Boxers & Saints

4 Nov

boxersSaintsAs I’ve said in the past, graphic novels are not my favorite format for reading, but the companion stories Boxers and Saints is a really interesting take on a historical event, that I did not know much about.  Gene Luen Yang, author of American Born Chinese, wrote about the Boxer Rebellion in China at the turn of the 20th century.  What was interesting about Yang’s interpretation was that he wrote from both sides of the rebellion in two separate novels giving each side it’s time in the spot light and offering readers a chance to take a second and think not only about this moment in history, but others as well.  Historically, the history books are written from the view of the winners, but “winning” isn’t always everything and it’s important for young adults to be given that chance to really think about both sides of an issue when they are often struggling with so many decisions themselves.

I would rather read a story in the traditional sense, but Yang was able to bring in so much of Chinese history and culture in a way that was very powerful in these stories, and I think would have been missing in a more traditional format.  These companion novels would work really well in a history classroom as a different way to learn.

Learn more about Yang’s ambitious Boxers and Saints as well as his other work on his website.

Title: Boxers and Saints
Author: Gene Luen Yang
Publisher: First Second
Publication Date: 2013

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