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Welcome to my blog! My name is Kim and I write young adult paranormal, mysteries, and thrillers. This blog enables me to share the two things I love: Books and the craft of writing.

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Young Adult Graphic Memoir: FAMILY STYLE Book Review

A moving young adult graphic memoir about a Vietnamese immigrant boy's search for belonging in America, perfect for fans of American Born Chinese and The Best We Could Do!


Today, I'm excited to be hosting a spot on the FAMILY STYLE by Thien Pham's book virtual tour hosted by Turn the Page Tours. Check out my review of this charming young adult graphic memoir and find all the buy links and info below!


Book Family Style next to bowl of noodles

 

My Review:


I give FAMILY STYLE ⭐⭐⭐⭐1/2!


Family Style by Thein Pham is a poignant and moving young adult graphic memoir that captures the essence of a Vietnamese immigrant boy's quest for belonging in America. From the very beginning, the author's vivid descriptions evoke powerful sensations, transporting readers to Thien's first memories. The taste of watermelon, both sweet and refreshing, and the saltiness of fish serve as a sensory gateway to the experiences he endured while adrift at sea, as his family fled their homeland. The author's skillful use of descriptive words creates a visceral connection, allowing readers to empathize with Thien's journey.


As the Pham family finds refuge in a Thai camp and later resettles in California, the struggle for survival remains a constant theme. Food takes on a deeper significance, symbolizing their resilience and resilience in the face of adversity. Each chapter reveals the evolving meaning of different foods in their lives. Strawberries become a symbol of struggle, as Thien's parents search for employment, while potato chips transform from a simple indulgence to a source of profound joy and necessity. Through these powerful descriptions, Thein Pham skillfully conveys the emotional weight that food carries for immigrants, making the memoir all the more relatable and impactful.


Family Style encapsulates the universal search for belonging, happiness, and the American dream. Thien Pham's story unfolds with a profound sense of yearning, emphasizing the importance of family and the unwavering courage displayed by the Pham family. The memoir's rich narrative resonates deeply, showcasing Thien's relentless pursuit of fitting in and becoming a citizen of the United States. While the illustrations may remind some readers of the style found in Dogman, they add a unique charm to the story that will likely captivate younger readers. Overall, Family Style is a powerful and important work that sheds light on the strength of familial bonds and the resilience of the human spirit, making it a must-read for fans of American Born Chinese and The Best We Could Do.


 

Family Style by Thien Pham

TITLE: Family Style

AUTHOR: Thien Pham

PUBLISHER: First Second (Macmillan)

RELEASE DATE: June 20, 2023

GENRES: Graphic Novel, YA BUY LINKS:

Macmillan

https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250809728/family-style


SYNOPSIS:

A moving young adult graphic memoir about a Vietnamese immigrant boy's search for belonging in America, perfect for fans of American Born Chinese and The Best We Could Do!


Thien's first memory isn't a sight or a sound. It's the sweetness of watermelon and the saltiness of fish. It's the taste of the foods he ate while adrift at sea as his family fled Vietnam.


After the Pham family arrives at a refugee camp in Thailand, they struggle to survive. Things don't get much easier once they resettle in California. And through each chapter of their lives, food takes on a new meaning. Strawberries come to signify struggle as Thien's mom and dad look for work. Potato chips are an indulgence that brings Thien so much joy that they become a necessity.


Behind every cut of steak and inside every croissant lies a story. And for Thien Pham, that story is about a search-- for belonging, for happiness, for the American dream.


About the Author:


Drawing of Thien Pham
Thien Pham

Thien Pham first came to America on a tiny boat of dreams and rubber tires in 1980 from his home in Vietnam. Channeling this adventurous spirit, Thien graduated from the prestigious Academy of Art in San Francisco in 2000.


After, Thien used his tremendous skills to create one masterful comic book after another, enriching the American literary world beyond measure. He recently finished his graphic novel Sumo, which will be published by First Second Books in the near future. He also founded his own handmade comic distribution company called Global Hobo, publishing the art of local artists in the San Francisco Bay Area. Not content to confine his copious talents to just the comic book industry, Thien began teaching at Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland in 2004. Over the years, Thien has accrued rampant levels of popularity and now boasts 458 Facebook friends and his own fan page.


His secret as to how he is capable of authoring comics, managing his company, teaching high school, and keeping in touch with all his friends? A strict diet of Coca-Cola, the only beverage to grace his lips since 1998.

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