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Re: [middle_school_lit] Re:American Born Chinese

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  • Brenda Kahn
    I liked American Born Chinese very much on the first read through but did pause when the Chin-Kee character was introduced. Prior to reading an article in the
    Message 1 of 17 , Feb 1, 2007
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      I liked American Born Chinese very much on the first read through but did pause when the Chin-Kee character was introduced. Prior to reading an article in the New York Times about the Clique, Gossip Girls and Insiders series, I would have breezed right past it and assumed that my young readers were as horrified about the behavior/ language or stereotyping as I. Now, these passages give me pause. I worry now about what message the kids take away when they read these sorts of books for pleasure. Someone, Shari, I think said that some books need to be taught, not read. Now, when I see a girl crazy into the Clique series, I stop and ask her about her impressions of the book. I worry more now.
       
      On a side but somewhat related note, I am attending the New York Public Library Bookfest on Saturday. The theme of the day is graphic novels. They are having a panel discussion of gn authors in the afternoon. For those of you unfamiliar with the day, there is a keynote speaker to kick the day off, in this case it's M.T. Anderson (yes, I know, he doesn't write gns). Then, everyone breaks up into about nine or so themed book discussion groups, not all of which are gn's. I happened to sign up for the "crossover" group and we had to read five gns. I pushed myself to join this group even though some of the "real" books being discussed in the other discussion groups are fantastic. I have a lot of trouble reading gns and wanted to hear what others say about them.
       
      Anyway, the ones that were chosen for this group are, for the most part appropriate for middle schoo andI was really into one of them called The Runaways, when one of the characters made an antisemitic comment that I just could not overlook and now I am struggling over whether to make the book part of our school collection. I am looking forward to hearing what others in the group have to say about the book. That wasn't the only questionable dialogue but I can't come up with the other example.
       
      Maybe I am over-analyzing. Back to American Born Chinese. I am very anxious to hear what my gn fans think of this book. There is a waiting list for it and they are psyched that two gns won library awards although I doubt that my guy gn maniacs will read To Dance (lol).
       
      Sorry for the disjointed post. I had to stop to watch Gray's Anatomy.
       
      Brenda Kahn

      Sara Oremland <sarao1977@...> wrote:
      By an amazing coincidence my order with AMERICAN BORN CHINESE arrived on Tuesday, which gave me just enough time to read it!

      It was a great read, easy to enjoy in one gulp.  I loved the graphic style of the illustrations and in particular the narrative voice of the Jin section (My favorite visual joke of that section were the cosmetic lab animals and the girl responsible for bringing them to science class). 

      My one concern with the Chin-Kee sections is that some kids may miss that the intent was to skewer a stereotype, not endorse it.  Yes, the drawings and "Engrish" are way over the top, and yes Chin-Kee is not who or what he seems, but I missed the "laugh track" at the bottom the first time through.  Still, though, the ending sends a clear message about friendship and cultural identity that kids will both understand and appreciate. 

      I'm booktalking it on Monday and I can't wait to see what the takers think of it!

      sara
      LMT, El Dorado Middle School
      Concord, CA

      Access over 1 million songs - Yahoo! Music Unlimited.



      Brenda Kahn
      Librarian/ Webmaster
      NBCT Candidate
      Haworth Public School
      Haworth, NJ


      Looking for earth-friendly autos?
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    • Karen Stearns
      Hello Brenda, I invited a Chinese professor to talk with my class tonight about ABC...and there is a non-trad (older) Chinese woman in the class as well. The
      Message 2 of 17 , Feb 1, 2007
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        Hello Brenda, I invited a Chinese professor to talk with my class tonight about ABC...and there is a non-trad (older) Chinese woman in the class as well. The prof's 11 year old daughter also read the book, liked it well enough (because it was "funny") and neither seemed concerned about the Chin-Kee character sending the wrong message.

        They read the Chin-Kee character as stereotypical but as purposely so ... one said that much of the characterization is "right on," if exaggerated of course...

