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Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card
Contributor(s): Saedi, Sara
ISBN: 1524717797     ISBN-13: 9781524717797
Publisher: Alfred a Knopf Inc
    OUR PRICE: $16.19  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: February 2018
Annotation: In San Jose, California, in the 1990s, teenaged Sara keeps a diary of life as an Iranian American and her discovery that she and her family entered as undocumented immigrants.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Iranian Americans; Biography; Juvenile literature.
Immigrants; Biography; Juvenile literature.
Illegal aliens; Biography; Juvenile literature.
Dewey: 813/.6
LCCN: 2016057751
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 10-12, Age 15-18
Book type: Juvenile Non-Fiction
Physical Information: 9.00" H x 7.00" W x 1.00" (1.00 lbs) 280 pages
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q72584
Reading Level: 9.2   Interest Level: Grades 9-12   Point Value: 15.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s): Sara Saedi was born in Tehran, Iran smack-dab in the middle of a war and an Islamic Revolution. She received a B.A. in Film and Mass Communications from the University of California, Berkeley and began her career as a creative executive for ABC Daytime. Since then she's penned three TV movies for ABC Family and a pilot for the Disney Channel, won a Daytime Emmy for What If..., a web series she wrote for ABC, and worked as a staff writer on the FOX sitcom The Goodwin Games. Her first novel for young adults, Never Ever, was published by Viking in June. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband, son, and pug, where she writes for the hit CW show iZombie. Learn more on Twitter at @saaaranotsarah or at

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2017 November #3)

Given the uncertain fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, which attempts to help protect undocumented young people from deportation, Saedi's memoir about being an all-American teenager, bicultural child of Iranian immigrants, and unwitting "illegal alien" could hardly be timelier. Saedi (Never Ever) doesn't pull any punches about the extra-legal role the U.S. played in toppling one Iranian leader and supporting another, or about the governmental snafus that kept her, her sister, and their parents without legal standing for so long. She documents her generally happy California life, with typical teen issues (unrequited love, bad skin) sharing space with the fear of deportation. Saedi explains Persian culture and debunks some stereotypes in FAQ sections, but also overworks irreverent language (the Iran-Contra scandal is described as the "vanilla ice cream on the poop pie"). Although she provides a candid, firsthand perspective on people who are cultural insiders but legal outsiders, it can feel as though an essay's worth of material has been extended to book length by diary entries and discussions of pop culture. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jess Regel, Foundry Literary + Media. (Feb.)

Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2018 February)

Gr 9 Up—Readers will laugh, cry, and empathize with Saedi's adolescent journey as an undocumented Iranian immigrant living in the United States. Her memoir recounts the discovery of her undcoumented status as a teen and the naturalization process in her early adulthood. Saedi paints a clear picture of the financial hurdles her family faced as they rebuilt a life in a new country, the legal implications of not having a Social Security number, and the sharp contrast between her mother's teenage years and her own. Readers will laugh at the author's honest portrayals of awkward high school experiences and understand the anxiety that comes with the constant fear of deportation. The memoir tackles complex topics of immigration, sex, alcohol, cultural stereotypes, and what it means to navigate life between two cultures. Filled with pop culture references, journal excerpts, photographs, and relatable coming-of-age content, this book will keep readers fully entertained while pushing them to deeper cultural understandings. VERDICT A must-purchase for memoir collections.—Monica Cabarcas, Albemarle High School, Charlottesville, VA

Copyright 2018 School Library Journal.