Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Kampung Boy” as Want to Read:
Kampung Boy
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Kampung Boy

(Kampung Boy #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  1,467 ratings  ·  212 reviews
Kampung Boy is a favorite of millions of readers in Southeast Asia. With masterful economy worthy of Charles Schultz, Lat recounts the life of Mat, a Muslim boy growing up in rural Malaysia in the 1950s: his adventures and mischief-making, fishing trips, religious study, and work on his family's rubber plantation. Meanwhile, the traditional way of life in his village (or k ...more
Paperback, First American edition, 144 pages
Published September 5th 2006 by First Second (first published 1979)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Kampung Boy, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Zach Reizner No idk L0L I don’t really care that much L0L

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,467 ratings  ·  212 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Kampung Boy
Sep 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
Honestly, if you call yourself a Malaysian then you better read this. You are not a true patriot if you haven't read this.
And if you're not a Malaysian, if you read this, you will a have a rather nice glimpse into Malaysia's past where time seemed to stand still and kids being kids just play all day, inventing things to do, blending in with the nature rather than just stare at the computer..oh dear.
Personally, being from a younger generation we need to be reminded of such things so that we will
I loved this story from the first page. It kept me engaged through the use of various amounts of words on each page, the graphics, the cultural knowledge imparted, the way Lat made me instantly connect with the boy, Mat. The smiles of the people were a little alarming and I wish there had been just a teensy bit more about learning the Koran, but maybe more of that comes with the next book, which I will undoubtedly read.
Dave Schaafsma
Coming of age story by Lat, which first appeared in 1979, translated into English. Lat is famous and well read in Asia, not well known here in the west, but I thought I would check this out. I know little about Malaysia, so thought I would read for that, too. Lat began publishing some of this story when he was only 13, and it/he just grew in popularity. At least this volume (the first of promised many) appears to be done by someone young. It appears sketchy, unsophisticated. Kampung means Villag ...more
Dec 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Rating my own opinion... I don't get much out of this style of artwork. But I did love learning about a boy growing up in a kampung in rural Malaysia near a tin mine.

My library shelved it as YA but I have no idea why. The most intense bit was the circumcision - at age 10! Call it Juvenilie, or call it 'all ages.' It took me 26 minutes to read (including trying to make out details in pictures).
This is an entertaining and eminently enlightening tale about a young boy growing up on a rubber plantation in rural Malaysia in the 1950s. I really enjoyed reading the illustrated story and I feel like the drawings conveyed just as much of the tale as the words do.

Overall, it's a humorous book, but much more than that, it offers a window to catch a glimpse of life in a part of the world I have never seen before (probably never will). It also shows the universal concepts of familial affection,
Jun 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(4 stars)
This is the second comic book in my collection by this renowned cartoonist. Beforehand, I’m already a fan of the animation series; Kampung Boy. But I think this book and the television version is a little bit different. Or is it from another book?

