I Was Their American Dream
I Was Their American Dream

I Was Their American Dream is at once a coming-of-age story and a reminder of the thousands of immigrants who come to America in search for a better life for themselves and their children. The daughter of parents with unfulfilled dreams themselves, Malaka navigated her childhood chasing her parents' ideals, learning to code-switch between her family's Filipino and Egyptian customs, adapting to white culture to fit in, crushing on skater boys, and trying to understand the tension between holding onto cultural values and trying to be an all-American kid.

Malaka Gharib's triumphant graphic memoir brings to life her teenage antics and illuminates earnest questions about identity and culture, while providing thoughtful insight into the lives of modern immigrants and the generation of millennial children they raised. Malaka's story is a heartfelt tribute to the American immigrants who have invested their future in the promise of the American dream.

Book Details


  • Biography
  • Manga/Graphic Novel

Age Level: 

  • 12 and up
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I Was Their American Dream is an authentic story of a young girl growing up in California with her Filipino family. Malaka has always known her parents had huge expectations when they first arrived in the United States. After her parents' divorce, however, all of those expectations fall to Malaka to fulfill.

This memoir shows in graphic novel format how Malaka finds a way to achieve the American dream even through life's uncertainties. Find out how she does it in author Malaka Gahrib's memoir, I Was Their American Dream.

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