        I felt both of these women got Yang's tone...and even though they were sensitive about the portrayal of stereotyped Chinese characters they weren't especially offended.

        Have you read what Yang himself says about Chin-Kee on one of his blogs...I'll post the link if you don't see it.

        It's late!!

        Karen

        .....................................................................................
        Karen Stearns, Ph.D.
        Assistant Professor
        English/Adolescence English Education (2072)
        114-B Old Main
        SUNY College at Cortland
        Cortland, NY 13045
        607-753-2072
        stearnsk@...
        .......................................................................................



        -----Original Message-----
        From: middle_school_lit@yahoogroups.com on behalf of Brenda Kahn
        Sent: Thu 2/1/2007 10:14 PM
        To: middle_school_lit@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [middle_school_lit] Re:American Born Chinese

        I liked American Born Chinese very much on the first read through but did pause when the Chin-Kee character was introduced. Prior to reading an article in the New York Times about the Clique, Gossip Girls and Insiders series, I would have breezed right past it and assumed that my young readers were as horrified about the behavior/ language or stereotyping as I. Now, these passages give me pause. I worry now about what message the kids take away when they read these sorts of books for pleasure. Someone, Shari, I think said that some books need to be taught, not read. Now, when I see a girl crazy into the Clique series, I stop and ask her about her impressions of the book. I worry more now.

        On a side but somewhat related note, I am attending the New York Public Library Bookfest on Saturday. The theme of the day is graphic novels. They are having a panel discussion of gn authors in the afternoon. For those of you unfamiliar with the day, there is a keynote speaker to kick the day off, in this case it's M.T. Anderson (yes, I know, he doesn't write gns). Then, everyone breaks up into about nine or so themed book discussion groups, not all of which are gn's. I happened to sign up for the "crossover" group and we had to read five gns. I pushed myself to join this group even though some of the "real" books being discussed in the other discussion groups are fantastic. I have a lot of trouble reading gns and wanted to hear what others say about them.

        Anyway, the ones that were chosen for this group are, for the most part appropriate for middle schoo andI was really into one of them called The Runaways, when one of the characters made an antisemitic comment that I just could not overlook and now I am struggling over whether to make the book part of our school collection. I am looking forward to hearing what others in the group have to say about the book. That wasn't the only questionable dialogue but I can't come up with the other example.

        Maybe I am over-analyzing. Back to American Born Chinese. I am very anxious to hear what my gn fans think of this book. There is a waiting list for it and they are psyched that two gns won library awards although I doubt that my guy gn maniacs will read To Dance (lol).

        Sorry for the disjointed post. I had to stop to watch Gray's Anatomy.

        Brenda Kahn

        Sara Oremland <sarao1977@...> wrote:
        By an amazing coincidence my order with AMERICAN BORN CHINESE arrived on Tuesday, which gave me just enough time to read it!

        It was a great read, easy to enjoy in one gulp. I loved the graphic style of the illustrations and in particular the narrative voice of the Jin section (My favorite visual joke of that section were the cosmetic lab animals and the girl responsible for bringing them to science class).

        My one concern with the Chin-Kee sections is that some kids may miss that the intent was to skewer a stereotype, not endorse it. Yes, the drawings and "Engrish" are way over the top, and yes Chin-Kee is not who or what he seems, but I missed the "laugh track" at the bottom the first time through. Still, though, the ending sends a clear message about friendship and cultural identity that kids will both understand and appreciate.

        I'm booktalking it on Monday and I can't wait to see what the takers think of it!

        sara
        LMT, El Dorado Middle School
        Concord, CA

        ---------------------------------
        Access over 1 million songs - Yahoo! Music Unlimited.




