The American Dream?
A Journey on Route 66 Discovering Dinosaur Statues, Muffler Men, and the Perfect Breakfast Burrito
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, 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. This book chronicles Shing’s solo journey (small adventure-dog included) along the iconic Route 66, beginning in Santa Monica and ending up Chicago. What begins as a road trip ends up as something more like a pilgrimage in search of an American landscape that seems forever shifting and forever out of place.
|Interest Level||Grade 6 - Grade 12|
|Reading Level||Grade 6|
|Genre||Graphic Novels, Nonfiction, Young Adult|
|Category||5 Kinds of Nonfiction, 5KN: Narrative Nonfiction, Diverse Books: #OwnVoices, Diverse Books: Race & Ethnicity, Diversity|
|Publisher||Lerner Publishing Group|
|Imprint||Zest Books ™|
|Number of Pages||160|
- Excellence in Graphic Literature Award YA Nonfiction
- Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year
- NPR Best Books of the Year
“Khor takes that ‘feeling of desperately searching for something better, for a new start,’ and adapts it to their own ‘pilgrimage’ as immigrant and artist traveling historic Route 66 . . . in whimsical full-color detail.”—starred, Booklist
School Library Journal
“This beautiful memoir raises thoughtful questions about what it means to be American.”—School Library Journal
“An informative graphic travel journal that offers important perspectives on being an immigrant and American identity.”—Kirkus Reviews
“A lovely, deceptively simple road trip memoir that revels in quirky discovery and quiet adventure while grappling with the anger and longing of one immigrant’s experience.”—Greg Pak, comic book writer
Carol L. Tilley
“Just like Shing in real life, The American Dream? is quirky, honest, captivating, and filled with recollections of weird roadside statues.”—Carol L. Tilley, comics historian and information science professor at the University of Illinois
“Shing Yin Khor’s debut graphic memoir The American Dream? is the critical antidote to the whitewashed narratives of the great American road trip.”—Kristina Wong, performance artist and activist
Author: Shing Yin Khor
Shing Yin Khor is a cartoonist and installation artist exploring personal narrative, new human rituals, and collaborative worldbuilding through graphic memoir and large scale art structures, and creating comics at the intersection of race, gender, immigrant stories, and queerness. They make the road trip adventure comic Tiny Adventure Journal, the tender queer science fiction comic Center for Otherworld Science, and is also the author of The American Dream?. They live in Los Angeles.