By the way, Mat Som got me really hooked up with Datuk Lat’s drawing, characters, humour and also beautiful messages in his work. And,Kampung Boy is not any less wonderful. Not at all. :) And yes, now I understand why this book became one of th
Stacy Slater
Nov 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
What a charming book! From his birth to his journey to boarding school, this kampung (village) boy enjoys his life. Nothing special happens in this graphic depiction of life in a Malaysian village in the 1960s, but the normal boy pursuits (fishing, hanging out with friends, getting in trouble with mom), are portrayed with great affection and humor. The village, however, is changing with the times, and as the boy leaves for boarding school, he and the reader are left wondering if there will be a ...more
Apr 22, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Kampung Boy tells the story of a young boy, Lat, and his childhood in a kampung (village). A graphic novel, it illustrates the boy's life in pictures and words. Aside from being the protagonist, Lat is also the narrator. The story opens with his birth in a kampung in Perak, Malaysia, and the traditional rituals surrounding the event: the recitation of blessings, the singing of religious songs, and the observance of ceremonies. As Mat grows older, he explores the house, gradually shifting the ...more
Dani Shuping
Jun 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novel
Lat takes us on a journey of his childhood growing up in the Kitna Valley in Perak in the 1950’s. Lat is master storyteller as he takes us down the wandering path of his memories showing us the ceremonies that were still practiced--such as asking the local teacher to take on students, the feeling of swimming in a river as the cool water washes over you, and the warmth and somewhat craziness of family--like the dad that takes off his shirt to scratch his back on the pole when he gets home from wo ...more
Jul 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
Lat. (2006). Kampung boy. New York: First Second.
Fiction. In this book, which was first published in Malaysia in 1979, Lat shares the story of his childhood in his small village, or kampung, during the 1950s. From his birth and adventures as a young boy, to his education in the village, making friends, and his eventual leaving of the kampung for boarding school, Lat sweetly, and authentically brings his kampung to life. There is an authentic portrayal of his rites of passage, such as his hair s
Danya Itani
Apr 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Kampung boy is a novel about a baby who is born in the Kampung village of Malaysia. The book begins by the birth of the baby and begins explaining the celebrations and rituals that they do. It explains how they dress the baby and how they take care of him. Then since the family is Muslim they explain the traditions they have. Not only does the book have a sense on religion but education and daily life as well. As soon as the little boy grew up his father put him in a religion school, there he me ...more
Oct 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
If nothing else (and I actually have got a lot out of this challenge) 50books_poc has got me reading graphic novels and comics. Kampung Boy is completely charming. I wish it wasn’t pretty much the only piece of Lat’s work so far published in Australia (although apparently they’re planning to release some more in the future). It’s a beautifully rendered graphic novel of (essentially) Lat’s childhood in a village – a kampung – in Malaysia. His and his family’s religious observance is matter-of-fac ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 13, 2009 rated it liked it
The story of a boy growing up in a Southeast Asian village.

Chronicles the rituals and adventures of small town life, including baby's first shaving, circumcision, etc. Felt like an autobiography, so I'm curious about the author's history. Also didn't stand up to me as a graphic novel - the words did most of the telling, with illustrations and a few references to the pictures. A couple of details are only communicated through the pictures (a young crush), but they are not crucial to the story.

Apr 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: memoir fans, those who liked American Born Chinese
This was an energetic, sweet little graphic novel memoir about growing up in a kampung (village) in Malaysia in the 1950s. I enjoyed it for the ugly, expressive characters, the wonderfully-drawn natural settings (watch your backs, Bill Watterson, Jeff Smith, and Craig Thompson), and the window into a time, place, and lifestyle that are already beginning to vanish as of the end of the book. I hope there are follow-ups so I can find out what happens to Mat at boarding school.

I've liked everything
Francesca Forrest
Oct 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Loved this for the details of village life in Malaysia the 1950s--things you can't get elsewhere, you can get in this graphic novel. Pictures of how a kitchen is set up, or a hammock rigged up so that Lat can rock his baby sister--or, later, a picture of him pulling his little brother along on a palm leaf frond. His dad shows him a weaver bird nest and says that weaver birds put fireflies in them to light up the insides. I checked this out online, and it's a widespread belief--people say this in ...more
Oct 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Very cute. An interesting escape for half an hour. I know nothing about graphic novels, and not much more about Malaysia. This shows how his mother set up her kitchen, and what it felt like to ride on a bicycle with his dad into town. Lots of scenes at the river. Lots of people laughing, all teeth. The perspective of a little boy was a fun introduction to a completely different world. I'd read more in the series. ...more
Malaysia. The first in a series by a Malaysian cartoonist. It covers his life from his birth to his departure for boarding school in Ipoh. His life is filled with fishing and swimming with the Meor boys, learning the Koran in school and family functions such as weddings and his own circumcision at age 10. He senses his agricultural village on the verge of change, as tin mines and factory jobs slowly take over.
Jon Nakapalau
Aug 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
Lat takes us back to when he was a boy growing up in rural Perak (Malaysia) in the 1950s. Think of a cross between Huck Finn and Leave it to Beaver and spend an afternoon remembering all the things you did as a child - when you felt safe and knew that your family and friends were just around the corner to help you.
Mia Kay
Dec 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
guys, lets get back to our malay root. This book has everything. it tells from the author perspective on living as a kampung boy, and the culture with our old tradition, it makes you wanna live in that era. For me, I always wanna feel like living in the 60s. it really does captivate that time and i love it.
Aug 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!
Shelves: mlis-texts
LOVED it! Semi-autobiographical story about a young Muslim boy growing up in rural Malaysia. The drawings are really energetic and detailed cartoons, and the story is simple in the best possible way. Loved loved loved it.
Nov 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, asia
a beautiful story of both narrative and style.
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
A good introduction to traditional Malay village life.
McKayla Moors
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Graphic novels are such a wonderful way to introduce an audience to a new culture. Prior to Kampung Boy, I had never read a book, to my recollection, that takes place in Malaysia. I was completely ignorant (and, admittedly, remain largely so) to what life in Malaysia looks like on any level, so for me, this novel was, well, a novel experience. (I'm so sorry.)