        Brenda Kahn
        Librarian/ Webmaster
        NBCT Candidate
        Haworth Public School
        Haworth, NJ

        ---------------------------------
        Looking for earth-friendly autos?
        Browse Top Cars by "Green Rating" at Yahoo! Autos' Green Center.
      • ginnywhitefl
        Before February is over, I want to say that I probably would not have read ABC without this group s recommendation. It is the first graphic novel I ve read.
        Message 3 of 17 , Feb 21, 2007
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          Before February is over, I want to say that I probably would not have read ABC without this
          group's recommendation. It is the first graphic novel I've read. I was reluctant as I was
          never a big fan of comic books even as a kid, but this was so much better than what I
          remember.

          Much to my delight, I thorougly enjoyed the artwork, the story, and the humor of this
          book. While some may see a graphic novel as easier to read - at least fewer words, I
          found myself looking carefully at each frame and seeing more nuances than I expected.
          With my 8th grade students currently complaining about the wordiness of To Kill A
          Mockingbird, I was really aware of the thought that went into conveying a message with
          not that many words.

          I will definitely pass it on to students (and my own 20-something son who will love it).

          I also finished Fairest. My favorite part of it was the songs. As I became more accustomed
          to seeing them, I also began to hear them in my head. It became increasingly interesting
          to me to think about how I would "sing" about my daily life. I'm wondering if there's a way
          to use an excerpt from this book as part of our writing poetry.

          Now I feel better that I actually read and said something about the three February books.
          Thanks to all - I'm much enjoying reading all that is posted.

          Ginny White
          Gifted Language Arts, Grades 6-8
          Fernandina Beach Middle School
          Fernandina Beach, FL
        • Dawn Marie Ickes
          Hi, I have just joined your group. I am glad to see a discussion on Graphic Novels. Just finished a Young Adult Lit class in which I composed a graphic novel
          Message 4 of 17 , Mar 10, 2007
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            Hi, I have just joined your group. I am glad to see a discussion on
            Graphic Novels. Just finished a Young Adult Lit class in which I
            composed a graphic novel unit that I did complete with my 5th grade
            class. THEY LOVED IT!! We used Howl's Moving Castle. The original
            plain text version was written by Dianna Wynne Jones and the graphic
            novel version is broken downinto 4 volumes by Hayao Miyazaki. He
            also did the movie/anime. (Miyazaki is also responsible for Spirited
            Away.
            I fell in love with the idea of using gns in classroom after all the
            research that I have read. This is a great idea for this generation
            of kids. I would be happy to forward info and chat with anyone
            interested. Myabe we can bounce some ideas off of eachother.


            --- In middle_school_lit@yahoogroups.com, "keyze3" <keyze3@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi to all,
            >
            > I just finished this book and I have a couple of
            comments/questions. First, this is my
            > intiial exposure to graphic novels. I guess I've been hiding under
            a rock or something.... I
            > had heard of them, but I hadn't explored them and wasn't quite sure
            what they were. And,
            > I haven't seen them at our school yet. I'm wondering how many
            teachers have these in
            > their classrooms. I would think these would appeal to male readers
            a great deal.
            >
            > Secondly, I was wondering about the character Chin Kee. This is a
            very dated stereotype.
            > How do you think the kids would perceive this character?
            >
            > I'd appreciate hearing other readers' perspectives.
            >
            > Thanks,
            > Karin Foster
            > Shorecliffs Middle School
            > San Clemente CA
            > 8th grade teacher - History/English
            >
          • Cari Spitz Ashford
            Can anyone give me a formal definition of a graphic novel? Is there a difference between a graphic novel and a comic book? Thanks. Cari Ashford Minnesota
            Message 5 of 17 , Mar 10, 2007
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              Can anyone give me a formal definition of a graphic novel?  Is there a difference between a graphic novel and a comic book?
               
              Thanks.
               
