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The American Dream? a Journey on Route 66 Discovering Dinosaur Statues, Muffler Man, and the Perfect Breakfast Burrito: a Graphic Memoir
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The American Dream? a Journey on Route 66 Discovering Dinosaur Statues, Muffler Man, and the Perfect Breakfast Burrito: a Graphic Memoir

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  41 ratings  ·  23 reviews
As a child growing up in Malaysia, Shing Yin Khor had two very different ideas of what “America” meant. The first looked a lot like Hollywood, full of beautiful people and sunlight and freeways. The second looked more like The Grapes of Wrath - a nightmare landscape filled with impoverished people, broken-down cars, barren landscapes, and broken dreams. Those contrasting i ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published August 6th 2019 by Zest Books
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4.22  · 
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 ·  41 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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Jul 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, 2019-netgalley
A graphic memoir of a trip along the iconic Route 66 through the eyes of an immigrant and her dog. Shing is an artist obsessed with Americana, travelling the byways of a more innocent time in America before the Interstates pushed through our country making the highways and the towns along them obsolete. I think my favorite moments were when she explored the many ghost towns and abandoned shops along the way. You can tell the long trip (especially since she roughed it by sleeping in her car or ca ...more
I love looking at new things, through eyes that are not mine, and what better way to look at American than through the eyes of someone who was not originally from America.

Though the author has been living in Los Angeles for a number of years, she wants to see the real America, and so decides to take a trip on Route 66.

Back before President Eisenhower created the interstate highway system, those roads that all start with Interstate and an even or odd number, depending on the direction they are g
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been a fan of Shing Yin Khor's art for years, and I was so excited when this book was announced! Along with their adorable rescue dog, Bug, Shing sets out to drive the complete historic Route 66 from Los Angeles to Chicago. Along the way they chat with rangers, bikers, tourists, and the shop and cafe owners that are keeping pieces of American history alive. Shing's voice is warm, personal, and curious. The pages are painted in gorgeous full-color watercolors. The remains of blueline penci ...more
Steff Pasciuti
I have to admit, I'm not really all that invested in Route 66 past its influence on the movie Cars, which I have loved since the first time I ever saw it. My interest in Shing Yin Khor's The American Dream? came more from the fact that it was a road trip story about a young immigrant truly interested in the history of the route. That, in and of itself, is kind of fascinating. And Khor didn't disappoint, both with the wonderfully eye-catching artwork (which includes their absolutely adorable dog ...more
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A fascinating exploration of and reflection on a pivotal piece of American history. I adore Shing's work, and this one shines. Emotional, funny, warm. Great art, love the colors. Bug arguably the best part.
Jill Kenna
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a fantastic book about a woman and her dog traveling on Route 66. I absolutely adored the artwork. It was a gorgeous water color style that really helped capture the feeling of traveling alone and kind of melancholy that can creep in sometimes. I also really loved all the weird and interesting landmarks that she stopped at and all of her friends that made appearances in the book. I really couldn't find anything that I didn't like about this book. This type of cross country drive is some ...more
Alanna Medina
Jun 04, 2019 rated it liked it
I received this book on Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
I enjoyed reading this graphic novel. I love anything involving road trips but this one wasn't anything extraordinary. I definitely laughed at some of the scenes with the dog. The art was okay and the trip itself was kind of boring. I feel like this trip definitely meant more to the author and you could see that through the story but as an outside reader, it was missing something that could make it stand out.
Jaclyn Hillis
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this! It is also a dream of mine to drive Route 66 and camp! Her art was beautiful and I think she really encompassed the main attractions of Route 66, and it makes me even more excited to make the same drive one day.

Thank you NetGalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very sweet and adorably illustrated journey across half the country. Just a girl, her dog and her dream of historic route 66. It even has an illustration of one of the statues at my University! YAY!
Of course, there are observations here that could only be made by someone experience quintessential "Americana" through the eyes of an immigrant, and the epilogue is actually kind of heartbreaking. A unique look at a slice of life not may will experience.
Sam Rosen
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In Shing Yin Khor's graphic novel, she draws and writes about her personal experience of finding if the American Dream still exists by traveling from LA to Chicago by Route 66. Along the way, the main character details the spots she visits, the people she meets, and her thoughts about being an immigrant traveling Route 66.

This novel is a quick read and very enjoyable! The book has a mixture of great narrative, deep thought, and colorful illustrations. I really enjoyed the illustrations and layo
Jun 25, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
I was intrigued when I saw Shing Yin Khor’s book about the “American Dream” and, although it was her interpretation of her American Dream, I was absorbed by the illustrations and the promising content.

