Thursday, October 22, 2015

Book Review Discussion: Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang

Book (s): Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang
Genre: Graphic Historical (these are shelved in the history section at the library. I found that interesting.)
Rating:★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
For: the readathon
From: the library

Short Synopsis: This is the story of the Boxer Rebellion in China that took place right around 1900 between the Chinese and the Catholics. In Saints, we get the story from the POV of a girl who has been converted to the church and ends up wanting to fight in the cause. She never really gets a chance and is (SPOILER) killed defending her faith. In Boxers, we get the story from the POV of a kid who's brothers start a group that becomes a force in the rebellion and who hunts down the Catholics that are destroying their culture. Sadly, his story doesn't go to far either.

My Response: It's a pretty gruesome tale and so frustrating as you can see both sides. And it just makes you want to scream.. why can't people get along and let each other do their thing?? It's madness! It was fun to learn about this event, as I knew nothing at all before hand. Some of the stuff, especially in Boxers, was a bit mystical and complicated and went over my head (especially as I was trying to read fast for the readathon!) but the feeling came across in a huge way.

Bottom Line: Amazing medium to use for teaching us about this historical event. Brilliant even. I totally enjoyed it.

Let's Talk About: Do you know about this event in history? Would you read a graphic novel to learn stuff like this? (I guess most of the graphic novels I've read have actually been non-fiction historical. Interesting that.)

Other Reviews:

But taken together, these books are present an interesting, engaging read that brings up a lot of interesting ethical questions about the nature and cost of war. From Fyrefly's Book Blog

This is what makes Boxers and Saints really work - Yang manages to draw sympathies to each character without having to jeopardize the plot. He shows how there is right and wrong on both sides of the fences, just as it is with most wars, and it is never possible to look at this event and pinpoint who was to blame. From Reading on a Rainy Day

Yang is a master of employing visual and narrative techniques that bring the characters and their struggles to life. From Estella's Revenge

Highly recommended, this graphic novel duo has a place in every library collection. From Walking Brain Cells


  1. I think GNs are a great way to learn about a historical event. Especially for kids and teens. I didn't know about this event in history. Maybe I'll read these some day.

  2. I love the idea of these books giving both sides of an event in history. It does sound like it would be frustrating too though!

  3. I really enjoyed these ones, and think they really opened my eyes to something that I was not familiar with before. I particularly enjoyed the different perspectives. Such a brilliant idea!



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