Almost American Girl: An Illustrated Memoir
Harvey Award Nominee, Best Children or Young Adult Book
A powerful and moving teen graphic novel memoir about immigration, belonging, and how arts can save a life--perfect for fans of American Born Chinese and Hey, Kiddo.
For as long as she can remember, it's been Robin and her mom against the world. Growing up as the only child of a single mother in Seoul, Korea, wasn't always easy, but it has bonded them fiercely together.
So when a vacation to visit friends in Huntsville, Alabama, unexpectedly becomes a permanent relocation--following her mother's announcement that she's getting married--Robin is devastated.
Overnight, her life changes. She is dropped into a new school where she doesn't understand the language and struggles to keep up. She is completely cut off from her friends in Seoul and has no access to her beloved comics. At home, she doesn't fit in with her new stepfamily, and worst of all, she is furious with the one person she is closest to--her mother.
Then one day Robin's mother enrolls her in a local comic drawing class, which opens the window to a future Robin could never have imagined.
This nonfiction graphic novel with four starred reviews is an excellent choice for teens and also accelerated tween readers, both for independent reading and units on immigration, memoirs, and the search for identity.
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About the Author
"Incredibly honest, poignant, and ultimately triumphant, Almost American Girl is a treasure."--Michael Cho, author of Shoplifter
"Robin's story is both utterly her own and deeply resonant for anyone who's felt lost in the world and fought to carve out a place for themselves." --Hazel Newlevant, author of No Ivy League
“This heartfelt memoir from an author who shares her honest, personal experiences ... An insightful, moving coming-of-age tale.”--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"A poignant and unvarnished depiction of immigration--both the heartache and the rewards."--School Library Journal (starred review)
"Touching and subtly humorous, this emotive memoir is as much about the steadfast bond between a mother and daughter as it is about the challenges of being an immigrant in America."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Ha successfully brings to life the wide range of emotions that both tell the story and provide evidence that the comic medium has been a healing force for her and perhaps could be for readers who have walked similar paths."--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"With unblinking honesty and raw vulnerability... [and] presented in full-color splendor, her energetic style mirrors the constant motion of her adolescent self, navigating the peripatetic turbulence toward adulthood."--ALA Booklist (starred review)
"Ha effectively uses the comic book format to recall her own memories of dislocation, explore a testy mother-daughter relationship and ultimately chronicle a poignant search for identity."--San Francisco Chronicle