Thursday, March 29, 2018

Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card by Sara Said - OPTIONAL

Saedi, Sara Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card, 280 pages. Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2018. $18.00. Language: R (17 swears, 1 F); Mature Content: R; Violence: G.

Sara Saedi tells about her life growing up as an illegal Iranian-American teenager in northern California during the 1990’s.  Saedi discusses Iranian culture and history and how it clashes with, as well as complements, American culture through her family’s history as well as her own.  Her stories about love across cultures and age gaps, war, cosmetic surgery, food, recreational drugs, sex, and everything in between compare and contrast both sides of her identity.  While her memoir is completely factual, it is also funny, heartbreaking, entertaining, and engaging.    

I really enjoyed reading this book.  Saedi is a master storyteller and her words carry you through the vignettes easily.  Her struggles are so typical of the American teenager that high school students will find her very relatable and easy to read.  The battle she experienced in her journey to get her green card will be a mind-opening experience for teenagers and is written not to impress nor shock but merely to educate.  Her candid discussion of illegal recreational drug use and unsafe sex (although probably accurate across most teenage cohorts) are the only parts of this book I did not savor.

HS – OPTIONAL. Reviewer: Jerusha Johnson.

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