Sara takes portions of her actual diary and then fleshes them out over the chapters to narrate her life in the 90's as an illegal Iranian immigrant. Her story of being a first-generation American with parents who worked tirelessly to keep up with their new American lifestyle will appeal to teens who like the show My So-Called Life or who may even have parents or older sibs who grew up at that time. I loved all of the nonfiction info about Iran that helped to defeat some stereotypes.
I didn't like the regular teen angst parts, but- I think for sheltered teens it is important to note that all cultures go through awkward angry times and that in that way as so many others we humans are all alike. The back story of each of her grandparents was interesting, as was her struggle to get a green card. I know from my in-law's experience that getting a green card has never been "easy".
Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card By Sara Saedi