From Gene Luen Yang, the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature and author of American Born Chinese, comes a magical realist coming-of-age tale, by turns whimsical and deadly serious.Nothing is what it seems when life collides with video games.Dennis Ouyang has always struggled in the shadow of his parents' expectations: Stay focused in high school, do well in college, go to medical school, and become a gastroenterologist.But between his father's death, his academic burut, and his deep (and distracting) love of video games, Dennis can't endure. He's kicked out of college. And that's when things get . . . weird.Four adorable--but bossy--angels, straight out of a sappy greeting card, appear and take charge of Dennis's life. He's back on track to become a gastroenterologist. But is he living the life he wants?Partnered with the deceptively simple, cute art of 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.Gene Luen Yang is the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, and is the author of American Born Chinese, Boxers and Saints, The Shadow Hero, and Secret Coders. A New York Times Notable Children's Book (Young Adult) for 2011A YALSA Popular Paperback for Young AdultsA YALSA Great Graphic Novel for TeensAn Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature Hor TitleA New York Times Notable Children's Book Deliciously imaginative . . . uproariously funny . . . A book so good, it's hard t to fall back on reviewers' cliches. --The New York Times A manifesto for everyone who's ever wrestled with the expectations of their family, their friends, and their society (and who hasn't?), and it's ultimately both humane and inspiring. --Boing Boing A piquant, multilayered coming-of-age fable for the wired generation. --Kirkus Reviews
Gene Luen Yang began drawing comic books in the fifth grade. In 1997, he received a Xeric Grant for Gordon Yamamoto and the King of the Geeks, his first comics work. He has since written and drawn a number of titles, including Duncan's Kingdom, The Rosary Comic Book, Prime Baby and Animal Crackers. American Born Chinese, his first graphic novel from First Second, was a National Book Award finalist, as well as the winner of the Printz Award and an Eisner Award. He also won an Eisner for The Eternal Smile, a collaboration with Derek Kirk Kim. Yang lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he teaches high school. He got his Master's in Education at Cal State Hayward, where he wrote his thesis on using comics in education. Thien Pham is a comic book and visual artist, based in the Bay Area. He is also a high school teacher. Pham's first solo graphic novel, Sumo, is also forthcoming from First Second.