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The All-American

A Novel

by Joe Milan Jr.

The All-American by Joe Milan Jr. X
The All-American by Joe Milan Jr.
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  • Arden A. (Longboat Key, FL)
    How Deep are the Roots
    There are many books that as you read, you kind of have a sense of where it is all going. Not so with this first novel by a very talented wirier. Bucky is a Korean born high school football player whose perhaps unrealistic goal of college and professional ball are dashed when he suddenly finds himself deported to the country of his birth, which despite his appearance, he finds foreign to him and whose people speak a language he cannot. It is also a country that requires its young men to serve in its military, and the fact that he cannot even pronounce his Korean name is an forewarning of the high hurdles he must clear during this journey.

    The author leads us through Bucky's difficult rite of passage, while developing compelling story lines about each character he meets along this long and dangerous course.

    I loved this book and would recommend it highly. It would be an excellent book for book clubs, since the contrasting cultures lend themselves to interesting discussions.
  • Rosemary C. (Golden, CO)
    Intense and Absorbing
    A gifted writer tells a compelling story, funny at times as well as heart-rending. His YA novel creates a very human character to explore Asian American identity and adoption and immigration nightmares. I was immediately pulled into the intense and absorbing story told from the point of view of a young man.I think this would be an interesting novel for book groups to read and discuss.
  • Junko W. (Pahoa, HI)
    Bravo, Joe Milan Jr! I loved The All-American. This is the story of a young Korean adoptee's strange and wonderful journey from an American high schooler, Bucky, to an adult Beyonghak Yi. From Bucky's dream of playing college football to the reality of being thrown into a society where he does not even speak the language, we follow Bucky through many trials and tribulations as he negotiates his new life in Korea. I hate to say anymore except enjoy!
  • Melissa S. (Rowland, NC)
    No Land To Call Home
    Talk about a novel that delivers the unexpected! Joe Milan Jr.'s The All American proves itself hefty enough to hold its own amongst many accomplished American emersion authors. I found myself gripped from the first chapter. Bucky, Sheryl, Bobby, and Uncle Rick set the tone of American poverty, grime, and grit while the slums of Korea and poor military ocean villages continue that tone throughout the rest of the novel. Under all the grit and dirtiness lies a young man who thought he knew his path in life as an American and then one day, in a flash and completely as a result of someone else's poor decisions, finds himself a man/kid without a national identity in a foreign land that he must accept as his own.
    Milan's style is one of ease. The reader gets lost in the story and plight of the main character without getting bogged down in the details of culture and language and environment – even though those are all a major piece of what makes this novel such a success.
    By the end of the novel, the reader realizes that Bucky's life in America (free) and his life in Korea (captive) merge on many levels. The reader also realizes Bucky would probably never fulfill his full potential as a man and discover his true identity without the life altering trials he endured as Kojangi.
  • Sandra Z. (Silverdale, WA)
    The All American
    The first sentence from Chapter One of The All American begins with a description of a mobile home park buried in Lion Mountain. But Lion Mountain is only the beginning of an unforgettable, suspense-filled, descriptive journey that had me anxiously sitting on the edge of my chair. I genuinely enjoyed the entire book. I am so impressed with how the author included meaningful characters throughout the entire book, and he never let the reader forget the character's position, nor what that character meant to him. I would definitely recommend this book to be read and to be discussed in book clubs. Discussing the book in a book club would provide an opportunity to explore one's own emotional, physical and mental strength, as the events occurred in the book, especially if one is asked "what would I have done in that same situation?" I found it to be an enjoyable, entertaining and gratifying book with well thought out twists and turns that will keep you entertained throughout the entire book.
  • Jodi S. (Goldens Bridge, NY)
    All American?
    Bucky is a high school running back from poor, rural Washington state. The All American does a wonderful job of showing us his family's struggles and understanding how Bucky feels like football is the only way out. When he is sent back to Korea, a land he was born in but does not remember, all he wants to do is get back to the US and play football. But, as time goes on, Bucky learns to appreciate what Korea has to offer and the life he has there. Yes, Bucky was sometimes an unsympathetic character when he acted like a rash teenager, but he made the best of a truly terrible situation. The author really made the reader understand Bucky's horrible, unfortunate struggles, and what it's like to get deported from the only home you have ever known. I really enjoyed this book, it opened my eyes to a situation that I am very unfamiliar with.
  • Louise E. (Ocean View, DE)
    An Absorbing, Enjoyable Read
    The All-American is an interesting and enjoyable Young Adult book. The story is about Bucky, a high school student, who was deported to Korea, a country he doesn't know as he moved to the United States as a baby. His experience in the United States seemed realistic, not sure about his experience in the Korean military though. This is current events in the United States. My niece's friend was deported without his family to the country of his birth and had a similar experience.
    Bucky was a resourceful guy who in a roundabout way got his wish to play football. The story was well written, absorbing, and from a teenage boy's point of view. It is interesting how he applied what he learned in football to help himself with his current difficulties in life. I'm not a football fan and I still enjoyed the story. I think you will too!

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