82 pages 2 hours read

Abdi Nor Iftin

Call Me American

Nonfiction | Autobiography / Memoir | Adult | Published in 2018

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Call Me American

  • Genre: Nonfiction; memoir
  • Originally Published: 2018
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 900L; college/adult
  • Structure/Length: 16 chapters and epilogue; approx. 320 pages; approx. 10 hours, 36 minutes on audio
  • Central Concern: As a child growing up in Somalia, Abdi Nor Iftin loved American pop culture and cheered when US Marines came to help those in his country. As a young man, he posted secret worldwide dispatches despite the rise to power of a radical Islamist group. His dramatic struggle to settle in America and earn citizenship is the subject of this memoir.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Civil war and genocide; violence; homelessness; refugee conflicts

Abdi Nor Iftin, Author

  • Bio: Born around 1985 to nomadic parents in Mogadishu, Somalia; learned English by watching American movies; dispatched “guerrilla journalism” stories picked up by NPR and BBC; went to Kenya as a refugee in 2009; won entrance to US in a visa lottery in 2014; writer, radio celebrity, and journalist; advocate for immigrant and refugee rights
  • Awards: Kirkus and Booklist Starred Reviews (2018)

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Unit:

  • Cultural Differences
  • Loss of Innocence
  • Individual Versus Collective Action

STUDY OBJECTIVES: In accomplishing the components of this Unit, students will:

  • Gain an understanding of the historical and political contexts regarding Somalia and the Somali civil war that Abdi experiences.