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Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  2,038 ratings  ·  436 reviews
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.

Paperback, 304 pages
Published March 26th 2019 by Ember (first published February 8th 2018)
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Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,038 ratings  ·  436 reviews

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Mar 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm wondering who the audience of this book is--Maybe American teens who don't know anything about Iranians? Maybe American adults interested in a funny memoir? It certainly isn't other Iranians. The book is filled with a lot of quirky and funny tidbits about growing up Iranian. I related with nearly everything in there except for she paints everything and everyone in her life with a lot of optimism and I am probably a bit more cynical. The reason I am hung up on the audience is because I think ...more
Erin Bembridge
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
5 Cookies
My YA Blog!
I was giving this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honestly review
First off. This book was amazing. I honestly should end it at that and call it a day but... I won't allow myself! This book is the first ARC I have rated 5 full cookies. That is saying something! I was in absolute love from page one.

This book is about one teen's experience growing up in America without a green card. I wanted to start with the overall book first then work my way into the characters. S
I can’t sing the praises of this book enough. It’s written so that it feels like you’re listening to your friend tell you a story filled with humor and emotion. I learned so much about the immigration process and all of the pitfalls that can happen to families looking for safety and a better life. At this time, it is the perfect book for young and old alike. Let’s start trying to understand one another better. Highly recommended!

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by
Irena BookDustMagic
Americanized is a non fiction piece of work, written by Sara Saedi, about her life and culture.
She is from Iran and when she was little, her family moved out to USA, but they did not have green cards. We follow Sara and her family through the journey to become USA legal citizens and their fear of being transported back to Iran.

This book is so educational. We learn a lot about Iran and Persian people and their culture.
Also, so many history facts were mentioned here and I can not tell you how grat
A really humor-soaked memoir about life as an illegal immigrant in America. Sara is older than me, but her voice is relatable enough to young readers that teens will enjoy this one without a problem, especially if they love Mindy Kaling style humor. We get a great look at Saedi's family, her relationship with her sister, and the lengths that her parents went to to obtain green cards for them all. Sprinkled throughout the story are FAQs about Iranian culture and tradition which are written in a r ...more
I have mixed feelings about this. I could relate to a lot of it because I was also a teenager in the 90s, so a lot of what Saedi writes about resonates with my own experience, but this wasn't quite what I expected it to be. Since this is a memoir, I'm not sure that a spoiler warning makes sense, but I will talk at some length about this book's specifics.

I think one of my main problems with this book is that it feels awkward at times. I could feel Saedi reaching from the page and wanting to grab
Jan 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sbtbprev, f, atw, net-g
Americanized is the memoir of a young girl brought to the United States for safety and freedom when she was two years old, and her experiences growing up 'undocumented.' The trials of teenage years and her fear of being deported to a land she does not remember are honestly and humorously expressed. An addictive read, fun and serious at the same time.


*eARC Netgalley*

ATW 2018 Iran
A.R. Hellbender
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would like to preface this review by saying that I am half Iranian. I’ve sadly never been to Iran, but my mom was an immigrant to the US at age 18.

This book taught me things I didn’t even know about the Iranian culture, and made me smile about the aspects I was familiar with. I also learned a lot about what it’s like to be an undocumented immigrant and applying for citizenship, which is not a perspective that I had read much from. Because this story is told from someone who actually had that
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

