|Boy who became a dragon : a Bruce Lee story|
Author: Di Bartolo, Jim
The biography of martial arts films legend Bruce Lee. In graphic novel format.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.20
Points: 2.0 Quiz: 507312
Kirkus Reviews (11/15/19)
School Library Journal (12/01/19)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 11/15/2019 Considering Bruce Lee’s legendary status and how comics can serve the dynamic forms and movements of martial arts, it’s a wonder this is his first graphic biography. Solid and beautifully produced, it focuses mainly on Lee’s childhood, growing up in Japanese-occupied and then British-occupied Hong Kong. A child actor living with devoted parents and a huge extended family, Lee is a mischief-maker always ready to throw a punch. Until, that is, he finally talks his way into the school of the great Kung Fu master Yip Man, who helps the boy find his “constant desire to improve.” Di Bartolo’s idiosyncratic faces and wiry bodies make the legend accessibly human through childhood, marriage, fatherhood, the creation of his own martial art, and his ups and downs in cinema. Visual highlights include several intricate martial arts displays and gorgeous, painterly spreads that focus on the films that turned Lee into an indelible part of world culture. While his mysterious death is given short shrift, Chinese Zodiac imagery—the titular Dragon, primarily—imbues Lee with a higher spirituality. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 12/01/2019 Gr 4–8—This laudatory graphic biography follows actor and martial artist Bruce Lee from his tumultuous childhood to his death at age 32. Lee was born in San Francisco in 1940 (the Year of the Dragon) while his father, an actor and Cantonese opera star, was touring America; they returned to Hong Kong three months later. Soon after, the Japanese invaded Hong Kong and Lee's father agreed to use his fame to help Japan, safeguarding the family but leaving young Bruce vulnerable to bullying by those who considered the Lees traitors. Lee followed in his father's footsteps, acting in films as a child, but disappointed his family by responding to disputes with violent street fighting. Studying kung fu taught him discipline, and, at 17, he moved to the United States, where he attended college, developed his own style of martial arts, and became an influential film star. Reminiscent of Lee's kung fu movies, Di Bartolo's bold artwork portrays dramatic fight sequences and expressive characters. Recurring images of a dragon that helps Lee focus are a refrain, and add an epic, otherworldly quality to an otherwise straightforward biography. When there are conflicting accounts, like an infamous duel between Lee and martial artist and teacher Wong Jack Man, Di Bartolo depicts Lee's version of the story, or the one that presents him in the best light, without acknowledging that there might be another side. VERDICT Readers will appreciate this admiring account of the film and kung fu legend, but should seek out additional sources for a more nuanced portrait of Lee.—Kacy Helwick, New Orleans Public Library - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.