I want to start with the illustrations. I am also an illustrator and an artist myself (although, not very good) so I do appreciate looking at the nicely done watercolor illustrations and visual contents. I especially love the two-page spreads of landscape illustrations of Owl Canyon, AZ, and Blue M
Brooke Lorren
Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The American Dream? is a graphic novel that takes readers on a journey through the cities along the historic Route 66, from Los Angeles to Chicago. It's a quick read and there's a lot to like about it.

1) The author gives us a look at the different sites that we'd see along the way if we made the journey ourselves. I've driven along the interstate in several of these places, although I've only driven snippets of Route 66 itself. It's interesting to see all the different places that you can see al
Michelle Kidwell
Jul 31, 2019 rated it liked it

The American Dream?
A Journey on Route 66 Discovering Dinosaur Statues, Muffler Men, and the Perfect Breakfast Burrito

by Shing Yin Khor

Lerner Publishing Group

Zest Books ™

Comics & Graphic Novels , Teens & YA

Pub Date 06 Aug 2019

I am reviewing a copy of The American Dream through Lerner Publishing Group and Netgalley:

In this unique book Shing Yin Khor chronicles her solo journey along the iconic Route 66 written and illustrated in a fun easy to read manner we learn of Shing’s trip.

As a child
Emily (Obsessed Reader)
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
”My heart has always existed in pieces, between continents and countries and states and borders, and trails I’ve walked and roads I’ve driven. Perhaps that is perfectly acceptable.”

I loved going along on the journey across Route 66 and seeing all the fun places the author discovered. I also enjoyed her sharing the people she met and the things she learned. I made notes for a future roadtrip I’d like to take someday. The artwork was really nice in a simple yet interesting way.
This was a surprisi
Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun and thoughtful travel memoir that follows the author, an immigrant and expat, on a road trip across the historic Rt. 66. With her faithful traveling canine companion Bug, the two share their thoughts on the highway's notable landmarks and the people they encounter. "The American Dream?" is a thoughtful look at how the United States was a safer and more welcoming place to travel before the 2016 election. Beautifully drawn and written, The American Dream? is an entertaining look at our count ...more
Jul 27, 2019 rated it liked it
ARC via Netgalley. A thoughtful road trip memoir reflecting on America through the lens of Route 66. The art is simple but colorful and appealing. The author discusses their experiences as an Asian American in passing throughout the narrative but not their nonbinary identity -- not sure if anyone else picked this up expecting a memoir more overtly about being nonbinary but if so, I would recommend Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe instead. That said, The American Dream? is a lovely travelogue and I en ...more
Angie  Moore
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I requested this book because it was a graphic novel, by a BIOC, not knowing much more about the book. I was so surprised to find out that it was not only a Memoir about the author’s journey to discover a sense of self, but that the journey was along the original Route 66! (My family is in the planning stages of a trip next summer!!) Khor tells their story of being an immigrant, a new American citizen, and their personal struggles in a lighthearted way, with great storytelling, and fantastic ill ...more
Aug 08, 2019 added it
Shelves: graphic-novel
A lovely graphic memoir that's in turns funny, poignant, informative, and thought-provoking. It will certainly appeal to readers who enjoy travel memoirs, especially in graphic novel format, but the narrative goes deeper than mere sightseeing and quirky experiences. As the artist goes on a pilgrimage to see the "real" America on Route 66, she reflects on own identity as an immigrant American. It's fascinating, with a lot to unpack.
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you for the opportunity to read this book for a fair review. First of all this is a beautiful graphic novel, I thoroughly enjoyed her insight on America and her little fur baby Bug.’s adventures along the way. I have traveled much of Route 66 and the landmarks are so iconic, it is refreshing to see them again through her perspective. I loved this graphic novel! I am going to purchase a hard copy for my library at home. Five full stars!
Jul 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an electronic ARC from Lerner Publishing Group through NetGalley.
Khor shares her experiences as she travels Route 66 from California to Illinois. Her choice to write a graphic style memoir will pull in teen readers. She bring readers along on the journey and shares snippets of towns and sites she sees. The larger question of finding roots and figuring out where she belongs comes through and is addressed near the end of the book.
Humor combined with serious topics.
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a super cute, quick read following the author's journey along historic Route 66. It was told via illustrations so you can easily read it in one sitting. I do wish it were a bit longer or included more of the writers thoughts/observations of their journey. I am a huge fan of travel writing so this book was definitely something I would pick up in a bookstore.
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this non-fiction look at the historical Route 66, and Shing's quest to discover what it truly means to live the "American Dream". Shing's writing is perfect for this type of non-fiction graphic novel, and their take on America is refreshing and honest. I can't wait to bring this book into my classroom library, and use it in my Young Adult Literature class!
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
2.5 stars

Honestly, this book felt so sterile-y written. I was SO bored. I thought I'd be more entertained by it.

The one good thing... The landscape illustrations.
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