Author: Sara Saedi
Format: E-book through library/Libby
This is a very relevant book for our time and it feels like it was written because of that. “Illegal” immigration status happens for a variety of reasons, even if the immigrant is doing his/her/their best to follow the rules and keep up with the paper trail.
Saedi’s book tells her own story of being an Iranian immigrant living an American teenage life. Her teen angst has a ghost partner that is the looming possibility of deportation and returning to a country she doesn’t know and that doesn’t know her.
Her smooth narrative style and humorous tone belies what must have been frightening and stressful at times for her parents, her sister, and other members of her family. We hear about Saedi’s boy struggles alongside the real drama of slow and frustrating experiences with the INS.
As I was reading the book, I wish I’d had a book club to read along with, but not one where we all agree. I wanted to fight about this book with someone and point out that this is not an unusual story- it’s a standard immigrant narrative and the US must learn how to understand this narrative as part of our own national story.
This book would make an amazing “freshman read” for incoming college students as a chance to explore another story and point of view as preparation for engaging higher level critical thinking.