Graphic Novel - 2013
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"China, 1898. An unwanted fourth daughter, Four-Girl isn't even given a proper name by her family. She finds friendshipand a name, Vibianain 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."
Publisher: New York :, First Second,, 2013.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781596436893
Branch Call Number: GRAPHIC Yang Gene
Characteristics: 170 pages:,chiefly illustrations ;,22 cm
Additional Contributors: Pien, Lark


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List - High School Recommends
JCLAbbeyL Jul 09, 2018

Four-Girl isn't even given a proper name by her family. When she joins the church, she is given a new name and a new purpose. She is inspired by Joan of Arc to be a warrior maiden. The heroes of Boxers become the villains of Saints as we see the double edged sword of war, and the lengths we will ... Read More »

LibraryK8 May 23, 2014

Yang has a simple illustration style that keeps the reader visually engaged with bold lines and eye-catching use of color. The story is a bit confusing, and feels disjointed at times, but picks up after Vibiana leaves her family and becomes easier to follow. Short and bittersweet this book leaves... Read More »

JCLChrisK Jan 05, 2014

I've been sitting on this review for a couple of days waiting for a muse, and haven't been able to find inspiration. It was a perfectly good read--high quality, fascinating story, engaging storytelling, compelling character development, impeccable illustrations--but for whatever reason I can't ge... Read More »

From NPR:

(And seriously, if you haven't ever read his AMERICAN BORN CHINESE, please do so.)

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Jul 29, 2019

It was brilliant of Gene Yuen Yang to pair Four-Girl 四妹 with St. Joan... The parallelism works in so many ways: Four-Girl's growing understanding of Christian dogma, with all its mysteries, Four-Girl's rich cross-cultural fantasy world, and Four-Girl's ultimate martyrdom.

Yang's perspective on Four-Girl's (and her fellow villager's) world view is razor sharp, characterized by heaping spoonfuls of honesty and humor and irony. The arcane Old Raccoon and his demise at the hands of a Christian. When Jesus appears to Four-Girl in her poignant final hours, telling her the story of the Good Samaritan, I had to laugh. Four-Girl wants answers: who is she? what should she do? And she gets parables instead. And more irony when the "feminist" Red Lanterns give the feminist militant Four-Girl--whose suffering began with the "anti-girl" zhongnan qingnv views of her paternal grandfather-- her final chance. Sisterhood does not save her.

This slim volume does not pretend to give final answers to world history or sociology; but it does show how many villagers, soldiers and missionaries were swept up in 1900 when the Boxers (the men) and the Red Lanterns (the women) and other grass-roots organizations lashed out at the people (Chinese and foreign alike) they felt were robbing them of their national and cultural identity.

IndyPL_CarrieS Jun 19, 2019

The companion volume to Yang's Boxers. It's a slimmer volume that follows a young girl who has been raised inside a Catholic mission. She begins to have visions of Joan of Arc and wonders if, like Joan, she should take up the sword to fight for her country?

Nov 19, 2018

this book is about how a Chinese girl who betrayed her family because they where abusing her for becoming a christian witch the adults of that family refer to as a foreign devil over all its a really great book

in my opinion i think its a really great book i really like it i think this would be a good fit for teens who like comics because overall you already should know it is a comic book and its like a christian story type deal (IT IS NOT A BIBLE) :)

Nov 19, 2018

I like this book and its kinda weird that she wants to be a child of the devil intead of the child of god.

Nov 24, 2017

What a tragedy because the survivor will have to live though boxer's rebellion consequences, China's decent to chaos & likely live long enough to experience China's cultural revolution.
Its too uncomfortably hit too close to home with today's America left vs right, secular vs fundamentalism, free trade vs protectionism & inclusive vs racism.

SCL_Justin Aug 05, 2017

Gene Luen Yang’s Boxers & Saints is a pair of volumes about rebellion in 19th century China. In Saints we follow a young woman as she tries to ally herself with the Christian invaders.

The stories are good, but somewhat slight. I don’t know. I liked the representation of the Brotherhood of the Righteous Fist becoming gods in their fights. Whenever I read histories of the Boxer Rebellion it seems stupid that so many people would believe a little ritual would protect them from bullets. This represented things in a way much easier to empathize with.

Really though, this book is a decent enough fictionalization of history, but it felt like the characters were there as a means of showing us history rather than having real depth of their own. Which is disappointing, because Yang’s made me care about characters and their individual struggles before.

Jun 30, 2017

If you have read Saints, you have to read Boxers, it's companion volume. A wonderfully plotted story of historical fiction. Read this, and you will finish shaking.

May 11, 2016

(Reviewed as part of Boxers and Saints, they're companion novels.)

The Boxer Rebellion in China between 1899 and 1901, through the eyes of two Chinese teenagers: a young man in the forefront of the anti-foreign, anti-Christian movement, and a young woman who converted to Christianity and whose home comes under attack.

Yang does an amazing job humanizing the real people caught up in the conflict, and showing how tragic the whole conflict was for everyone no matter what “side” they were on. This book is a meticulously researched masterwork.

WCLSDemingLibrary Dec 02, 2015

If you read "Saints," you have to read it's companion title "Boxers." The latter shows how the conflict begins, but this one shows how a young Chinese girl got caught up in it just by trying to find a home and a family that loves her.

Nov 10, 2015

Vibiana, known to her family as Four-Girl, appears only twice, and briefly, within the pages of Boxers. In Saints, she takes center stage, showing one of the many ways in which Chinese converts might have been drawn to Christianity. Together, the two volumes tell the story of a brutal resistance that rose up in response to a brutal foreign power.

Read my full review:

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Add Age Suitability
May 20, 2014

green_owl_22 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 12 and 10

Nov 07, 2013

JihadiConservative thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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Feb 14, 2019

The book that I read was "Saints". The reason why I picked this book was because the cover of the book seemed very cool and it caught my attention. When I scammed through the book I realized it was a comic book. Personally, comic books seem really interesting to me because of its style. Going back to the cover, I realized that the main character would be from China. The first chapters, I personally think that readers could relate because the little girl was going through family problems.

LibraryK8 May 23, 2014

Four Girl is unwanted and unloved by her family. Seen as a demon-child, her family practically gives her up as a lost cause. Four girl, searching for acceptance discovers catholic missionaries near her small Chinese village.
After one exceptionally harsh experience with her grandfather, Four runs into the forest and sees a vision of Jeanne D'Arc. As Four distances herself from her family, and grows closer to the missionaries visions of Jeanne come more often, offering peace and guidance.
When her family discovers that Four plans to convert to Catholicism, the beat her, and Four, now christened Vibiana, runs away to work at the Catholic orphanage. Mostly lost in a sea of tales and saints, Vibiana doesn't understand most of her new faith, but she understands the acceptance she feels. Visions of the Maid of Orleans continue and Vibiana decides they are a sign she is supposed to be a woman warrior like Jeanne and convinces another convert, and former bandit to teach her the sword.
As the Boxer Rebellion rages in China, hunting down Christians and foreigners, Vibiana fears for the safety of her adopted family.


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Nov 07, 2013

Violence: not as bad as boxers but there is a arrow to the head and slashing with swords some blood


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