Level Up (Hardcover)
First Second, 9781596437142, 160pp.
Publication Date: June 7, 2011
Gene Luen Yang is the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature and is a MacArthur Fellow, a recipient of what's popularly known as the MacArthur "Genius" Grant.
A New York Times Notable Children's Book (Young Adult) for 2011
Video Games vs. Medical School
Which will win the battle for our hero's attention in Gene Luen Yang's new graphic novel?
Dennis Ouyang lives in the shadow of his parents' high expectations. They want him to go to med school and become a doctor. Dennis just wants to play video games and he might actually be good enough to do it professionally.
But four adorable, bossy, and occasionally terrifying angels arrive just in time to lead Dennis back onto the straight and narrow: the path to gastroenterology. It's all part of the plan, they tell him. But is it? This powerful piece of magical realism brings into sharp relief the conflict many teens face between pursuing their dreams and living their parents'.
Partnered with the deceptively simple, cute art of newcomer Thien Pham, Gene Yang has returned to the subject he revolutionized with American Born Chinese. Whimsical and serious by turns, Level Up is a new look at the tale that Yang has made his own: coming of age as an Asian American.