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Barbarians and the Birth of Chinese Identity: The Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms to the Yuan Dynasty (907-1368) (Understanding China Through Comics)

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“An excellent introduction to the large trends of early Chinese history; ideal for those new to the subject."—School Library Journal (review of volume 1) This latest volume in the Understanding China Through Comics series tells of the disintegration of the Tang Dynasty and of the founding of the Song Dynasty. It details the Song’s attempts to reinvigorate a flagging economy “An excellent introduction to the large trends of early Chinese history; ideal for those new to the subject."—School Library Journal (review of volume 1) This latest volume in the Understanding China Through Comics series tells of the disintegration of the Tang Dynasty and of the founding of the Song Dynasty. It details the Song’s attempts to reinvigorate a flagging economy and government while defending against the invasion of China by the barbarians and by the Mongols led by Genghis Khan. An informative and accessible middle school history volume with solid details and engaging artwork. Jing Liu is a Beijing-based designer and entrepreneur.


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“An excellent introduction to the large trends of early Chinese history; ideal for those new to the subject."—School Library Journal (review of volume 1) This latest volume in the Understanding China Through Comics series tells of the disintegration of the Tang Dynasty and of the founding of the Song Dynasty. It details the Song’s attempts to reinvigorate a flagging economy “An excellent introduction to the large trends of early Chinese history; ideal for those new to the subject."—School Library Journal (review of volume 1) This latest volume in the Understanding China Through Comics series tells of the disintegration of the Tang Dynasty and of the founding of the Song Dynasty. It details the Song’s attempts to reinvigorate a flagging economy and government while defending against the invasion of China by the barbarians and by the Mongols led by Genghis Khan. An informative and accessible middle school history volume with solid details and engaging artwork. Jing Liu is a Beijing-based designer and entrepreneur.

30 review for Barbarians and the Birth of Chinese Identity: The Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms to the Yuan Dynasty (907-1368) (Understanding China Through Comics)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Karissa

    I got a copy of this book through the Amazon Vine program to review. I don’t have a ton to say about this book. It is a decent comic history of Japan for the time period listed in the title. The history was easy to follow and the graphic diagrams help you to understand what’s going on. The whole book was interesting and I found it surprisingly engaging given that I am not a huge fan of reading about history. My 10 year old son read it as well and said it was interesting and he liked it. Overall a I got a copy of this book through the Amazon Vine program to review. I don’t have a ton to say about this book. It is a decent comic history of Japan for the time period listed in the title. The history was easy to follow and the graphic diagrams help you to understand what’s going on. The whole book was interesting and I found it surprisingly engaging given that I am not a huge fan of reading about history. My 10 year old son read it as well and said it was interesting and he liked it. Overall a well done book about Chinese history that is easy to follow and will appeal to middle grade and older readers. I would recommend if you are interested in learning about Chinese history.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Amanda [Novel Addiction]

    This series does a great job of making the very complicated history of China actually understandable. Would I say I have a concrete knowledge of this time period now? No, definitely not - but it's a great intro. I also appreciate the "further reading" section in the back of each volume, with suggestions about what texts to go to for different subjects/specific time periods. This series does a great job of making the very complicated history of China actually understandable. Would I say I have a concrete knowledge of this time period now? No, definitely not - but it's a great intro. I also appreciate the "further reading" section in the back of each volume, with suggestions about what texts to go to for different subjects/specific time periods.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Zach

    If, like me, you know next to nothing about Chinese history, this series is a great introduction. I think it's a good source of context for more in-depth reading. If, like me, you know next to nothing about Chinese history, this series is a great introduction. I think it's a good source of context for more in-depth reading.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jan

    Lucid and original. Highly recommended

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nicola Mansfield

    I enjoy Chinese history and non-fiction graphic novels about people, places, and history. This book is written well and covers a *lot* of topics. This period of history in China is very intricate and it would take a very large tome to uncover all the details of the era covered here. Jing Lui has done a good job of explaining the situation at this time, the wars, the different empires and leaders moving on to the point where the Mongols had their largest empire. The book is black and white and ha I enjoy Chinese history and non-fiction graphic novels about people, places, and history. This book is written well and covers a *lot* of topics. This period of history in China is very intricate and it would take a very large tome to uncover all the details of the era covered here. Jing Lui has done a good job of explaining the situation at this time, the wars, the different empires and leaders moving on to the point where the Mongols had their largest empire. The book is black and white and has distinctly Chinese illustration: a bit comic-like with a dash of manga. The book has a lot of text and isn't like a traditional graphic novel but it is one, nevertheless. Pages form anywhere from one huge to three smaller frames. The text is mostly given in the narration with approx. one speech bubble per two-page spread. While the topic is complicated the book's design is not. The illustrations are clean and neat and enhance the text with graphic representations of facts in map or chart form.

