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- Boxers & Saints
One minor supporting character is an opium addict. Continue reading Show less. Stay up to date on new reviews. Get full reviews, ratings, and advice delivered weekly to your inbox. User Reviews Parents say Kids say. There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title. Kid, 12 years old October 17, Boxers and Saints was amazing and well written. It's about the Boxer Rebellion in China, so there is a lot of historical content involved. Is it any good? Talk to your kids about How can religion enrich people's lives?
How can it be used to oppress them? Gene Luen Yang Illustrator: Gene Luen Yang Genre: First Second Publication date: September 10, Publisher's recommended age s: Paperback, Nook, iBooks, Kindle. Sports and Martial Arts. For kids who love graphic novels and historical fiction. The Joy Luck Club. Sweeping story of bicultural mother-daughter friction. Gritty, moving tale of couple in turn-of-the century China.
Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party. Gripping story, great intro to China's Cultural Revolution. A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution. Devastating portrait of brutal political movement. About these links Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase.
Personalize Common Sense for your family. View all 3 comments. Oct 12, Joshua rated it really liked it. After reading gobs of praise for this, I broke down and ordered a copy for kindle rather than wait until my next visit to the US to pick up a paper copy, and I am delighted that I was not disappointed. While it is not perfect in every detail subtleness is sometimes lacking , this graphic novel is saturated with something I can only call resonance. One feels there is something behind this book, compelling it into existence.
This quality is most apparent in the way Yang depicts the mystical exper After reading gobs of praise for this, I broke down and ordered a copy for kindle rather than wait until my next visit to the US to pick up a paper copy, and I am delighted that I was not disappointed. This quality is most apparent in the way Yang depicts the mystical experiences that fueled the Boxer uprising.
While initially a tad disappointed by Yang's simplistic art, once the old gods, in the garb of Peking opera players, soared down to take possession of their followers, I was in comic heaven. Having lived in China and Taiwan for years, I can say that Yang has captured the powerful, righteous, implacable, and unknowable qualities that emanate from the ancient depictions of gods and heroes in this culture.
This is praiseworthy in itself, yet there is so much more to appreciate in this multilayered tale. This is a graphic novel that tackles big issues. It doesn't shy away from the violence and horror that can accompany religious fervor, but it also never allows us to doubt the reality and necessity of belief.
When the gods depart, and protagonist Little Bao is left gaping in awe at the carnage left in the wake of his failed uprising, we have to wonder along with him, which of his betrayals was worse, that of his faith, or that of his humanity? Jul 22, Jessica rated it it was amazing Shelves: At times funny, at other times heart-breaking, but always wonderful. I had never even heard of the Boxer Rebellion until it came up in a Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode when I was in my 20's.
It's a part of history that we just don't talk about in America I guess because it was a war we didn't fight , and don't know much about. This is an interesting look at one side of it, and there's a companion book, SAINTS, that covers the other side of this conflict between the newly baptized Christians a At times funny, at other times heart-breaking, but always wonderful.
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This is an interesting look at one side of it, and there's a companion book, SAINTS, that covers the other side of this conflict between the newly baptized Christians and the traditional Chinese in the early 's. When the book started out, I thought I'd pass it along to my 10yo when I was done, but I think not. It's definitely for more mature readers, not adults, but teens and up. A GetGraphic read—Unapologetically brutal and a great portrayal of how ethical lines become blurred during wartime. Why did I let this sit on my shelf for years before finally reading it?
Jan 20, B rated it really liked it Shelves: I'm so impressed that this author was able to take a dreadful time in China's history and make it absorbing and accessible to everyone else with the two books that explain this time period from different viewpoints. Some of the humor was more 21st than 19th century but I imagine that this might appeal to a younger audience, hooking them into wanting to learn more about the Boxer Rebellion. And I really appreciated how he demonstrated that war based on cultural differences coming from misunderstan I'm so impressed that this author was able to take a dreadful time in China's history and make it absorbing and accessible to everyone else with the two books that explain this time period from different viewpoints.
And I really appreciated how he demonstrated that war based on cultural differences coming from misunderstandings, ignorance, and deliberate propaganda will always have horrid consequences. Nov 19, Jen Book Syrup rated it really liked it. Mar 09, Andrew rated it really liked it Shelves: This is absolutely stunning. Sep 03, David Schaafsma rated it really liked it Shelves: He also did is doing?
