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Almost American Girl: An Illustrated Memoir (2020)

por Robin Ha

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
4853549,961 (4.19)46
Biography & Autobiography. Sociology. Young Adult Nonfiction. HTML:

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… (mais)

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» Ver também 46 menções

Mostrando 1-5 de 35 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
I really appreciated getting a deeper looking into the experience of Ha; her struggles in adapting to her new home, sadness over losing what was familiar, and her focus on the particular hardships Korean women have had to deal with were especially eye-opening. This memoir made me feel a whole lotta emotions, and I'd love to read more of Ha's work. ( )
  deborahee | Feb 23, 2024 |
Wonderful memoir by Robin Ha and her experience in being uprooted to America as a teen. Her honest portrayal of the racism she encounters is poignant. She does not fit in at her new American middle school and her new Korean-American step-family in Alabama. She is also isolated from the one person who has always been in her corner -- her single Mom. Robin is lost in much of the novel. Being a teenager is hard enough, but to be a teen who straddles two very different cultures and languages takes its toll on her and her relationship with her mother. But through her own grit and support of her mother, Robin finds hope in experiences such as a piano recital and comic book club and she begins to makes connections with others and carve out a place for herself.

As a parent, I can't imagine the struggle her mother goes through in Korea as a single parent and the drive to uproot herself and her daughter to escape the sexism and traditional expectations of Korean culture in the 1980s and early 1990s. ( )
  AnnesLibrary | Jan 28, 2024 |
I've read many books about immigrants and refugees that are deeply harrowing -- many of them describe violence and real danger. This is *not* that kind of book, but it still shook me.

Almost American Girl is about a mother and daughter's journey from Seoul, South Korea, to Alabama. Robin is rudely uprooted from her happy life and thrust into a foreign, unfriendly one. The intensity of Robin's isolation was surprising to me. Despite having a built-in Korean-American family, the loneliness she experiences is hellish. She's bullied at school and by some members of her new family. She has to start 8th grade in a school with no ESL program when she knows very little English.

It is gradually revealed why Robin's single mother decided to move to the US. I really appreciated how Robin's perspective and understanding shifted. She was happy as a young girl in Korea, but comes to understand that Korean culture is not perfect -- why idealize it? American culture is not perfect either but offers advantages, especially for (unmarried) women.

I also really liked that Robin is singularly obsessed with comics and manga. She specifically says she does not care *at all* about Korean soap operas or K-pop, which made me laugh.

I think this would work for readers as young as middle school (Robin is in middle school for most of the story). The themes explored brought to mind [b:Real Friends|31145178|Real Friends (Real Friends, #1)|Shannon Hale|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1503615816l/31145178._SX50_.jpg|51774817]. ( )
  LibrarianDest | Jan 3, 2024 |
Accidentally inhaled this in one sitting, third read this month for Asian readathon 2020 and first read in a while for a book I own (versus the library book pile, as I've been trying to consume them because I don't know when I'll have to return them and in what order)

This graphic memoir is a 1990s fish out of water- Alabama can't have been the easiest place to move to, oof, but growing up as the child of a single mom in conservative South Korea helped strengthen Robin/Chunna's defenses. I almost expected more fantastical bits from young!Robin's teenage comics (ala the interludes in [b:American Born Chinese|118944|American Born Chinese|Gene Luen Yang|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1317066615l/118944._SX50_.jpg|114515]), but I do like how she illustrated the incomprehensible nature of English with swirly almost-letters. I would love to read a prose version of her life to get more of her story, but this format is fine too. I definitely want to check out her graphic cookbook when the library reopens (or get my own copy- we'll see.) ( )
  Daumari | Dec 28, 2023 |
Recommended to me via BookRiot TBR service, and was not disappointed. Comics memoir about a woman immigrating to the US from Korea when she was 14. The art is fantastic, and it hits all of the points you look for in a memoir: happy life, to unsettled life, to finding your place. I read it in one sitting. Highly recommended, especially for fans of graphic novel memoirs. ( )
  rumbledethumps | Jun 26, 2023 |
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To my mother, whose tenacity has taught me never to give up
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August 7, 1995, Seoul, South Korea
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Biography & Autobiography. Sociology. Young Adult Nonfiction. HTML:

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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