73 pages 2 hours read

Gene Luen Yang

American Born Chinese

Fiction | Graphic Novel/Book | Middle Grade | Published in 2006

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Sections 1-3

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Section 1 Summary

The illustrations at the start of the section depict a dinner party in the spiritual realm. In attendance are gods, goddesses, demons, and spirits. The guests banter as the sounds and smells of the party drift down to Flower-Fruit Mountain, where a group of monkeys and their king are playing. The Monkey King is a deity, and a series of illustrations show his birth from a rock and the progression of his life.

Several panels show the Monkey King’s history as a ruler. Before the Monkey King and his followers settle on Flower-Fruit Mountain, the Monkey King rids the mountain of the tiger-spirit that haunted it for hundreds of years. The Monkey King is gentle with his followers, and his studies of kung-fu enable him to master four “major heavenly disciplines” (10): he has the power of lightning behind his punches, the power of thunder in his kicks, uncannily sensitive senses, and the ability to travel quickly on clouds.

When the Monkey King’s extraordinary sense of smell tells him that a dinner party is underway, he travels on a cloud to attend the party himself. As he stands in line patiently, anticipating the party with great excitement, a guard announces the arrival of Ao-Jun the Dragon King of the Western Sea.

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