Young Adult Lit/Crit

February 18, 2008

American Born Chinese put into use

Filed under: Uncategorized — jexter1 @ 9:23 am

Hello All,

On Friday I had the opportunity to discuss with my student (a 16 year-old female that I tutor) the graphic novel “American Born Chinese.” I loaned the book to her, which she finished the same day I gave it to her, I found out. She told me that she thinks the book is appropriate for 11th and 12th grade curriculum, both English and social studies classes. The use of racial stereotypes and the in-your-face exaggeration of what Asians look like from Caucasians could be discussed in a history lesson as well as a analysis of the text in an English class. My student had a tough time expressing her thoughts on the novel as a story, but she showed it to me in her smile and perky voice while discussing the book.

Additionally, this young lady has Aspergers, which entails a problem with attentiveness, raw (and occasionally unnecessary) honesty and trouble with exposure to new and unfamiliar territory. Another struggle for her is being motivated to do work that an authority figure has assigned to her. She already had a penchant for graphic novels, but one given to her by an educator was new. I was pleased to see her willingness to read it, despite the fact that I, the educator, asked her to do so. This is physical proof that the way to reach a young reader (struggling or not) is by CONNECTING with his/her interests, relationships and life experiences.



1 Comment »

  1. Jess, thanks for sharing this story. ABC clearly made a connection with this girl. Keep us posted on other books you share with her that also establish a connection. KES

    Comment by sunyprof — February 18, 2008 @ 9:25 am

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