Three storylines, emphasizing themes of identity and fitting in, are braided into one surprise ending. One protagonist, a Monkey King, inspired by the legendary character Sun Wukong from Journey to the West, transforms himself into a great sage after being excluded by the other Chinese deities. Their reason: even though he is a deity, he’s still just a monkey. In a second storyline, a teenage boy, Jin Wang, is the token Asian student at a predominantly white suburban high school. Tasked with mentoring Chinese immigrant Wei-Chen Sun, Jin juggles his new friendship, his desire to win his first love, and his struggle to fit in with Caucasian classmates. Finally, Caucasian Danny struggles to sever connections with his over-the-top Chinese cousin, Chin-Kee, the personification of collected racist Asian stereotypes.
By: Gene Luen Yang