Publisher's Note:  

China, 1898. An unwanted fourth daughter, Four-Girl isn't even given a proper name by her family. She finds friendship—and a name, Vibiana—in the most unlikely of places: Christianity. But China is a dangerous place for Christians. The Boxer Rebellion is murdering Westerners and Chinese Christians alike. Torn between her nation and her Christian friends, Vibiana will have to decide where her true loyalties lie . . . and whether she is willing to die for her faith.


Boxers & Saints is a groundbreaking graphic novel in two volumes. This innovative format presents two parallel tales about young people caught up on opposite sides of a violent rift. Saints tells Vibiana's story, and the companion volume, Boxers, tells the story of Little Bao, a young man who joins the Boxer Rebellion. American Born Chinese author Gene Luen Yang brings his trademark magical realism to the complexities of the Boxer Rebellion, and lays bare the universal foundations of extremism, rebellion, and faith.


by Gene Luen Yang

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Overall Review:  

With stunning graphics and brilliant use of color, Gene Luen Yang tells the heart-wrenching tale of an abused girl trying to find love and/or acceptance in troubled times. The story is multi-faceted, and although the protagonist is not a good or kind person, the reader feels empathy for her situation and hopes for her redemption. 

The visions depicted in the book are well done and provide a fascinating look into the human psyche--again the coloring is wonderful. 

Yang's simple graphic style is in sharp juxtaposition to the horrors of war, but that's also what makes it so compelling. 

While I did not enjoy this book as much as Boxers, I was very interested to read the same story from a completely different viewpoint. It was a great companion book that filled out the original story and offered perspective. 

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  5 religious exclamations;1 derogatory name.

Violence/Gore:  An animal kills and eats another animal with some blood; a crucifix is shown highlighting nails in hands; a character is slapped (twice); a character hemorrhages from the nose and dies; a character is shown dead lying in a pool of blood; a character dreams of being haunted by a ghost; a character cuts another character's face with a knife; news of murder is delivered; a character is hit on the head with a sword hilt in battle; characters swordfight with no injuries; in an extended scene (3 pgs), people fight and more than one character is stabbed through with a spear; a character grabs another character by the throat; a character is run through with a spear; a character punches another character in the face; a character is shot in the head with an arrow and lies on the ground in a pool of blood; a character is killed by an arrow; a character is burned at the stake; a character lies dead in a pool of blood.

Sex/Nudity:  Characters kiss and flirt.

Mature Subject Matter:  

War, physical abuse, death of family members.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

An adult is addicted to opium.

Reviewed By Leslie
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