The past and present have been difficult to discuss sexuality. Acceptance of individual views and choices in society is not always easy, even in America. To ensure equality in the L. B. G. T. communities, laws are being made. Despite all the advancements made individuals still face rejection from their families, colleagues, and society.

Paul Yee writes Money Boy about Ray Liu. He is a young Chinese immigrant attempting to fit in, as well as his internal struggle with homosexuality. Ray Liu must make difficult decisions to please his father and find his place within society. Ray Liu is an immigrant who finds his way through the internet to find his way back home. Liu’s father, a military man, doesn’t think video games are worth his time and considers them a waste. Ray Liu discovers gay websites on his computer and he decides to throw his son out onto the street. Ray Liu is left to fend for himself and discover his true identity without any time to talk about the content. Money Boy addresses a topic children are asking questions about at an early age. Parents feel confused and helpless. The book featured many difficult situations such as being robbed, hungry or sexually content. This made the book feel real. The novel is a good choice for 12th-graders to read, as it provides a deeper understanding of homosexual struggles and desires. As a parent, your vision is what you want for your child. As a parent, you want your child to be happy and free from sadness and pain. Parents are often overwhelmed when they discover something different from their vision. Our children can learn a lot from how we manage ourselves. Ba is shocked to discover the sites his son has been visiting. What should you think? Your grandfather was correct. I’m a failure. To raise you, I could have done more displacing. It’s too late. “

The text describes a situation that discourages teens from discussing their sexuality or coming out. Readers unfamiliar with the inner struggles of teens and their fear can read Reading Money Boy to gain an understanding. Readers will discover about the difficulties faced by Ray Liu, Money Boy’s character. Individuals are forced to think critically when they have to go against the grain of society norms. Ray, robbed, befriended and forced to make tough decisions to be a “money boy” to survive, is an example of this. Yee does an excellent job in showing the reader the consequences of following one’s dreams. Ray struggles to find acceptance from culture and his family in a world that doesn’t understand or share his desires. Yee can demonstrate Ray’s questioning of queer theory about binaries being gay/straight.

Because we see individuals as different, we tend not to recognize their identities or knowledge. Ray’s story is a reminder for those who may have difficulty coming out to parents and peers. Ray is home when his grandfather becomes ill and he decides he must go. He is trembling with his lips. I pause. Ba whispers, “Say yes,” I pause. (Yee 182) The book’s readers will be able to read this section and see that even though it is against their family’s wishes, they are still loved by them and taken care of. Ray’s grandfather is unable to understand Ray’s decision. Instead, he suggests that Ray adopt a child and/or make him a test-tube. Because it shows the reader how important family is, even when it’s against societal norms. Money Boy is an excellent, short book that will be of great value to anyone who has experienced the same struggles Ray Liu had.

Although the novel may be short, Yee shows us a glimpse through the eyes of a father and his teenage son. Yee doesn’t go beyond Ray and his grandfather, but there are many valuable lessons for the reader. Ray’s experiences have two main takeaways. The other is the importance of family and how you can work with difficult situations. Ba is worried about how his dad will react, but I believe he is able to see the positive side of it all.


  • rhysgraham

    Rhys Graham is an educational blogger and professor who writes about topics such as literacy, mathematics, and science. He has written several books, including one on the history of science. He is also the co-founder of the website Learn Out Loud, which helps educators create and share classroom activities.