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The Last Airbender series, so he's known for that, too, but this is his next Big Book, though it's also a two book deal, where you get to see the historical war through the eyes of a young boy, in Boxers, and a young girl, in Saints, two kids who see each other briefly early on in Boxers and whose lives are finally fated to entwine later on.
These endings are slight, and by the choices Yang makes won't make the series as popular as they could be, but I admire him for making a hard choice, finally. I started with Saints and liked it, and found it a little slight but I liked the girl very much; Boxers is longer, more substantial, and so more impressive, in my opinion, though I liked the quirky girl better than the boy. In this series you get to see two basic sides of the conflict, which from the Chinese American Yang is admirable. The German Christian invasion of China is thwarted by the rebellion, though Christianity did make inroads into China, of course.
Yang gets to know the story in part from a Chinese Christian community in the Bay area where he lives. The Western Invaders are "devils" undermining Chinese culture and traditions, laying down train tracks, its technology seen as doing some good things for commerce but wantonly damaging Chinese traditions. The "secondary devils" are the Chinese who become converted by the Western church leaders to Christianity, and we see reasonably how the girl, unhappy in her life, becomes a Christian, and likens herself to Saint Joan of Arc, fighting the fight for God.
Interesting, for Yang to get to know the vestiges of that missionary move to convert the 'pagan" Chinese, now a church living in Yang's community… like the one in mine that I have been in.
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How is it people reconcile their Christianity with their Chines culture? The Kung Fu skills turn out to be superpowers of a Chinese variety, finally. So, isn't that interesting? In the west many white, middle class, mostly know opera as a European entity, but Yang helps us see another "side" of opera, just as he does for religion and mythology. He sides with the Chinese rebellion, in resisting Western forces, yet he helps us see from a child's perspective how one could see things from both sides… Yang will get awards for this series, definitely.
I liked them very much, especially as a pair. Kids' stuff, but a pretty rich look at history and culture, in these graphic novels. Oct 12, Tilly rated it it was amazing. This was definitely a very moving and interesting portrayal of war, especially for someone like me who knew little to nothing about the Boxers Rebellion before. I plan on reading "Saints" as soon as I can to see the other perspective.
Back in grad school, I had my first experience with Gene Luen Yang's work when we read his most famous graphic novel thus far, American Born Chinese. Though disparate in subject matter, Boxers does have something in common with his prior work, the magical realism that Yang brings to bear even on historical or contemporary subjects. In Boxers, Gene Luen Yang manages to pack quite a punch with his spare prose and straight forward drawings. Though I learned about the Boxer Rebellion in college, I'll admit that my memories thereof are limited at best.
Based on extensive research okay, I checked Wikipedia , Yang actually fits in the main historical points without being at all tedious or lecturing. Basically, Yang has perfected the ability to teach without seeming like he's teaching, which is ideal for the intended audience. He conveys the difficult times that led to the rebellion, the drought and the negative impact foreigners were having in China, through the lens of the life of one young boy who grows up to head the rebellion. Little Bao did not start out as a remarkable boy.
He lived in the shadow of his older brothers and had his head in the clouds, fancifully imagining himself the character in an opera. With Little Bao's optimism, to some degree never shed throughout his journey, Yang captures the wholehearted believe the Boxers had that they would be victorious. In no way did they imagine that their gods would let them lose or that foreigners could truly take over China. Remember how I mentioned the fantasy angle? Well, in Boxers, the beliefs in local gods, the beliefs being challenged by the conversion to Christianity coming with the influx of foreigners, are manifested physically.
Yang literally pits the old gods versus the imperialist forces. Through a mystical process, Little Bao and his friends are able to transform themselves into gods of China, and fight with a strength much bigger than their own bodies and kung fu training give them. It's a bit strange, but I think Yang makes it work, and this technique adds a lot of color and vibrancy to the otherwise fairly spare Boxers, highlighting the colorful culture that is being suppressed.
However, Boxers does not preach. Yang, unsurprisingly given the dual nature of this release - Boxers being paired with Saints from the other side of the conflict, presents a balanced view. He makes it quite clear that horrible acts are perpetrated by both sides. If anything, Yang shows how horrible war is. Little Bao, once so innocent and fanciful, does brutal things, as so all of the Boxers. Bao must choose between love and war, and each time he chooses war and China. Boxers is surprisingly dark, intense and bloody, but done in a style that I do not think will overwhelm most readers.
