A few weeks ago, I was returning books to the library and was told a book I wanted was in stock. I went to the section but when there, realized I had remembered incorrectly where the book I wanted had been shelved. I had found myself in the graphic novel section instead. As I was getting ready to look for it in another section, I happened to see Boxers #01 of the Boxers & Saints two-book series. Without thinking, I grabbed it and checked it out.
While I would have liked to have seen more actual history of the time, Gene Luen Yang did create a unique and fascinating graphic novel for teens. And while it is not so much a book of history, it mixes history with the journey of a young man coming of age and perhaps, making wrong choices along the way. Of course, it is possible the choices he made were the only ones that could have been made. The answer to this is given, but at the same time, it is up to the reader to interpret.
Due to violence, sexual situations, other mature content and context, I do not recommend for under (mature) 13-year-olds. Adults might interpret some of the metaphors and have an understand of the situation a bit deeper than your typical teen reader, but at the same time it is just a good story about a young man learning about himself and his country’s history. I am looking forward to reading the second book.
And if you like graphic novels, I do recommend Yang’s American Born Chinese (which I need to reread).
(And in case you were wondering, I did find the other book I was looking for and the review will be coming ASAP.)