clever humor.
well written memoir about being an "undocumented immigrant" during adolescence in the U.S.
things were broken down easily to understand b/c this was targeted to the YA audience. I think adults would also like it.
the memories of her teen years are relatable to all of us who've gone thru puberty.
it's also a great story about being Persian/Iranian, adolescence, understanding your parents/family after you've become an adult yourself & look back.
i liked that there were pictures included
Kara Belden
2.5 - Interesting info about illegal immigration and living in the US without a green card. Beyond that, I didn’t much enjoy Saedi’s stories of becoming “Americanized.” Though her experiences contain SOME staples that could be considered the “American experience” (i.e. prom), most of her stories contained unnecessary(IMO) shock value content and experiences that don’t necessarily equate to being an American teen. I’m sure many teenagers enjoy this memoir! :)
Hailie Roblyer
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just brilliant! An authentic, empathy-building memoir told with grace and just the right amount of humor. This book shows how complicated, frustrating, and slow the process of becoming a permanent legal resident is in the U.S. The author is honest and relatable, and she destroys stereotypes about Iranian people one anecdote at a time.
Oct 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I really like this book, and my students love it, too. They particularly like how accessible it is. Sara Saedi was born around the time that I was born, so I felt nostalgic reading about all of the pop culture references. I was worried my 20-year-old students wouldn't like it for this reason, but they really did!
Parts of this book were really interesting. I enjoyed hearing about the experiences of Saedi's grandparents in Iran, and the challenges she and her parents overcame as they immigrated to the United States and (after nearly twenty years) received documentation. It's eye-opening and very accessible, especially in the current climate.

However, parts of this book dragged a little. First, it's written in an elliptical style, with Saedi covering the same chronological time period from different angles
Lisa Mandina
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars: As a child of the 80s, this book was a real eye-opener to me about political issues and other history that took place during that decade, as well as the ones before and after. I remember hearing a lot of the terms discussed in the book, but growing up as a white, middle-class child, those were things I heard on the news, that I never watched, and hated the fact that my parents made me turn off whatever afternoon show I would rather watch, or even switch off MTV during a video I loved ...more
Julie Suzanne
Because it's a HS Battle of the Books title, I read this not knowing a thing about it. Laughing, I got to experience my exact adolescent years from the eyes of an Americanized Iranian immigrant. We grew up at the exact same time, just hours away from each other, so I "got" all the cultural references and jokes that I'm not sure my students would. However, there is plenty for our students to understand and relate to, and in fact, the one Freshman who read it so far said it was "really good."

I ap
Sarah Ressler Wright
Awesome. So much of my experiences were similar and yet the threat of deportation so different. Love the ‘Big question’ sections and everything is explained so well-never dumbed down, yet never dull. Also made me realize my crazy teenage thinking all over again. So great!
Rachel (Life of a Female Bibliophile)
See even more book reviews on my blog:

Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card is a memoir that reads like a diary. The author talks to her readers in a casual tone and does a good job at explaining history points and her cultures traditions. There are footnotes placed throughout the book, for additional info about Iranian history, Persian culture, and more at the end of each chapter. It gives readers lots of background for those who might be unfamiliar w
Lindsay Ercanbrack
"But my nose is undeniably Persian, and changing it would feel like rejecting the most significant part of myself." Sara Saedi tells an honest teen's perspective of living in the United States as an undocumented citizen. She plays to the dramatics of a teen's experiences with zits, boys, and the love/hate relationship with siblings while interspersing what set her apart as an Iranian girl living in California. I connected with her story as we are close to the same age and experienced cultural an ...more
Christie Maliyackel
I was thinking of giving this four stars, but after a bit of contemplation, I changed to five stars because this kind of story needs to be heard / read / elevated.

Sara Saedi tells her story growing up with the most American lifestyle as an undocumented immigrant. Her writing style is totally conversational so I felt like she was just telling me her story over a drink or two. Not only that, but she’s hilarious - I was giggling aloud at various parts - which provided a nice balance to the serious
Liz B
Moderately entertaining memoir about growing up undocumented in America. Saedi's family emigrated from Iran in the early 80s and applied for asylum. Their application was somehow lost, and their quest for green cards took many, many years.