  6. 4 out of 5

    sassyspines

    This is a non-fiction book so it is about real events. The design was interesting and seemed to fit the story a majority of the time. There should be trigger warnings for this book (obviously it deals with war and trauma) because a lot happened that I did not expect, see spoiler for more info. (view spoiler)[What threw me while reading this was they captured dogs and ate them, then we read a murder-suicide where someone took a child into the sea with them to end a dynasty, and we had images for This is a non-fiction book so it is about real events. The design was interesting and seemed to fit the story a majority of the time. There should be trigger warnings for this book (obviously it deals with war and trauma) because a lot happened that I did not expect, see spoiler for more info. (view spoiler)[What threw me while reading this was they captured dogs and ate them, then we read a murder-suicide where someone took a child into the sea with them to end a dynasty, and we had images for both scenes. The images were not fully graphic, but we could tell what was happening in each scene. I feel like the images were not necessary for those scenes. Yes, I understand that was a part of the history, but I think the images should have been omitted. (hide spoiler)]

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    This is the third in the Understanding China Through Comics series that I love so much, and it continues to live up to the promise of the first two books. I've said before, I think, that I've repeatedly tried to get into Chinese history classes and they keep getting cancelled (*mutters under breath*) so a series like this is a godsend. Barbarians and the Birth of Chinese Identity carries the history of China forward from the Song Dynasty to the Mongol invasion and eventual eviction (I think? I ma This is the third in the Understanding China Through Comics series that I love so much, and it continues to live up to the promise of the first two books. I've said before, I think, that I've repeatedly tried to get into Chinese history classes and they keep getting cancelled (*mutters under breath*) so a series like this is a godsend. Barbarians and the Birth of Chinese Identity carries the history of China forward from the Song Dynasty to the Mongol invasion and eventual eviction (I think? I may be confusing it with The History of the World I Guess). At any rate, the author is as always careful to define all terms clearly and also to clearly mark transitions and turning points. There's also a brief recap of the first two books at the beginning of this one, so those of us who have terrible memories can follow along more easily. It's very much an introductory volume-- if you already know things about Chinese history, this is not a good book for you-- but if you don't? A wonderful place to start. Highly recommended.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Vinayak Hegde

    The 3 part of the 4 part book on Chinese History. The battles of the Mongol warriors were interesting. As usual the illustrations explaining the philosophical underpinnings of the dynastic rules to maintain social order were interesting. The expansion of the Mongol empire and it's eventual breakup and disintegration were covered well especially in China with the Yuan dynasty. Also the time period where China started looking inward and closing off itself from the world. The 3 part of the 4 part book on Chinese History. The battles of the Mongol warriors were interesting. As usual the illustrations explaining the philosophical underpinnings of the dynastic rules to maintain social order were interesting. The expansion of the Mongol empire and it's eventual breakup and disintegration were covered well especially in China with the Yuan dynasty. Also the time period where China started looking inward and closing off itself from the world.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Marsha Altman

    My review for this whole series (minus the second book, which my library did not have a copy of) is the same: The author is trying to race through confusing dynasties and philosophy and does that part really well, often at the expense of the art.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Diego García

    Easy first insight. Main issues clearly outlined. Draws are clear and help to understand and process information. Good place to begin China's history readings Easy first insight. Main issues clearly outlined. Draws are clear and help to understand and process information. Good place to begin China's history readings

  11. 4 out of 5

    Karen Holt

    good overview of Chinese history. Would like to read others in series. Graphic novel format.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Six

    Pretty solid introduction to Chinese history. approachable for middle schoolers, even.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Summer

    Mongols are not kidding around.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Stanley Ng

    Good summary of history after Tang to Yuans Good comics illustration & a brief summary in understanding the dynasty cycles in China, the innovation of Song era of invention

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

  16. 4 out of 5

    Irene

  17. 4 out of 5

    Madeline

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

  19. 5 out of 5

    Miss Amanda

  20. 5 out of 5

    Julia

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bruno

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ms.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Angela

  24. 5 out of 5

    『(ARJUN REDDY™)』(^_^)

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kay White

  26. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

  27. 5 out of 5

    Patty

  28. 5 out of 5

    Will

  29. 4 out of 5

    Melvin

  30. 5 out of 5

    John

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