Hi, I'm Mrs. F-B!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Award winners - Copper Sun by Sharon Draper and American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

Copper Sun won the Coretta Scott King award and is a story of a young woman taken from her home in Africa and brought to the US as a slave. As with most slavery stories, it is difficult to read because slaves were treated so badly by most people. They were not considered human beings at all, and it's very disturbing to read about the awful things that were done to them. This book is not very graphic in most areas, but even inferring what is being spoken about is hard. That being said, I think books that discuss difficult issues are powerful, and this book is no exception. I would definitely recommend this book, especially to 8th graders who will be studying the Civil War this year.

American Born Chinese is a graphic novel (parents, we used to call these comic books, they're just longer now). There are three sort of different strands to this book - a Chinese fable, Jin Wang, a young man who's trying to fit in as a Chinese American and struggling with racism, and Danny whose very stereotypical Chinese cousin comes to visit him every year. It's a little confusing how these things fit together, but they are tied together nicely at the end. I have to say I'm not big graphic novel fan myself - I'm really into characterization and creating relationship with characters which I personally just don't get with this genre, but it's a well done graphic novel and fans of the genre are sure to love it AND learn from it. 7th grade and up for this one.

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