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9 of 1: Reviews

"It was a wonderful program...seeing the intensity and creativity of the students." - Jodie Wiepking, Saratoga Library, July 2005

"We finished our handmade book this year done with your inspiration for the format from 9 of 1. The title is My Pieces of the Puzzle. Students were to go out and get advise about life from elders. The book is terrific...Once again I appreciate your creative inspiration."
- Joe Musich, High School Teacher, Minneapolis, MN, July 2005

"Many thanks once again for the very satisfying conclusion to the Berkeley Public Library zine program. Your presentation that night was such a good mixture of information and encouragement."
- Elizabeth Overmeyer, Berkeley Public Library, May 2005

"The international connection implicitly and explicitly made here are valuable ones, putting the events of 9/11 in a broad historical and human context and giving voice to divergent viewpoints; there's also a lot of information packed into the work."
- Deborah Stevenson, Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, January 2004

The feedback has been incredibly positive.
"One teacher was so excited because one of her underachieving students identified so strongly with you that it created an inroad for discussion about his performance. Wow!!! Thanks for sharing your time with us."
- Robin Ludmer, Beach Elementary School Library, Piedmont, CA 11/9/04

The program was really great!
"The turnout was about 20 mostly middle schoolers...Everyone was captivated by his presentation and busily began to draw...Several participants took home extra worksheets for more creative activity at home. I happily discovered that students had checked out 7 of the 9 copies of Oliverís books that I had on display for the program. His program attracted students that have not participated in our programs before. Oliver presented a very positive image of a successful artist/author. He has a very appealing techno-savvy, youthful and professional image."
- Elsie Tep, Lafayette Library, 10/6/04

A chastening lesson in true patriotism
"This book has to be among the best full length comics I've ever read. It's not only an interesting attempt at activism via comic form, it has that earnest Oxford Group-type mania for completion that still gives one a chill of pleasure. I didn't know what to expect when I started Oliver Chin's book, but as I pursued the story of these wonderful kids, deeper and deeper, I wound up chastened, moved, and considerably enlightened. People here in California who live far away from the World Trade Center should wake up and realize, it could happen here, but perhaps reading more books like Oliver Chin's will prevent it. What he's saying makes sense, and perhaps young people will realize this sooner than their elders."
- Kevin Killian, author of Little Men and Poet Be Like God: Jack Spicer and the San Francisco Renaissance, April 2004

"When it comes to expressing his range of concerns, Oliver Chin is an ace...Now, the Bay Area Harvard grad will teach sixth- to-twelfth-graders how to create their own graphic novels."
- The East Bay Express, CA, March 3, 2004
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"[Chin] enjoys writing and illustrating because 'I feel -- as everyone feels -- that I have something to say and I want to be able to say it in a way that not only can get someone to listen but also to get someone to learn.'

The graphic novel 9 of 1: A Window to the World was about the events of Sept. 11, 2001, but was based in Fremont and Union City and is meant to make people more aware of the diverse cultures and histories of people living in their community, Chin said."
- The Argus, Fremont, CA, March 1, 2004
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"Oliver Chin's 9 of 1: A Window to the World is a healthy response to the tragic events of September 11, 2001. In this graphic novel for young teens, nine high school students are given a challenging assignment by their U.S. history teacher: they are each asked to interview a community member they don't know. The teacher's hope is that the students will gain a new perspective on the catastrophe. Chin's illustrations provide the background for this thought-provoking work, and carry the story forward seamlessly. Recommended for students in grades six and above."
- School Library Journal, February 2004
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"Students who are tired of dry and dense textbook passages - both in the future and in todayís classrooms - should be encouraged to pick up Oliver Chinís graphic novel "9 of 1: A Window to the World." The 112-page book, written in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, shows some of those different stories in an effort to reconcile the terrible events with a more comprehensive picture of the world that produced them."
- The Daily Free Press, Boston College, October 2003
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Honorable Mention, 2003 Gustavus Myers Award
"This annual award commends works published in a given year which extend our understanding of the root causes of bigotry and the range of options we as humans have in constructing alternative ways to share power.

The United States long has been a country with diverse peoples. To our detriment it has more often drawn upon its heritage of conquest than its ideals.

The Gustavus Myers Center promotes living out diversity equitably. It encourages and welcomes the increasing range of scholarly and advocacy publications which help us deal equitably with pluralism. It encourages collective action to dismantle structures of domination. Now in its 19th year, we believe fervently that in the struggle is the hope."

Oliver Chin has created a graphic novel that in an innovative and original way depicts the aftermath and personal reactions to the Sept. 11 tragedies. Some may feel that such a serious subject matter should not be committed to such a frivolous medium as the graphic novel, but Chin rose above the limiting connotations of this style of book and created perhaps one of the most honest works regarding the most shocking event in recent U.S. history.
- Daily Collegian, University of Massachusetts, December 2003
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This book is unique in its layout and subject matter. Its content is rich enough that it could be used as a supplemental reading for a college-level world politics course, yet short and direct enough to grab hold of the attention of a young adult who is unfamiliar with current events. But the truly remarkable trait of this book is the truths that it leads us to face and how we are allowed to face them - with a sense of optimism and hope for positive change...Recommended for those who are struggling to understand recent events in America and the reasons they happened, politically, economically and culturally, "9 of 1" offers a perspective on these topics unlike any other media representation.
- The Pitt News, University of Pittsburgh, October 2003
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A Graphic Novel Not to be Missed!
The drawings are truly illuminating (in all senses of the word)...Chin, a gifted illustrator and more, teaches us a lot about history and about meanings and moments of recognition for the nine students plus the nine persons interviewed...The self-disclosures as the students present to the class are memorable. Don't overlook this book. Too often adults dismiss graphic novels as a fad, a comic-book simplification. 9 of 1: A Window to the World is far from that. To those who teach and/or facilitate meetings, here's an excellent educational resource, fact and fiction, for the classroom or session.
- Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights, Fall 2003 Newsletter
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"[Chin is] using comics to educate readers and examine the world around us... Nine of One is intended to open readers to a spectrum of opinions from the rainbow that is America at its best... [It] is notable for its lofty societal aspirations and for going where few American comics have gone."
- Tony Isabella, Comics Buyer's Guide

