In development as a television series from Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine production company and ABC Studios!
This hilarious, poignant and true story of one teen's experience growing up in America as an undocumented immigrant from the Middle East is an increasingly necessary read in today's divisive world. Perfect for fans of Mindy Kaling and Trevor Noah's books.
“Very funny but never flippant, Saedi mixes ‘90s pop culture references, adolescent angst and Iranian history into an intimate, informative narrative.” —The New York Times
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 gracefully 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. This moving, often hilarious story is for anyone who has ever shared either fear.
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“A must-read, vitally important memoir. . . . Poignant and often LOL funny, Americanized is utterly of the moment.”—Bustle
“Read Saedi’s memoir to push out the poison.”—Teen Vogue
“A funny, poignant must read for the times we are living in today.”—Pop Sugar
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.