Almost American Girl

Robin Ha

nonfiction graphic novel memoir young adult
challenging emotional reflective medium-paced

228 pages | first published 2020

A powerful and timely teen graphic novel memoir—perfect for fans of American Born Chinese and Hey, Kiddo—about a Korean-born, non-English-speaking girl who is abruptly transplanted from Seoul to Huntsville, Alabama, and struggles with extreme culture shock and isolation, until she discovers her passion for comic arts.

For as long as she can remember, it’s been Robin and her mom against the world. Growing up in the 1990s 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 at home 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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Moods

emotional 83%
reflective 76%
hopeful 53%
inspiring 46%
informative 26%
sad 21%
challenging 12%
funny 10%
lighthearted 9%
adventurous 6%
tense 3%
relaxing 1%

Pace

medium 57%
fast 41%
slow 1%

Average rating

4.19