              Cari Ashford
              Minnesota

              Dawn Marie Ickes <dawnmariei@...> wrote:
              Hi, I have just joined your group. I am glad to see a discussion on
              Graphic Novels. Just finished a Young Adult Lit class in which I
              composed a graphic novel unit that I did complete with my 5th grade
              class. THEY LOVED IT!! We used Howl's Moving Castle. The original
              plain text version was written by Dianna Wynne Jones and the graphic
              novel version is broken downinto 4 volumes by Hayao Miyazaki. He
              also did the movie/anime. (Miyazaki is also responsible for Spirited
              Away.
              I fell in love with the idea of using gns in classroom after all the
              research that I have read. This is a great idea for this generation
              of kids. I would be happy to forward info and chat with anyone
              interested. Myabe we can bounce some ideas off of eachother.

              --- In middle_school_ lit@yahoogroups. com, "keyze3" <keyze3@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi to all,
              >
              > I just finished this book and I have a couple of
              comments/questions. First, this is my
              > intiial exposure to graphic novels. I guess I've been hiding under
              a rock or something... . I
              > had heard of them, but I hadn't explored them and wasn't quite sure
              what they were. And,
              > I haven't seen them at our school yet. I'm wondering how many
              teachers have these in
              > their classrooms. I would think these would appeal to male readers
              a great deal.
              >
              > Secondly, I was wondering about the character Chin Kee. This is a
              very dated stereotype.
              > How do you think the kids would perceive this character?
              >
              > I'd appreciate hearing other readers' perspectives.
              >
              > Thanks,
              > Karin Foster
              > Shorecliffs Middle School
              > San Clemente CA
              > 8th grade teacher - History/English
              >



              Don't be flakey. Get Yahoo! Mail for Mobile and
              always stay connected to friends.

            • Dawn Marie Ickes
              Hi Cari-- We defined a graphic novel in the grad class I took this past fall as a free standing story written in the comic style with graphics as oppossed to
              Message 6 of 17 , Mar 20, 2007
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                Hi Cari--
                We defined a graphic novel in the grad class I took this past fall
                as a free standing story written in the comic style with graphics as
                oppossed to plain text. I hope that helps. Let me know if you can
                use anything else.

                Dawn

                --- In middle_school_lit@yahoogroups.com, Cari Spitz Ashford
                <minnashford@...> wrote:
                >
                > Can anyone give me a formal definition of a graphic novel? Is
                there a difference between a graphic novel and a comic book?
                >
                > Thanks.
                >
                > Cari Ashford
                > Minnesota
                > www.undomestic.blogspot.com
                >
                > Dawn Marie Ickes <dawnmariei@...> wrote:
                > Hi, I have just joined your group. I am glad to see a
                discussion on
                > Graphic Novels. Just finished a Young Adult Lit class in which I
                > composed a graphic novel unit that I did complete with my 5th
                grade
                > class. THEY LOVED IT!! We used Howl's Moving Castle. The original
                > plain text version was written by Dianna Wynne Jones and the
                graphic
                > novel version is broken downinto 4 volumes by Hayao Miyazaki. He
                > also did the movie/anime. (Miyazaki is also responsible for
                Spirited
                > Away.
                > I fell in love with the idea of using gns in classroom after all
                the
                > research that I have read. This is a great idea for this
                generation
                > of kids. I would be happy to forward info and chat with anyone
                > interested. Myabe we can bounce some ideas off of eachother.
                >
                > --- In middle_school_lit@yahoogroups.com, "keyze3" <keyze3@> wrote:
                > >
                > > Hi to all,
                > >
                > > I just finished this book and I have a couple of
                > comments/questions. First, this is my
                > > intiial exposure to graphic novels. I guess I've been hiding
                under
                > a rock or something.... I
                > > had heard of them, but I hadn't explored them and wasn't quite
                sure
                > what they were. And,
                > > I haven't seen them at our school yet. I'm wondering how many
                > teachers have these in
                > > their classrooms. I would think these would appeal to male
                readers
                > a great deal.
                > >
                > > Secondly, I was wondering about the character Chin Kee. This is
                a
                > very dated stereotype.
                > > How do you think the kids would perceive this character?
                > >
                > > I'd appreciate hearing other readers' perspectives.
                > >
                > > Thanks,
                > > Karin Foster
                > > Shorecliffs Middle School
                > > San Clemente CA
                > > 8th grade teacher - History/English
                > >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > ---------------------------------
                > Don't be flakey. Get Yahoo! Mail for Mobile and
                > always stay connected to friends.
                >
              • Ms Sheila
                I went to the Mountain Plains Library Association/New Mexico Library Association Joint Conference last week and their was a workshop on Graphic Novels that was
                Message 7 of 17 , Mar 21, 2007
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                  I went to the Mountain Plains Library Association/New Mexico Library Association Joint Conference last week and their was a workshop on Graphic Novels that was very interesting. I am sending the link for the powerpoint the presenter used. It has a good definition plus lots of good info and helpful sites. The link - http://www.mpla.us/documents/handouts/2007/bartel.ppt
                   
