American Born Chinese is a graphic novel that was written by the American author Gene Luen Yang and published by First Second Book Publishers in 2006. The graphic novel was illustrated by the cartoonist Lark Pien.
The graphic novel contains three stories. One is about an ancient Chinese legend. Another tells of Jin Wang, a child of Chinese immigrants, and his struggles to fit in. The third tells of an American boy named Danny who is troubled by the annual visits by her Chinese cousin, who displays many stereotypical characteristics of Chinese men and women. The latter two stories seem unrelated until Danny is revealed to Jin Wang.
Upon its release, American Born Chinese received nothing short of an onslaught of awards and positive critical response. Most prominently, it was a finalist for the National Book Award for the year of 2006 in the category of Young People's Literature, but it was also the winner of the Publishers Weekly Comics Best Comic of the Year, the 2007 Eisner Award for Best Graphic Album: New, the Best Book Award from The Chinese American Librarians Association of the year of 2006 and 2007, the San Francisco Chronicle's Best Book of the Year, the 2007 Michael L. Printz Award, and the Amazon.com Best Graphic Novel/Comic of the Year. It was also included in a number of lists, including the Booklist Top Ten Graphic Novels for Young Adults, and TIME Magazine's Top Ten Comics of the Year. In addition, Lark Pien won the 2007 Harvey Award for Best Cartoonist in response to her work on the comic.
This literary work is considered one of the most comprehensive explanations of the prejudice that exists towards the Chinese in America, whether immigrants or American-born, and their struggles to fit in and lead a good life. It is also used in shcools as a resource to help students that are struggling academically by giving them a motivation to learn.