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2019 April Loan Stars Top Adult Picks

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I Was Their American Dream
A Graphic Memoir
By (author): Malaka Gharib
9780525575115 Paperback, Trade English General Trade COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS / Contemporary Women Apr 30, 2019
$22.99 CAD
Active 6 x 9 x 0.5 in 160 pages 4C ILLUSTRATIONS T/O Potter Clarkson Potter
One part Mari Andrew, one part Marjane Satrapi, I Was Their American Dream: A Graphic Memoir is a triumphant tale of self-discovery, a celebration of a family’s rich heritage, and a love letter to American immigrant freedom. Malaka Gharib’s illustrations come alive with teenage antics and 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 upbringing will look familiar to anyone who grew up in the pre-internet era, but her particular story is a heartfelt tribute to the American immigrants who have invested their future in the promise of the American dream.

The daughter of parents with unfulfilled dreams themselves, Malaka navigates 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.

I Was Their American Dream is at once a journal of growing up and a reminder of the thousands of immigrants who come to America in search for a better life for themselves and their children.

AN IMPORTANT AND TIMELY STORY: As American culture continues to diversify, it’s imperative to boost the voices of those often labeled as “other.” Malaka’s story is that of millions of first-generation Americans. A quarter of America’s population is made up of immigrants and their children, and Malaka’s struggle to understand her place in this country is important to hear for both representation and understanding.

RECOGNIZABLE FORMAT: At 6“ x 9” and 160 pages, I Was Their American Dream is in good company with other graphic memoirs like Persepolis, Fun Home, and Maus. Readers will immediately recognize the paperback book with flaps as an illustrated narrative to cherish.

MEDIA-CONNECTED AUTHOR: As a content producer for NPR’s global health and development blog, Goats and Soda, Malaka is deeply entrenched in global issues and the role our country plays. Her connections at NPR and in the artist community in Washington, D.C.—where she founded the annual art book fair—will increase visibility and engagement with her story.

MALAKA GHARIB is an artist, journalist, and writer based in Washington, D.C. She is the founder of The Runcible Spoon, a food zine, and the co-founder of the D.C. Art Book Fair. She lives in a row house with her husband Darren and her 9-year-old rice cooker.

Author Residence: Washington, D.C.

Author Hometown: Cerritos, CA

Marketing: Digital advertising campaign



Social media campaign



Buzz mailing to author’s contacts



Crown Bookstagrammer Newsletter inclusion



Outreach and cross-promotion to relevant organizations such as Women in the Arts



ComicCon placement at the Crown booth



Promotional materials available for fairs and author appearances 



Publicity: National publicity



National TV



National print + online review and feature attention



National radio campaign



National/regional NPR campaign



Feature Website: iwastheiramericandream.tumblr.com/

Author Social Media: Instagram: @iwastheiramericandream (0.7k), @malakagharib (1.6k); Twitter: @malakagharib (5.4k)

“A heartwarming tribute to immigrant families and their descendants trying to live the American dream.”Kirkus Reviews

“Malaka Gharib tells the origin story of a person, somebody with hopes and fears and dreams…. Malaka looks to the future, to the expansive family that she has built and inherited, across continents and cultures. This memoir is as much a tribute to them as is her own coming of age story.”—Jeff Daughterty, BookTrib

“With a sincere approach, this graphic memoir will bring to mind Persepolis, but it is absolutely on its own quirky wavelength.”—Henry Chamberlain, Comics Grinder

I Was Their American Dream is a pure and utter delight. With both a deft lightness and a deep poignancy, Malaka Gharib perfectly captures the feeling of growing up—of being a child of immigrants, of being a woman of color, of being thrown in the mix between cultures, of love, of family—with nostalgia, humor, and heart. Her words and illustrations are wittily observed and emotional in equal measure, able to draw a laugh and a tear over the span of a single page. I Was Their American Dream is a portrait of growing up in America, and a portrait of family, that pulls off the feat of being both intimately specific and deeply universal at the same time. I adored this book.”—Jonny Sun, author and illustrator of everyone’s a aliebn when ur a aliebn too and New York Times best-selling illustrator of Gmorning, Gnight! by Lin-Manuel Miranda

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