I Was Their American Dream

A Graphic Memoir

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Paperback
$16.99 US
5.99"W x 9"H x 0.58"D  
On sale Apr 30, 2019 | 160 Pages | 978-0-525-57511-5
| Grades 6-8
Reading Level: Lexile GN490L
“A portrait of growing up in America, and a portrait of family, that pulls off the feat of being both intimately specific and deeply universal at the same time. I adored this book.”—Jonny Sun, author and illustrator of everyone’s a aliebn when ur a aliebn too and New York Times bestselling illustrator of Gmorning, Gnight! by Lin-Manuel Miranda

I Was Their American Dream is at once a coming-of-age story and a reminder of the thousands of immigrants who come to America in search for a better life for themselves and their children. The daughter of parents with unfulfilled dreams themselves, Malaka navigated her childhood chasing her parents' ideals, learning to code-switch between her family's Filipino and Egyptian customs, adapting to white culture to fit in, crushing on skater boys, and trying to understand the tension between holding onto cultural values and trying to be an all-American kid.

Malaka Gharib's triumphant graphic memoir brings to life her teenage antics and illuminates earnest questions about identity and culture, while providing thoughtful insight into the lives of modern immigrants and the generation of millennial children they raised. Malaka's story is a heartfelt tribute to the American immigrants who have invested their future in the promise of the American dream.

Advance praise for I Was Their American Dream

“Forthright and funny, Gharib fiercely claims her own American dream.” Booklist

“This funny, charming book about cultures clashing in the world of a young girl reads like something Amelia would have written if she’d had parents as cool and interesting as Malaka’s. This book breaks boundaries!” —Marissa Moss, author and illustrator of Amelia’s Notebook

“Thoughtful and relatable, this touching account should be shared across generations.” Library Journal

“This charming graphic memoir riffs on the joys and challenges of developing a unique ethnic identity.” Publishers Weekly
© Maro Mercene
Malaka Gharib is a writer, journalist, and cartoonist. She is the author of I Was Their American Dream: A Graphic Memoir, winner of an Arab American Book Award and named one of the best books of the year by NPR, The Washington Post, Kirkus Reviews, and the New York Public Library. By day, she works on NPR's science desk, covering the topic of global health and development. Her comics, zines, and writing have been published in NPR, Catapult, The Seventh Wave Magazine, The Nib, The Believer, and The New Yorker. She lives in Nashville with her husband, Darren, and her dog, Sheeboo. View titles by Malaka Gharib
“Malaka Gharib’s graphic memoir I Was Their American Dream tells the story of her experience as a first-generation American of Filipino and Egyptian descent. Gharib’s red-white-and-blue graphic palette serves as the perfect frame for her journey as she navigates questions of belonging, loyalty, and identity with heartwarming humor and critical wit.”Kenyon Review

“A heartwarming tribute to immigrant families and their descendants trying to live the American dream.”Kirkus Reviews

“Malaka Gharib tells the origin story of a person, somebody with hopes and fears and dreams. . . . Malaka looks to the future, to the expansive family that she has built and inherited, across continents and cultures. This memoir is as much a tribute to them as is her own coming of age story.”—Jeff Daughterty, BookTrib

“With a sincere approach, this graphic memoir will bring to mind Persepolis, but it is absolutely on its own quirky wavelength.”—Henry Chamberlain, Comics Grinder

"I Was Their American Dream is a pure and utter delight. With both a deft lightness and a deep poignancy, Malaka Gharib perfectly captures the feeling of growing up—of being a child of immigrants, of being a woman of color, of being thrown in the mix between cultures, of love, of family—with nostalgia, humor, and heart. Her words and illustrations are wittily observed and emotional in equal measure, able to draw a laugh and a tear over the span of a single page. I Was Their American Dream is a portrait of growing up in America, and a portrait of family, that pulls off the feat of being both intimately specific and deeply universal at the same time. I adored this book."—Jonny Sun, author and illustrator of everyone’s a aliebn when ur a aliebn too and New York Times best-selling illustrator of Gmorning, Gnight! by Lin-Manuel Miranda

