Monday, December 30, 2013

Saints by Gene Luen Yang –OPTIONAL

Yang, Gene Luen Saints 170 pgs. First Second, 2013. $15.99  Content: Language: G (0 swears); Mature Content: PG; Violence: PG13. GRAPHIC NOVEL
Loosely based Historical Fiction, this story takes us to China in the late 1800’s. We meet a young girl whose family calls her only Four-Girl. She feels unwanted and unlucky. She decides to become a demon. Instead she meets the spirit of a female Christian fighter and at the same time she meets some Christian converts, who help her out. She is eventually baptized and given a real name, Vibiana, and a real home. But the traditional Chinese are more than upset by the spread of Christianity and hostility comes right to Vibiana’s doorstep.
This is a companion books to Boxers, so you would need to get both, if you were going to add them to your collection. This book depicts a historical point that I previously knew nothing about, so it is interesting in that regard, and may be a way to justify adding a graphic novel to your school library collection. The perspective is interesting, for example I think the main character literally only goes to church because they give her food. But in the end she is willing to die for her beliefs. The illustrations are very drab and boring, I am unsure of the authors intent here, maybe to show that it was in the past? Its doesn't have to be flashy, but at a certain point of boring-ness, maybe just forgo the format all together.

HS -OPTIONAL Reviewer: Stephanie Elementary School Librarian & Author.

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