Almost American Girl: An Illustrated Memoir

Hi! My name is Joanne Tran and I am a sophomore at FVHS. I am a student writing an elevator pitch piece on why you should read a particular graphic novel. I chose Almost American Girl: An Illustrated Memoir, so I hope you would be interested in reading it and hearing what I have to say!

Almost American Girl: An Illustrated Memoir is about a girl named Chun from South Korea who is on vacation in the United States. This is when her life gets turned upside down and she learns her mother is getting married and a place that she thought she would be in for a temporary amount of time turns permanent. Chun changes her name to Robin and has to adapt to an entirely new life, but finds that a comics drawing class brings her comfort.

Growing up, I feel that everyone feels different for a certain reason. This is especially true for students of color in the classroom. Not measuring up to our White peers, feeling left out of cultural practices, and having cultural practices different from those around us. This feeling is especially represented in Almost American Girl: An Illustrated Memoir as you watch Chun navigate through a new country, changing everything she knew about life back in Korea. This is when she has to adapt to an entirely new world and find her own way through it.

This panel supports my Ethos claim because it shows two White boys making fun of Chun because of her race and ability to pronounce words. This shows how Chun is different compared to the other students at her school.

Stories about a person adapting to change and a new environment have always been the basis for some of the best pieces of media ever made. This list of pieces of media includes Harry Potter, Perks of Being a Wallflower, Mean Girls, and Dead Poets Society. While these stories may share some similarities with Almost American Girl: An Illustrated Memoir, one that is the most similar and stands out the most to me is Wonder. In both the movie and novel, Auggie is moved to a new school and has something about him that makes him clearly different compared to his peers, this is also true with Chun. Throughout both stories, you see two children who learn how to adapt to their new environment and be thoroughly accepted by those around them.

By reading Almost American Girl: An Illustrated Memoir, you can learn new aspects of Korean culture and how the drastic move from one country to another can affect oneself and those around you. People of color, especially Koreans, would appreciate you reading this novel as even though some of us may not have experienced something this life-changing, we have all experienced feeling different because of our race or ethnicity. Reading Almost American Girl: An Illustrated Memoir teaches you about what people could be going through and you yourself could relate to certain things and plot points in the novel.

In conclusion, you should read Almost American Girl: An Illustrated Memoir to see what others are going through, be able to compare this story to others you are familiar with and learn about other cultures and new perspectives. Thank you for reading this article and I hope you check out the graphic novel! Which aspect of it do you think you would like best?

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