A STARRED REVIEW FOR OUR STORIES CARRIED US HERE
Editor: Julie Vang
Editor: Tea Rozman
Editor: Tom Kaczynski
Online Publish Date: October 1, 2021
Publisher:Green Card Voices
Price ( Hardcover ): $24.99
Publication Date: August 31, 2021
ISBN ( Hardcover ): 978-1-949523-17-1
Eleven storytellers chronicle their journeys from places all over the world—including Guatemala, Chad, Vietnam, and Kazakhstan—to the United States.
Each story compellingly details a variety of experiences the individual immigrant or refugee had, highlighting differences between stories that too often are lumped together or not given an opportunity to be heard. Each storyteller was paired with an illustrator from a similar linguistic and cultural heritage. The thoughtfulness of the matches shines through, as every panel authentically conveys the narrators’ poignant and emotional memories, highlighting the beauty of their homelands and the cultures they still identify with. The narratives show the struggles and triumphs of acclimating to a new language, culture, and worldview as well as dealing with obstacles like racism and microaggressions. Readers meet remarkable people like Zaynab Abdi from Yemen, whose story is illustrated by Egyptian American artist Ashraf El-Attar in stark black and white. Her harrowing journey was filled with sorrow and trauma yet, when she finally settled in Minnesota, she found purpose and opportunity through hard work and activism, speaking at the United Nations about girls’ education in Yemen. Each profile opens with brief biographies and photos or drawings of the storytellers and artists along with website URLs for learning more about them. Glossaries following many of the stories define potentially unfamiliar terms. The vibrant diversity of artistic styles offers pleasing variety within the unifying thematic framework of the volume.
Will strongly evoke both thought-provoking insights and empathy. (Graphic nonfiction. 12-16)
A bold and unconventional collection of first-person stories told and illustrated by immigrants and refugees living across the United States.
Stanford scientist, deaf student, indigenous activist, Black entrepreneur, DACA student—all immigrants and refugees—recount journeys from their home countries in ten vibrant and diverse illustrated stories. Faced by unfamiliar vistas, they are welcomed with possibilities, and confronted by challenges and prejudice. Our Stories Carried Us Here: A Graphic Novel Anthology surfaces the depth of storytelling that is authentic, unapologetic, and real with complex and difficult issues.
Timely, sobering, and insightful, Our Stories Carried Us Here acts as a mirror and a light to connect us all with immigrant and refugee experiences.
- 216 pages
- 10 full-colored and illustrated stories
- Foreword by Thi Bui, Author of The Best We Could Do
- Illustrated cover by Nate Powell
- World Map of illustrators’ and storytellers’ origin/nationality
Praise and Reviews
“Our Stories Carried Us Here is a powerful collaboration between storytellers and illustrators from around the country, speaking to the forces that uproot us and send us to each other. The collection is a testament to the power of language as vessels for carrying our memories, to the power of images in holding fast the boundaries of who we were and who we will be.”
“Our Stories Carried Us Here is a collection of compelling and emotional journeys that reminds us of why the greatest destination humanity can strive for is a world where each of us can safely make our home, and belong. This book, and the storytellers it features, offer a profound gift – the ability to step into the many worlds they bring to life, and to step out with the insights needed to better meet the challenges of the communities, schools, workplaces, and democracy we shape together, not as strangers, but as neighbors.”
“Once again, Green Card Voices has produced a piece of historical art through storytelling. I found myself empathizing, crying, laughing while reading and graphically interpreting a glimpse into the immigrant experience of so many. The experiences are so unique yet reminding me that we need to constantly be sharing these stories. The series is an archive of our lived experiences and part of the racial justice movement.”
“What struck me most about this book was seeing images of what my students have gone through. As an ESL writing teacher, I have read countless journals/memoirs/poems describing my ELs’ painful and harrowing life experiences. No two are the same, but they connect through common themes. This book makes their experiences more concrete, less abstract, in terms of the heroes they all truly are. For that, I am thankful.”
“This book is a beautiful, accessible, and heart-expanding invitation for us to learn the stories of some of our neighbors. I hope that many will accept this invitation, and channel the understanding and care that is sure to follow into becoming better listeners, community members and neighbors who welcome and support one another.”
“Filled with compassion and insight into the immigrant experience, Our Stories Carried Us Here: A Graphic Novel Anthology is a must read for educators.”
“Our Stories Carried Us Here is a stunning example of the power of comics to uplift the stories that most need telling. In a precarious moment for refugees and immigrants across the world, Green Card Voices has curated an incredible anthology, filled with experiences both told and illustrated by people whose creative work is rarely centered, and whose voices we will all be better for listening to.”
“Our Stories Carried Us Here: A Graphic Novel Anthology is a beautiful representation of how powerful the intersection of art and storytelling can be. It offers a critically humanizing perspective that the reader can’t help but love, rally around and stand up for the storytellers, and encourages the reader to take action in real life. To me, that’s what this book is all about.”
“Our Stories Carried Us Here is an infinitely powerful collection of immigrant voices unlike anything we’ve seen. One cannot comprehend the bravery, trauma, sadness, and triumph of emigrating from one country to another as a young person, yet this anthology captures both the unimaginable journey and the humanity of young immigrants. From the storytellers to the artists, the reader is immersed in a page-turning narrative that gives you chills and arrests your notions of what it means to leave one country behind in pursuit of a different one. Our Stories Carried Us Here is remarkable and is destined to become a beloved classic that belongs in every classroom, library, and bookshelf.”
“An important collection of beautiful work that effectively communicates the genuine and diverse experiences of long overdue voices.”
“Our Stories Carried Us Here, is an incredible collaboration of authors and illustrators that illuminates the experience of otherness felt by immigrants and refugees. This graphic novel is a powerful affirmation of the way stories foster empathy and connection, and provides a greater sense of how to understand and welcome our new neighbors.”
“Because this is an anthology featuring amateur storytellers, the effectiveness of the stories ranged widely. All were poignant and affecting, but some did a better job than others at capturing what was unique about that person’s immigrant experience and telling a clear story with beginning, middle, and end. However, I think each comic does have an authentic voice that would have been lost if the text had been edited too aggressively.”
“This is an authentic piece of work that has married harrowing stories of our refugee and immigrant youth with beautiful artwork from a diverse group of artists from around the country. Our Stories Carried Us Here: A Graphic Novel Anthology shares these important and meaningful stories of our nation’s refugee and immigrant students by making them accessible to a wider population through beautiful and powerful images.”
“The status of each storyteller as an outsider—sometimes in both their home community and new community—drives each narrative and is integral to the stories in the anthology. Not only are the storytellers and illustrators ethnically diverse, but gender and religion are also well-represented. The intimacy of the narratives encourages empathy in the reader.”
“I really enjoyed the anthology format, which encourages the reader to consider the diversity of immigrants and of their experiences. The scripts did a good job capturing the voices of the storytellers and made each comic feel memorable and authentic.”
“This title contributes a multitude of diversity through the stories experiences, art, and lived experiences that are accessible to a wide audience. Being both a graphic novel and using Easy English with a glossary helps to contribute a title that will appeal to those practicing their English. The stories being crafted by diverse times also brings additional diversity to the title.”