                  Sheila
                  Wister Public Library
                  Wister, OK

                  ----- Original Message ----
                  From: Dawn Marie Ickes <dawnmariei@...>
                  To: middle_school_lit@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Tuesday, March 20, 2007 7:46:27 PM
                  Subject: [middle_school_lit] Re: American Born Chinese

                  Hi Cari--
                  We defined a graphic novel in the grad class I took this past fall
                  as a free standing story written in the comic style with graphics as
                  oppossed to plain text. I hope that helps. Let me know if you can
                  use anything else.

                  Dawn

                  --- In middle_school_ lit@yahoogroups. com, Cari Spitz Ashford
                  <minnashford@ ...> wrote:

                  >
                  > Can anyone give me a formal definition of a graphic novel? Is
                  there a difference between a graphic novel and a comic book?
                  >
                  > Thanks.
                  >
                  > Cari Ashford
                  > Minnesota
                  > www.undomestic. blogspot. com
                  >
                  > Dawn Marie Ickes <dawnmariei@ ...> wrote:
                  > Hi, I have just joined your group. I am glad to see a
                  discussion on
                  > Graphic Novels. Just finished a Young Adult Lit class in which I
                  > composed a graphic novel unit that I did complete with
                  my 5th
                  grade
                  > class. THEY LOVED IT!! We used Howl's Moving Castle. The original
                  > plain text version was written by Dianna Wynne Jones and the
                  graphic
                  > novel version is broken downinto 4 volumes by Hayao Miyazaki. He
                  > also did the movie/anime. (Miyazaki is also responsible for
                  Spirited
                  > Away.
                  > I fell in love with the idea of using gns in classroom after all
                  the
                  > research that I have read. This is a great idea for this
                  generation
                  > of kids. I would be happy to forward info and chat with anyone
                  > interested. Myabe we can bounce some ideas off of eachother.
                  >
                  > --- In middle_school_ lit@yahoogroups. com, "keyze3" <keyze3@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Hi to all,
                  > >
                  > > I just finished this book and I have a couple of
                  > comments/questions. First, this is my
                  > > intiial exposure to graphic novels. I guess I've been hiding
                  under
                  > a rock or something... . I
                  > > had heard of them, but I hadn't explored them and wasn't quite
                  sure
                  > what they were. And,
                  > > I haven't seen them at our school yet. I'm wondering how many
                  > teachers have these in
                  > > their classrooms. I would think these would appeal to male
                  readers
                  > a great deal.
                  > >
                  > > Secondly, I was wondering about the character Chin Kee. This is
                  a
                  > very dated stereotype.
                  > > How do you think the kids would perceive this character?
                  > >
                  > > I'd appreciate hearing other readers' perspectives.
                  > >
                  > > Thanks,
                  > > Karin Foster
                  > > Shorecliffs Middle School
                  > > San Clemente CA
                  > > 8th grade teacher - History/English
                  > >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  ------------ --------- --------- ---
                  > Don't be flakey. Get Yahoo! Mail for Mobile and
                  > always stay connected to friends.
                  >




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