So here’s a quick review for a book that’s quirky, lots of fun and has a good message. It’s a graphic novel by writer Gene Yang who will be a featured speaker at the American Library Association Annual Conference this year in Chicago. I look forward to seeing him there.
Yang is an American-Chinese artist and writer, and winner of the MacArthur Fellows Program. His works include the Avatar series and National Book Awards finalist and Printz award winning American Born Chinese.
Yang brings us Gordon Yamamoto and the King of the Geeks, a 2004 published novel, which features the story of high-school bully Gordon, and his geeky victim turned new friend, Miles. First Gordon must come to terms with the fact that he is a designated Incognizant Data Storage Partner for the San Peligran Order, then he must face the challenge of remembering everything Miles does. This has negative effects for both boys, and leads them to seek a solution to the problem. However, when the solution manifests itself into Mile’s troubles and hates, (incidentally by way of a giant animal cracker / hate monster, who wishes to blow up Mile’s looser / could-be father), the boys must learn what forgiveness means. And more than that, they must learn what it takes to overcome hate held on to.
For a change of perspective, the novel is seen from Gordon’s point of view rather than Miles’ (i.e., we see the perspective of the bully not the bullied). This story is about emotional connections; how they manifest and how they can affect others. But it also about what forgiveness actually is and what drives it.
This a quick and fun read aimed at teen / adult audiences.