Synopses & Reviews
Harvey Award Nominee, Best Children or Young Adult Book
A powerful and moving teen graphic novel memoir about immigration, belonging, and how arts can save a life — perfect for fans of American Born Chinese and Hey, Kiddo.
For as long as she can remember, it's been Robin and her mom against the world. Growing up as the only child of a single mother in Seoul, Korea, wasn't always easy, but it has bonded them fiercely together.
So when a vacation to visit friends in Huntsville, Alabama, unexpectedly becomes a permanent relocation — following her mother's announcement that she's getting married — Robin is devastated.
Overnight, her life changes. She is dropped into a new school where she doesn't understand the language and struggles to keep up. She is completely cut off from her friends in Seoul and has no access to her beloved comics. At home, she doesn't fit in with her new stepfamily, and worst of all, she is furious with the one person she is closest to — her mother.
Then one day Robin's mother enrolls her in a local comic drawing class, which opens the window to a future Robin could never have imagined.
This nonfiction graphic novel with four starred reviews is an excellent choice for teens and also accelerated tween readers, both for independent reading and units on immigration, memoirs, and the search for identity.
"Robin's story is both utterly her own and deeply resonant for anyone who's felt lost in the world and fought to carve out a place for themselves." Hazel Newlevant, author of No Ivy League
"Incredibly honest, poignant, and ultimately triumphant, Almost American Girl is a treasure." Michael Cho, author of Shoplifter
"Ha effectively uses the comic book format to recall her own memories of dislocation, explore a testy mother-daughter relationship and ultimately chronicle a poignant search for identity." San Francisco Chronicle
About the Author
Robin Ha grew up reading and drawing comics. At fourteen she moved to the United States from Seoul, Korea. After graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in illustration, she moved to New York City and started a career in the fashion industry. Her work has been published in independent comic anthologies including Secret Identities and The Strumpet, as well as in the pages of Marvel Comics and Heavy Metal Magazine. She is also the author of the New York Times bestselling comic recipe book Cook Korean!: A Comic Book with Recipes. Visit Robin online at banchancomic.tumblr.com.