About

“A portrait of growing up in America, and a portrait of family, that pulls off the feat of being both intimately specific and deeply universal at the same time. I adored this book.”—Jonny Sun, author and illustrator of everyone’s a aliebn when ur a aliebn too and New York Times bestselling illustrator of Gmorning, Gnight! by Lin-Manuel Miranda

I Was Their American Dream is at once a coming-of-age story and a reminder of the thousands of immigrants who come to America in search for a better life for themselves and their children. The daughter of parents with unfulfilled dreams themselves, Malaka navigated her childhood chasing her parents' ideals, learning to code-switch between her family's Filipino and Egyptian customs, adapting to white culture to fit in, crushing on skater boys, and trying to understand the tension between holding onto cultural values and trying to be an all-American kid.

Malaka Gharib's triumphant graphic memoir brings to life her teenage antics and illuminates earnest questions about identity and culture, while providing thoughtful insight into the lives of modern immigrants and the generation of millennial children they raised. Malaka's story is a heartfelt tribute to the American immigrants who have invested their future in the promise of the American dream.

Advance praise for I Was Their American Dream

“Forthright and funny, Gharib fiercely claims her own American dream.” Booklist

“This funny, charming book about cultures clashing in the world of a young girl reads like something Amelia would have written if she’d had parents as cool and interesting as Malaka’s. This book breaks boundaries!” —Marissa Moss, author and illustrator of Amelia’s Notebook

“Thoughtful and relatable, this touching account should be shared across generations.” Library Journal

“This charming graphic memoir riffs on the joys and challenges of developing a unique ethnic identity.” Publishers Weekly

Author

© Maro Mercene
Malaka Gharib is a writer, journalist, and cartoonist. She is the author of I Was Their American Dream: A Graphic Memoir, winner of an Arab American Book Award and named one of the best books of the year by NPR, The Washington Post, Kirkus Reviews, and the New York Public Library. By day, she works on NPR's science desk, covering the topic of global health and development. Her comics, zines, and writing have been published in NPR, Catapult, The Seventh Wave Magazine, The Nib, The Believer, and The New Yorker. She lives in Nashville with her husband, Darren, and her dog, Sheeboo. View titles by Malaka Gharib

Praise

“Malaka Gharib’s graphic memoir I Was Their American Dream tells the story of her experience as a first-generation American of Filipino and Egyptian descent. Gharib’s red-white-and-blue graphic palette serves as the perfect frame for her journey as she navigates questions of belonging, loyalty, and identity with heartwarming humor and critical wit.”Kenyon Review

“A heartwarming tribute to immigrant families and their descendants trying to live the American dream.”Kirkus Reviews

“Malaka Gharib tells the origin story of a person, somebody with hopes and fears and dreams. . . . Malaka looks to the future, to the expansive family that she has built and inherited, across continents and cultures. This memoir is as much a tribute to them as is her own coming of age story.”—Jeff Daughterty, BookTrib

“With a sincere approach, this graphic memoir will bring to mind Persepolis, but it is absolutely on its own quirky wavelength.”—Henry Chamberlain, Comics Grinder

"I Was Their American Dream is a pure and utter delight. With both a deft lightness and a deep poignancy, Malaka Gharib perfectly captures the feeling of growing up—of being a child of immigrants, of being a woman of color, of being thrown in the mix between cultures, of love, of family—with nostalgia, humor, and heart. Her words and illustrations are wittily observed and emotional in equal measure, able to draw a laugh and a tear over the span of a single page. I Was Their American Dream is a portrait of growing up in America, and a portrait of family, that pulls off the feat of being both intimately specific and deeply universal at the same time. I adored this book."—Jonny Sun, author and illustrator of everyone’s a aliebn when ur a aliebn too and New York Times best-selling illustrator of Gmorning, Gnight! by Lin-Manuel Miranda

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