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

By: Shing Yin Khor

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 ideas have stuck with Shing ever since, even now that she lives and works in LA. The American Dream? A Journey on Route 66 is Shing’s attempt to find what she can of both of these Americas on a solo journey (small adventure-dog included) across the entire expanse of that iconic road, beginning in Santa Monica and ending up Chicago. And what begins as a road trip ends up as something more like a pilgrimage in search of an American landscape that seems forever shifting, forever out of place.

Full-color illustrations.

ISBN: 9781541578524

JLG Release: Dec 2019


Sensitive Areas: Racial insensitivity
Topics: Travel , Asian American women , Immigrants , Asian American women artists , US Highway 66 , Road trips , Graphic novels , Memoirs

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Awards & Honors

NPR’s Book Concierge - 2019

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

School Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist*

School Library Journal

Khor was born in Malaysia and immigrated to the United States, eventually becoming a citizen. In this graphic memoir, she records her journey along the historic Route 66 to learn more about America, trying to understand how, as an immigrant, she fits in. Vivid watercolors and a thoughtful narrative bring each stop to life, cataloging quirky America Khor was born in Malaysia and immigrated to the United States, eventually becoming a citizen. In this graphic memoir, she records her journey along the historic Route 66 to learn more about America, trying to understand how, as an immigrant, she fits in. Vivid watercolors and a thoughtful narrative bring each stop to life, cataloging quirky Americana, interesting people, and the remains of towns that disappeared as travelers deserted Route 66 for more modern highways. The art is warm and vibrant and, when depicting open vistas and night skies, breathtaking. The writing turns introspective as Khor discusses her impressions as an immigrant and person of color. She feels rejected when she sees the “American owned” signs (code for “not South Asian”) on motels in New Mexico, embraced when she finds a strong immigrant community in Texas, and conflicted at how Native American culture has been promoted through commercialization. This is one person’s story, but it reflects the complex experience of many immigrants trying to understand where they belong in this country. This beautiful memoir raises thoughtful questions about what it means to be American. A strong addition to most collections.

Book Details

ISBN

9781541578524

First Release

December 2019

Genre

Nonfic

Dewey Classification

917.804

Trim Size

5 1/2" x 8 1/4"

Page Count

160

Accelerated Reader

N/A

Scholastic Reading Counts

N/A

Lexile

N/A

Format

Print Book

Edition

Library edition

Publisher

Zest Books

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Racial insensitivity

Topics

Travel, Asian American women, Immigrants, Asian American women artists, US Highway 66, Road trips, Graphic novels, Memoirs,

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