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Level Up

by Gene Luen Yang
Illustrated by Thien Pham

Published by First Second, 2011
160 pages
ISBN: pbk 978𢴓96432352

Age 15 and older

When he was growing up, Dennis preferred playing video games to anything else. Now that he抯 in college he feels the same way. In fact, he抯 just flunked out. But Dennis made a promise to his dying father that he would go to medical school and become a gastroenterologist. That promise comes back to haunt him in the form of four annoying little angels, who are determined that Dennis fulfill his destiny. Plagued, nagged, and harassed by the smiling terrors, Dennis turns in his gaming consoles and becomes a model student. Eventually, he finds himself on his first gastroenterology rotation as a med student. He抯 miserable (not to mention grossed out). Gene Luen Yang抯 funny and irreverent look at the decisions facing adolescents approaching adulthood acknowledges the very real and often painful moments of misunderstanding that can complicate things as parents pressures and expectations conflict with personal desires. Yang抯 culturally specific riff (Dennis is Chinese American) on a universal theme plays out with humor and poignancy in this insightful and entertaining graphic novel.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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