Parts of this were very interesting--Saedi includes some modern history of Iran, a lot about Iranian/ Persian culture, and plenty about the process of going from an undocumented immigrant to citizen. I know exactly why she included all of the other stuff--the o
This book is both a sweet memoir of coming of age in a Persian America with families and food...and a primer in becoming a citizen in this country. Sara came to the US as a 2-year-old. Her parents did things right. They applied for all the right steps. And, at the age of 26, Sara FINALLY became a citizen. If we needed to know how colossally screwed up our immigration system is, listen to All-American girl whose parents lived the American dream, trying to do everything righ ...more
Kylee Young
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very informative book on the ways of life for a girl named Sara Saedi and her life in American. Its starts by her parents not telling her or her sister that they are all undocumented immigrants in this country because Sara's sister one day wants to apply to an after school job and is denied from not having a social security card/number. She was 2 years old when they moved to the states and was now 13, so her family had kept this a secret for a long time. The book describes her journey ...more

Featured in "Reading on a Theme: Daughters of Immigrants" on Intellectual Recreation.

Sara Saedi immigrated to the United States with her family just after the Iranian Revolution. She didn't find out that she was living in the country illegally until she was thirteen.

Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card is the memoir of Sara's teen years. As she participated in the coming-of-age rituals of an average American teen, worries about deportation were a constant undercurrent.

I really enjoyed r
I usually stay clear of memoirs because they usually don't hold my attention, but I'm so happy I took a chance with Saedi's story. It turned out to be quite an eye-opening experience that I could relate to on various levels, even though we're both from different countries.

This book is perfect for readers who are looking to better understand the life of immigrants and the immigration process and to also see things from the perspective of someone from the Middle East, Iran to be exact. It's defin
Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
I only read about 20% but I’m calling it. This is not a bad book - it might even be a good book for younger readers. But it’s not a book I’m going to enjoy much as a 45 year old woman. The author is not too much younger than me, about the same age as a lot of my friends I think, and she’s making references to lots of things from the 90s that I remember well - I too wore the flannel and listened to the grunge. But her flippant humor and constant pop-culture references just feel too try-hard to me ...more
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a beautiful gem of a book! I laughed, I cried, and most importantly, I related. No I did not grow up Iranian. No I did not grow up an “illegal alien.“ But I did grow up an anxious rambunctious teen in San Jose California., just like Sara.

At times touching, at times funny, at times thoughtful, this raw, honest biography about chasing the American dream while still holding onto your culture is a must read for everyone. Not just blue states that share her ideals, but red states that think the
Jacinth Valera
Aug 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I decided to read this book due to the events that are sadly occurring in our nation. Although I was naturally born as an American citizen, I grew up in a whole different country. I did go through the discrimination once and it does affect how I am now.

I don't usually like to read stories like these because it wasn't as relatable but I took a chance with this book since it was a memoir.
I love the idea that every audience had a glimpse of an Iran culture and history.

The word "Americanized" real
I initially struggled with the tone of this book - it seemed a little too glib/flippant/cutsey. Soon, however, I really identified with many of Sara's teenage struggles/angst. This wasn't as much about immigration as it had seemed, and I guess I expected more of it to be explicitly about that. She describes a humanizing portrait of being a normal, everyday person who wants to live in America permanently but struggles greatly because of our country's nonsense rules and regulations.

Toward the end
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Sara Saedi was born in Tehran, Iran smack-dab in the middle of a war and an Islamic Revolution. She received a B.A. in Film and Mass Communications from the University of California, Berkeley and began her career as a creative executive for ABC Daytime. Since then she's penned three TV movies for ABC Family and a pilot for the Disney Channel, won a Daytime Emmy for What If..., a web series she wro ...more

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Hispanic Heritage Month is the perfect time to relish the latest works from beloved Hispanic and Latinx authors like Isabel Allende, Natalia...
91 likes · 79 comments
“Iran is not pronounced i-RAN; it’s pronounced e-RON. Spread the word. Tell all your friends. Tweet it. Shout it from the rooftops. Correct people. It’ll make you sound smart and cultured. On behalf of my fellow Iranians (e-RON-ians), we thank you.” 3 likes
“In my not-so-humble opinion, I believe that immigrants are the true American patriots. We never take living in this country for granted.” 3 likes
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