Author: Gene Luen Yang
Art by: Thiem Pham
Cybil Award, 2011 Finalist Graphic Novel (Young Adult) United States
Choices, 2012 ; Cooperative Children’s Book Center
New York Times Notable Children’s Books , 2011 ; The New York Times
YALSA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, 2012 ; American Library Association
Target Audience: Grades 9 and up
What are you passionate about?
What do you dream of doing with your life?
What if this dream clashes with everything that you’ve been brought up to be or do?
What if following the dream means derailing from a path that others have planned for you?
Ever since Dennis saw his first arcade video game, his dream has been to become a professional gamer. His friend calls him the Good Will Hunting of video games, as if his brain were made by Nintendo. Imagine playing and testing video games during the week and competing in tournaments on weekends, getting paid big bucks and meeting beautiful groupies while doing so. Life doesn’t get much better than that!
Unfortunately, Dennis’ parents have an entirely different idea for his life. Having sacrificed everything when they immigrated to America, they wanted Dennis to learn how to “eat bitterness”. To them, he has only one path: get straight A’s in high school, go to a great college, study medicine, and become a gastroenterologist. Nothing that even comes close Dennis’ idea of a happy life.
Which road will Dennis choose? Will he be the “good son” and follow his parents’ wishes, or will he define his own happiness?
Find out in Gene Yang’s Level Up.