Gene Luen Yang's Boxers confronts subject matter not covered enough in western culture with an even, honest hand. He adds in fantasy to the history, making for a more metaphorical and more visually exciting read. The focus on visual over narrative storytelling will make this a great read for both more reluctant readers and those at a higher reading level. Jan 16, Cherrie rated it really liked it. Gene Yang does an amazing job putting faces and heart-wrenching stories behind the people who led and fought on the Boxer side of the Boxer Rebellion in China.
Even though this is a comic book, I had to put it down a couple of times to take a bit of a breather because the depth and intensity overwhelmed me and I couldn't even imagine how my ancestors' ancestors lived through the war and tension.
I can't help but wonder if what happened in history affects the "keep the peace" disposition many ove Gene Yang does an amazing job putting faces and heart-wrenching stories behind the people who led and fought on the Boxer side of the Boxer Rebellion in China. I can't help but wonder if what happened in history affects the "keep the peace" disposition many overseas Chinese immigrants first gen have when they're living in a foreign country. Worth exploring, would be curious to talk to older first gen immigrant families.
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Not excited to read the other side's recollection of events. Apr 04, Elena rated it really liked it Shelves: I loved this graphic novel!
Using Graphic Novels in Education: Boxers & Saints | Comic Book Legal Defense Fund
It has taught me so much about the Boxer Uprising and the Chinese culture of which I, unfortunately, don't know much about. I'm definitely going to do some more reading on these topics and that all thanks to this beautiful, beautiful book. I love these kinds of books which make me feel like I have gained something by reading them.
Jul 20, Macarena Yannelli rated it it was amazing Shelves: Nov 03, Shelby M. Read and Find Out rated it liked it Shelves: Jul 20, Scott Foley rated it it was amazing. After teaching American Born Chinese for several years, I finally decided my then nine-year-old could handle it last fall. She loved it, so when Gene Luen Yang came to our local library, we had to pay him a visit. Unbelievably, we got there before anyone else and snagged a front row seat.
Yang was already there and held a wonderful conversation with my daughter. He is truly an incredibly nice man and obviously a father of young children. Because he made such a great impression on her, my da After teaching American Born Chinese for several years, I finally decided my then nine-year-old could handle it last fall.
Because he made such a great impression on her, my daughter wanted to read everything by Gene Luen Yang. She read them and made a few comments about them being a little bloody, then asked me to read them, too. How could I say no? My daughter was right—these are bloody, violent books! However, they are also very, very good. Boxers takes place between and Historically speaking, it deals with the Chinese uprising against Western invaders as well as Christian missionaries.
This all actually happened. Yang focuses on Bao, a young man whose family, friends, and village has suffered at the hands of foreign influences and even Christians. They are marginalized, bullied, and even killed for not conforming to outside forces. Bao loves Chinese opera, specifically the many gods and goddesses featured therein. As you know from American Born Chinese, Yang is particularly talented at infusing Chinese mythology into his stories. Of course, in the case of Bao, these are not myths. These gods and goddesses are reality, and he is soon able to harness their power.
He teaches others to harness their power as well, and this is the foundation of their strength against the bigger, better armed invaders that they confront. The book culminates in the city of Peking. There Bao must make his most difficult of decisions and face his ultimate challenge.
Boxers & Saints
Boxers is a violent, complex book. It presents the very ugly, brutal side of colonialism and even Christian evangelism. Bao kills innocent Christian women and children in this book, but from his perspective, they are not innocent. Boxers and Saints are two companion graphic novel volumes written and illustrated by Gene Luen Yang , and colored by Lark Pien. Together the two volumes have around pages. Boxers follows the story of Little Bao, a boy from Shandong spelled "Shan-tung" in the story who becomes a leader of the Boxer Rebellion.
One book cover shows the left half of Bao's face with Qin Shi Huangdi and the other shows the right half of Vibiana's face with Joan of Arc. Together the covers portray a divided China. Yang said that he wanted to do two volumes because he was not sure which side in the conflict were "good" or "bad" and he noticed connections between contemporary terrorists and the Boxers. Yang said "So in a lot of ways, I was trying to write the story of a young man who was essentially a terrorist, and I wanted him to be sympathetic, but I also didn't want the book to feel like I was condoning terrorism.
So it was kind of a fine line. Yang took six years to make the books. The first one or two years went into research. He visited the library once weekly for a period of one year. The books were different lengths due to the differing natures of the respective stories. Yang stated that he encountered more difficulty writing Saints , in which the Christians stay in the same place and defend themselves, compared to Boxers , in which the characters go on an adventure.
He worked on an unrelated superhero comic in-between drawing the two volumes to deal with his emotions.