Thursday, May 17, 2007

Love That Monkey King

I love the term feral reader. That's how I feel about myself--I'm a feral reader with a poor attitude. I usually find it difficult to enjoy books I'm supposed to enjoy. Award winners, for instance. If a book has some kind of sticker on it, I can usually be assured I'm going to find it formulaic or a victim story or derivative or sappy or often some combination of all the foregoing.

Notice I didn't say the book would be any of those things, just that I'd find it so.

Even honor books often rub me the wrong way.

But I really am delighted when I can be like everyone else and love one of them sticker books the way I love American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang. Oh, man. I loved all the parts and never saw what was coming.

I've read a few graphic novels over the years, but I've never read one that I so completely "got." The panels completely merged with the text so that I just knew what I supposed to know as I was reading.

Or I thought I did. Maybe I didn't know what I was supposed to know, just what I thought I was supposed to know. Nonetheless, I loved the book.

If, like me, you want more of the Monkey King, try visiting the Monkey Kingdom.

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