American Born Chinese

Character list

Tze-Yo-Tzuh: Tze-Yo-Tzuh is the creator of the universe and all of the deities.

Wong Lai-Tsao: Based upon Xuanzang from Journey to the West. Wong Lai-Tsao is a monk sent on a journey for Tze-Yo-Tzuh. He is promised the Monkey King as a disciple.

Jin Wang: Jin Wang is a Chinese American boy who wants to fit in with the white students at his new school in a suburb. He doesn't like talking too much at school, especially in front of Amelia, the girl he has a crush on. He is finally encouraged by his friend Wei-Chen, to ask her out. But this relationship doesn't remain long. Greg, Amelia's friend, asks Jin to break up with her because he doesn't think Jin is right for Amelia.

Amelia Harris: Amelia Harris is a white American girl who is the classmate of Jin and Wei-Chen. Jin has a crush on her.

Wei-Chen Sun: Wei-Chen Sun is a Taiwanese immigrant who slowly becomes Jin's best friend. His girlfriend is Suzy Nakamura.

Suzy Nakamura: Suzy Nakamura is a young Japanese American girl in Jin and Wei-Chen's class. She starts dating Wei-Chen in middle school.

Greg: Greg is a white American boy and a friend of Amelia Harris. He is disapproving of Jin's relationship with Amelia.

Danny: Danny is a white "average" American boy. Danny is always really irritated and embarrassed by his Asian cousin Chin-Kee. Since Chin-Kee's annual visits began when Danny was in eighth grade, Danny has had to change schools every year because the appearance and mannerisms of Chin-Kee screws up everything about him and makes him a terribly unpopular weirdo. Danny also has a fight against Chin-Kee toward the end of the book because he can't stand Chin-Kee anymore, but Chin-Kee beats him badly with various Kung Fu skills; however, he still knocks off Chin-Kee's mask, which reveals his true identity as Monkey King. Danny actually turns out to be Jin Wang, under a new identity.

Chin-Kee: Chin-Kee is a startling caricature of negative Chinese stereotypes. He is Danny's larger-than-life Chinese cousin who, to Danny's embarrassment, comes to visit every year. Chin-Kee wears antiquated Chinese clothing, the traditional queue hairstyle, and literally has yellow skin, buck teeth, and eyes squinting so tightly that the pupils cannot be seen. He loudly speaks extraordinary "Chinglish" at all times, likes to play tricks on people, and possesses a frightening sexual appetite. Chin-Kee's name sounds like the ethnic insult "chinky" when said aloud.

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