Boxers (Boxers & Saints #1)

Featured
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
1516 0
Boxers (Boxers & Saints #1)
Publisher
Age Range
12+
Release Date
September 10, 2013
ISBN
1596433590
Buy This Book
      

China,1898. Bands of foreign missionaries and soldiers roam the countryside, bullying and robbing Chinese peasants.
Little Bao has had enough. Harnessing the powers of ancient Chinese gods, he recruits an army of Boxers - commoners trained in kung fu who fight to free China from "foreign devils."

Against all odds, this grass-roots rebellion is violently successful. But nothing is simple. Little Bao is fighting for the glory of China, but at what cost? So many are dying, including thousands of "secondary devils" - Chinese citizens who have converted to Christianity.
----
Boxers & Saints is an innovative new graphic novel in two volumes - the parallel stories of two young people caught up on opposite sides of a violent rift. American Born Chinese author Gene Luen Yang brings his clear-eyed storytelling and trademark magical realism to the complexities of the Boxer Rebellion and lays bare the foundations of extremism, rebellion, and faith.
----
Discover the other side of the Boxer Rebellion in Saints - the companion volume to Boxers.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Thought-Provoking and Unique
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
What I Liked:
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.

The Final Verdict:
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.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Faith has always known she was different and her...
The Mall
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
The year is 1991. Scrunchies, mixtapes and 90210 are, like,...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In Poems to Live Your Life By, Chris Riddell, political...
The Claires
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Four beautiful girls. Quadruplets. They are not identical.But each is...
The Life Below
 
4.0
 
4.0 (1)
It was hard enough for Naomi to leave Leo,...
What He Hides
 
4.8
 
0.0 (0)
She wants the truth... or does she? They say...
The Shadows Between Us
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Tricia Levenseller, author of Daughter of the Pirate King,...
Devil Darling Spy
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
It's 1940, and Sarah Goldstein is hiding in plain...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
"more forgetting time. more midnight dances with yourself."...
The Upside of Falling
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
It’s been years since eighteen-year-old Becca Hart believed in...
More Than His Best Friend
 
3.8
 
0.0 (0)
She’s got a strict rule against dating. Could her...
Salty, Bitter, Sweet
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A slow-burn romance in a cutthroat kitchen! There’s more to...
The Midnight Lie (The Midnight Lie, #1)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Set in the world of the New York Times–bestselling Winner’s...
The Winter Duke
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
She survived the curse. Now she must survive the throne....
Most Likely (Most Likely, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the creator of the hit TV series The Bold...
Look Both Ways
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
This story was going to begin like all the best...

Latest Member Reviews

The Mall
 
3.7
"Cassie Worthy won't let a little thing like Mono hold her back from completing the Plan. It's the summer of..."
Salty, Bitter, Sweet
 
4.3
"SALTY, BITTER, SWEET is a book about family, forgiveness, grief, and following your passion. Isabella dreams of being a world-class..."
 
4.0
"break your glass slippers is the first book in the poetry series, “you are your own fairy tale,” by award-winning..."
The Upside of Falling
 
3.3
"THE UPSIDE OF FALLING is a YA contemporary romance by Wattpad author Alex Light. The story follows Becca Hart, an..."
The Winter Duke
 
5.0
"THE WINTER DUKE is a thrilling YA fantasy that takes place in a world where magic is controlled by a..."
Most Likely (Most Likely, #1)
 
5.0
"MOST LIKELY is a fantastic YA contemporary about friendship. The book starts with a woman becoming president and reflecting back..."
The Life Below
 
4.0
"After our mindbending landing on the moon back in 1969, we’ve faltered in our quest to explore space. Mars seems..."
The Twin
 
3.7
"Ivy and her twin sister Iris parents divorced when they were ten. Ivy got to live with their father and..."
Devil Darling Spy
 
4.7
"Sarah Goldstein, alias Ursulla Haller, is living right under Nazi rule in 1940 Germany. She's the Shirley Temple of the..."
The Life Below
 
4.0
"Naomi can't help but wonder if there was an ulterior motive behind the decision to kick Leo out of the..."
The Stars We Steal
 
3.7
"Jane Austen in space….yes please! The Stars We Steal by Alexa Donne is a futuristic retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion...."
Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things
 
4.0
" The story: After living in foster care since the death of her mother, Edie finally..."
Seven Deadly Shadows
 
4.0
"Sixteen-year-old Kira Fujikawa loves helping at her family shrine. She also has a paranormal ability. She sees the not only..."
The Shadows Between Us
 
5.0
"THE SHADOWS BETWEEN US is the highly devourable YA fantasy I have been searching for! This is an enthralling story..."
 
3.3
"The Betrothed is a brand new YA-novel set in the 15th century by Kiera Cass, whom we all know from..."
Remember Me
 
4.0
"‘First rule of storytelling,’ he says, a glint in his eyes.’ Everything is possible.’ Nell is..."
Lobizona
 
5.0
"Sixteen-year-old Manuela, 'Manu' is in hiding from her father's Argentinian crime family. She also runs the risk of being deported..."
A Very Large Expanse of Sea
 
4.7
"Reviewed for YA Books Central A book that should be on every teen's shelf. ..."
Serious Moonlight
 
5.0
"Birdie and Daniel has the most awkward first encounter. So when Birdie started her job in a historic hotel, she..."
Long Way Down
 
5.0
"I feel like I've been asleep for the last 31 years and I just woke up. I am woke. ..."