Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card by Sara Saedi
Sara came to America from Iran when she was 2 years old on a visitor’s visa. Her parents applied for political asylum, but discovered a couple years later their application had been lost. They applied for an adjustment of status, but remained undocumented for many years. She didn’t learn of her status until she was nearly 13 and spent almost a decade worried she would be deported back to Iran at any moment.
This memoir is super funny. I found myself laughing out loud or finding someone to read a few lines to several times while reading. Some examples:
*Iran has dealt with its fair share of strife and political unrest. And while I’m not one to point fingers or lay blame… the United States and Britain were totally at fault.
*My sister and I tried to find common ground with our half-American cousins, but that took a while to pan out. It didn’t help that we’d infiltrated their space AND that my sister’s favorite pastime was sending me off to bite them. I guess the rumors are true. Illegal immigrants are violent and dangerous.
*I was also the student body president of our elementary school. Yeah, I was an undocumented immigrant who’d been elected to public office. How you like me now, ICE?
*My dad even tried to impress him by telling him that my parents had seen Ozzy Osbourne in concert.
“Really?” Slash asked.
“Yeah,” my dad answered. “He was onstage with all his brothers and sisters.”
“Those were the OSMONDS!” my mom corrected.
Each chapter had a different focus, about growing up straddling two cultures or about various family members or about her family’s journey to citizenship (and the little brother who never had to worry about that because he was born in the US). Her political leanings are clear so this is probably not the right book for someone who strongly supports Trump or is opposed to alternative paths to citizenship. I recommend it to adults who are interested in immigration stories and want to laugh at a life the author probably thinks is kind of boring, but definitely isn’t.
4 (out of 5) Stars
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Pages Read in 2021: 27,800