Almost American Girl: An Illustrated Memoir
Almost American Girl: An Illustrated Memoir

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Catalog Number: #208668
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Graphic Novel Graphic Novel Hot Title Hot Title
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 240
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: Publisher: 0-06-268510-4 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-7291-8
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-06-268510-0 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-7291-4
Dewey: 921
Language: English
Reviews:
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 7 Up Ha's touching graphic memoir depicts her lonely first year as a teenage immigrant to America. When her single mother brought her from Seoul, South Korea, to Huntsville, AL, in 1995, 14-year-old Chuna (the author's Korean name) thought it was just another vacation, but she quickly discovered that her mother intended to marry a fellow Korean immigrant, Mr. Kim. Chuna and her mother moved in with Mr. Kim's extended family, and Chuna joined her new stepcousins at school. Stranded in a sea of indecipherable English and racist bullies, she realized that the glossy America she saw on television was far from reality. But Chuna began to take a clear-eyed look at her home country, particularly the prejudice she faced because her mother was unmarried, and came to understand her mother's choice to leave Seoul. Eventually, Chuna joined a comic book course and bonded with her classmates. Illustrations include dynamic sound effects and convey overwrought emotion. The sepia-toned flashbacks to life in Seoul at first seem nostalgic, but as the teen reflects on how conservative Korean culture was, the monochromatic scenes feel far more bleak. Ha's all too infrequent fantasy sequences are gloriously colorful, especially the scene when Chuna takes solace in her favorite fantasy universe. VERDICT A poignant and unvarnished depiction of immigrationboth the heartache and the rewards. Anna Murphy, Berkeley Carroll School, Brooklyn
Reading Level: 6.0
Interest Level: 7-12

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.


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