- About the Contributors
- Chapter Abstracts
- The Fundamentals of Children’s Literature Criticism: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass
- Randall Jarrell’s The Bat-Poet: Poets, Children, and Readers in an Age of Prose
- Arnold Lobel’s <i>Frog and Toad Together</i> as a Primer for Critical Literacy
- Blending Genres and Crossing Audiences: Harry Potter and the Future of Literary Fiction
- Wanda’s Wonderland: Wanda Gág and Her Millions of Cats
- A Cross-Written Harlem Renaissance: Langston Hughes’s The Dream Keeper
- Dumbo, Disney, and Difference: Walt Disney Productions and Film as Children’s Literature
- Redrawing the Comic-Strip Child: Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts as Cross-Writing
- The Cat in the Hippie: Dr. Seuss, Nonsense, the Carnivalesque, and the Sixties Rebel
- Wild Things and Wolf Dreams: Maurice Sendak, Picture-Book Psychologist
- Reimagining the Monkey King in Comics: Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese
- Froggy’s Little Brother: Nineteenth-Century Evangelical Writing for Children and the Politics of Poverty
- History in Fiction: Contextualization as Interpretation in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped
- <i>Tom Sawyer</i>, Audience, and American Indians
- Living with the Kings: Class, Taste, and Family Formation in Five Little Peppers and How They Grew
- A Daughter of the House: Discourses of Adoption in L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables
- Where in America Are You, God?: Judy Blume, Margaret Simon, and American National Identity
- Let Freedom Ring: Land, Liberty, Literacy, and Lore in Mildred Taylor’s Logan Family Novels
- “What Are Young People to Think?”: The Subject of Immigration and the Immigrant Subject in Francisco Jiménez’s The Circuit
- “My Book and Heart Shall Never Part”: Reading, Printing, and Circulation in the New England Primer
- Castaways: The Swiss Family Robinson, Child Bookmakers, and the Possibilities of Literary Flotsam
- Tom Brown and the Schoolboy Crush: Boyhood Desire, Hero Worship, and the Boys’ School Story
- Peter Pan as Children’s Theatre: The Issue of Audience
- <i>Jade</i> and the Tomboy Tradition
- Happily Ever After: Free to Be … You and Me, Second-Wave Feminism, and 1970s American Children’s Culture
- Paradise Refigured: Innocence and Experience in His Dark Materials
Abstract and Keywords
This article introduces the graphic novel, and Asian-American children's literature more generally, through Gene Luen Yang's American Born Chinese. It also describes the importance of folklore to Yang's narrative and, in so doing, places ancient mythology in conversation with postmodern popular culture, highlighting ethnic stereotypes in order to call them into question. American Born Chinese retells the Chinese folk story of the Monkey King in a new light in terms of both its content and format. The tale of the Monkey King has gained a significant position in Asian-diasporic and Asian-American communities as a result of numerous literary reconfigurations. Yang has presented American Born Chinese to young adults as well as to other readers, with an invitation to rethink the implications of children's literature within the context of identity formation and transnational mythology.
Lan Dong is the author of Reading Amy Tan (2009), Who’s the Real Mulan: The Woman Warrior’s Cross-Cultural Journey (tentative title, forthcoming 2010), and several articles and book chapters on Asian and Asian American literature and films, children’s literature, and comics. She is currently editing a collection of critical essays on transnational Asian American heroines and another volume on teaching graphic narratives in the literature classroom. She holds a PhD in Comparative Literature and is Assistant Professor of English at University of Illinois Springfield where she teaches Asian American literature and culture, world literature, and graphic narratives.
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