"One of the best 'info-' or 'edu-comix' I've read... for readers who are intelligent and interested in looking more deeply at a complicated event and its global repercussions."
- Phoebe Gloeckner
author of The Diary of a Teenage Girl and A Child's Life

"Oliver Chin's comic is more relevant today, as the mid-East is ravaged by war, than ever before. The events of 9/11, are sensitively -- and page-turningly -- treated, and have a deeper meaning with every passing day. I wish I had had a comic like this when I was a teenager during the Vietnam War -- Chin has given us an invaluable, artful series, which above all is a pleasure to read."
- Amy Wallace
author of the Book of Lists series and
Sorcerer's Apprentice: My Life with Carlos Castaneda

"The narration is a flowing entity, shifting from one voice to another to another, throughout the whole issue, and that unusual approach is reflected in the artwork and layout as well. In a way, it reminded me of the unconventional approach one finds in Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics and Reinventing Comics... Expressing unpopular ideas and protesting against government were once symbols of what it is to be American, but now, those notions are considered by some who claim to be patriots as being wholly un-American and bordering on treason. Chin's work here offers a more balanced perspective... Despite what [others] may have to say on the matter, books like Nine of One and other forms of balanced, intelligent examination of the after-effects of 9-11 are still to be found in America. "
- TheFourthRail.com

"You have done a lot of people a great service by filling in as much as possible with the history of people, places and cultures as you can in this format. If we are ever to understand why the things of the past year occurred and what the near future might bring, we need to get to know the world better, from places a world away to the people we see every day äI look forward to the rest of the series and hope it gets recognition among the fans. It deserves to be read by everyone."
- The Comic Book Network (read the full review)

"a well-researched primer on different cultures and how several American students, of various nationalities, perceive these cultures and how they felt about 9/11 ... it's an educational tool ... an effective method for teachers to impart some current events knowledge, gauge student emotions and concerns, and perhaps generate compassion for people, cultures and ideologies they previously didn't understand. A worthy goal, and more power to him."
- moviepoopshoot

"Thanks so much for sharing your graphic novel with me. It really stuck home to me in so many ways. I can only imagine how well it will be received by young adults."
- Professor Richard Schaefer, Department of Sociology, DePaul University

"What started one morning almost exactly two years ago is far from over, as
Oliver Chin makes clear in his new graphic novel, 9 or 1: A Window to the World ."
- The East Bay Express, August 27, 2003 (read the full review)

Reviewer's Choice:
Especially recommended as supplemental reading for students of contemporary international studies arising from the current "war on terrorism", 9 Of 1: A Window To The World is a graphic novel style history about a teacher who assigns nine students to interview a variety of people, and in the process they learn an amazing selection of diverse perspectives and ways understanding the world about them. Educational, fascinating, even-handedly informative, and suitable for all readers of ages and backgrounds, this contemplative read accessibly explores the many ways in which humans live their lives in an upbeat and engrossing manner.
- Midwest Book Review, September 2003

In this educational work, Chin explores a variety of reactions to the 9/11 attacks through the device of a group of fictional high school students assigned to interview people, whose backgrounds are different from their own, about the attacks and their aftermath... With a set of discussion questions for each chapter, this book is designed for use in schools, and Chin provides students with a wide variety of viewpoints on world affairs, giving some important historical background...this is a commendable effort: by putting these views in the mouths of ordinary people, Chin brings large issues into personal focus and provides a useful teaching tool. Recommended for schools and for young adult collections.
- Library Journal, September 2003
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Half comic, half textbook, and wholly readable, Chin's 9 OF 1 presents a kaleidoscopic vision of the United States post September Eleventh, a nation made up of countless immigrants encountering each other every day in the most ordinary ways. In this nicely layered tale, nine eleventh-grade classmates of diverse backgrounds are instructed to go out and interview members of their community about their own history and world views...Chin's formula is simple, but the juxtapositions and personal histories he presents make for a complex work. Graphically, the pages are reminiscent of a classic textbook turned on its ear; strong black-and-white portraiture is tossed in with full-page landscapes, diagrams, maps, and headlines. While an appendix of reading questions makes it clear that the book is partly intended for classroom use, the casual reader will enjoy it as an unintimidating primer on world cultures and politics today.
- Publishers Weekly, November 2003
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Just how did the youth of today deal with what happened on September 11, 2001? It was a horrible day that had lasting repercussions. That thought inspired Oliver Chin to create a story in 9 of 1 that showcases an average high school class and their reaction to what happened then and next. Each member of the class has to interview a stranger and the stories may surprise you.
- ComicCon's The Pulse, December 11, 2003
read the full interview


All information and drawings are protected by copyright © & TM, owned or licensed by Oliver Chin
© 2003. For general inquiries, please email oliver@immedium.com.