Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card
by Sara Saedi
What is it about:
At thirteen, bright-eyed, straight-A student Sara Saedi uncovered a terrible family secret: she was breaking the law simply by living in the United States. Only two years old when her parents fled Iran, she didn’t learn of her undocumented status until her older sister wanted to apply for an after-school job, but couldn’t because she didn’t have a Social Security number.
Fear of deportation kept Sara up at night, but it didn’t keep her from being a teenager. She desperately wanted a green card, along with clear skin, her own car, and a boyfriend.
Americanized follows Sara’s progress toward getting her green card, but that’s only a portion of her experiences as an Iranian-“American” teenager. From discovering that her parents secretly divorced to facilitate her mother’s green card application to learning how to tame her unibrow, Sara pivots from the terrifying prospect that she might be kicked out of the country at any time to the almost-as-terrifying possibility that she might be the only one of her friends without a date to the prom.
What did I think of it:
I will confess I do not know much about the difficulties illegal immigrants face. I am aware of lots of refugees coming to the Netherlands and other countries, escaping horrors I can't even imagine, and I know not all of them come legally, but that's about it. So when I saw this book I decided to pick it up and get some understanding of what it's like to be an illegal immigrant.
Sara's story is really interesting and funny. The struggles of her parents to get legalized, her own fears (both about being deported and those that are universal for teenagers), her love for her family: everything is told with humor and wit. In between telling about her own youth, her families history, and problems with getting a green card, she answers some much asked questions about Iranians, and tackles some misconceptions.
All in all I very much enjoyed this book. Next to giving me a view on how life as an illegal immigrant can be, it is heartwarming to read how close-knit Sara's family is.
Why should you read it:
It's an interesting and enjoyable read.
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