LAT's personal storytelling style, combined with his very specific illustrations, invite the reader into his world, on his terms. It is a b
The art is simple and the story is really basic. It's a memoir of Lat himself growing up in rural village in 1979 till he left for school. There's nothing extravagant about Kampung Boy except that it has captured a lot of Malaysians' hearts who more or less experienced the same thing. But time has changed and there are no more mining factory, less kids enjoy swimming and fishing anymore. This has become a time capsule for new generation to learn about old days in the simplest way. The topics her ...more
Hannah Garden
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: march-2019, comics
Haaahahja this book is great. It’s the antidote to The Arab of the Future, which I personally love but many of my loved ones despised, so.

Anyway so funny and gribbly and jimpsie.
Slavomir Ogurcak
May 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very cute comics about a naughty boy growing up in a village :)
Feb 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Kampung Boy, was a graphic novel written and illustrated by Lat, about his life as a Muslim growing up in Malaysia during the 1950’s in a little village called kampung. The boy in the book, however, is named Mat. He describes a life totally different from a life here in the United States, but it was still home to him. This book confirmed my belief that no matter where a person’s home is or what their life is like, that is still where their heart is. The kampung village where Mat grew up dredged ...more
In Kampung Boy, Lat employs playful pen-and-ink line drawings and an affectionate, lighthearted tone to share the story of Mat, a Muslim boy growing up in rural Malaysia in the 1950's. The full page illustrations are detailed and energetic; they fill each page with the everyday details of Mat's kampung (village) and give readers a clear sense of place. Throughout the book, Lat maintains a childlike and one could say, sentimental, tone as we follow Mat from birth through various scenes of childho ...more
Collin Schock
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was a really good book. It was about a young boy trying to find his way through the life of his hometown. He has a lot of expectations to live up to with his family and every one of his small village. He travels through life differently as he tries things that the neighboring kids teach him.

I really love this book because of the main character. I relate to him so much. His parents have high expectations, but he doesn't want what his family wants. He wants to run around and be wild inst
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Embroideries
  • Barefoot Gen, Volume One: A Cartoon Story of Hiroshima
  • One Hundred Demons
  • Stitches
  • Ikenga
  • The Breadwinner: A Graphic Novel
  • Leche
  • Long Way Down: The Graphic Novel
  • Cosmic Ghost Rider: Baby Thanos Must Die
  • Old Man Winter & Other Sordid Tales
  • X-Men: Worst X-Man Ever
  • The Magic Fish
  • NonNonBa
  • Amarillo (Blacksad, #5)
  • A Game for Swallows: To Die, to Leave, to Return
  • Dope Dealer
  • Wonder Woman: Dead Earth
  • Aya (Aya #1)
See similar books…

Other books in the series

Kampung Boy (2 books)
  • Town Boy

Related Articles

Author and illustrator Alice Oseman is known to her long-time fans for her young adult novels about—as she calls them—"teenage disasters,"...
305 likes · 23 comments