHINESE addresses issues of cultural stereotypes, racism, and what it means to be “American,” through the story of Jin Wang, who moves to a new neighborhood with his family only to discover that he’s the only Chinese-American student at his new school. It is a universal story of acceptance, alienation, and friendship told as a post-modern fable.
Hailed Publishers Weekly, “This much-anticipated, affecting store about growing up different is more than just the story of a Chinese-American childhood: it’s a fable for every kid born into a body and a life they wished they could escape… Yang accomplishes the remarkable feat of practicing what he preaches with this book: accept who you are and you’ll already have reached out to others.”