It is hard for me to say what part of Almost American Girl was the most thought-provoking, as all I found all of the book to profound and eye opening as well as incredibly relatable to an individual such as myself. Yet, despite this, there were a few places in the book that really resonated with me.
One particular part that stood out was in Chapter Six, when Robin is drawing in class and is approached by a fellow student who also likes to draw (108-09). In the panels, Robin wants to better understand and talk to the girl who asked about her drawings but is unable to due to her being unable to comprehend and speak fluent English. Afterwards, she dwells on the interaction and wonders how the girl feels about her. Robin also draws more frequently in her notebook in the hopes that other students will take notice and perhaps want to be friends. One can’t help but wonder what the other girl thought of Robin, as we only see the story from her and her mother’s perspective. Another question worth speculating about is: how often did Robin draw before and after the interaction? How long has she been drawing for in her life? What inspired her?
This section also stuck out to me because of how universally relatable the situation is. For me, it struck a chord, as I have been in similar situations when I was in school. Other students would come up to me in the hopes of making friends, but I was so painfully shy that they never pursued any further conversation. It really made me feel quite lonely, and in reading those pages, I was reminded of those experiences and regretted that I hadn’t said anything. Also, another interesting thing to note is the scenes on the pages when she began to draw more in the hopes of being recognized for her skill. This is a feeling that many people, including myself, can relate to. The desire to be acknowledged, of having a presence, of being accepted by others. This is something that we all strive to achieve in some form or another, for any talent or skill that we might have. I have always wanted to be recognized for my knowledge in my field and my ability to write, but not many people have taken notice. It was only in more recent years that I realized that it is only something that happens in time and by chance, that I had to be comfortable in opening up that part of me to people in order for people to see it. I learned to accept and love myself for who I am, much like how Robin learns to accept who she is at the end of the book. This is a universal feeling, experienced by everyone at some point, and therefore this book resonated so strongly with me. I hope it will continue to do so with other who read it.