Robin Ha grew up reading and drawing comics, which she was introduced to by her mother as a young girl. At fourteen she moved to the United States from Seoul, Korea. After graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design, she moved to New York City and worked in the fashion industry for several years before diving into comics. She is the author of the New York Times bestselling cookbook graphic novel Cook Korean!: A Comic Book With Recipes and most recently Almost American Girl (Balzer+Bray).
Almost American Girl is a powerful and moving teen graphic novel memoir about immigration, belonging, and how arts can save a life. It was a 2020 Harvey Award Nominee and a 2021 Walter Award honoree memoir.
Ha strives to make comics that are entertaining and empower readers to become more accepting of themselves and others. She speaks on a host of exciting topics and has given talks and delivered workshops to groups across North America including the National Museum of Asian Art, the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, the Center for Fiction, the University of Georgia, the New York Public Library, and many more.
Ha’s work has been published in independent comic anthologies including Secret Identities and The Strumpet, as well as in the pages of Marvel Comics and Heavy Metal Magazine. Her comics and illustrations have appeared in various publications including The Washington Post, and LA Times, as well as in anthologies highlighting Asian American culture including RISE: A Pop History of Asian America from the Nineties to Now, New Frontiers: The Many Worlds of George Takei, and Shattered: The Asian American Comics Anthology (Secret Identities).
Ha is currently working on her third graphic novel inspired by the Korean folklore of Gumiho. She is based in Virginia.
Praise for Almost American Girl:
“This heartfelt memoir from an author who shares her honest, personal experiences. An insightful, moving coming-of-age tale.”
--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
'A poignant and unvarnished depiction of immigration—both the heartache and the rewards.'
--School Library Journal (starred review)
“With unblinking honesty and raw vulnerability [and] presented in full-color splendor, her energetic style mirrors the constant motion of her adolescent self, navigating the peripatetic turbulence toward adulthood.”
--ALA Booklist (starred review)
“Touching and subtly humorous, this emotive memoir is as much about the steadfast bond between a mother and daughter as it is about the challenges of being an immigrant in America.”
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Ha successfully brings to life the wide range of emotions that both tell the story and provide evidence that the comic medium has been a healing force for her and perhaps could be for readers who have walked similar paths.”
--Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Ha effectively uses the comic book format to recall her own memories of dislocation, explore a testy mother-daughter relationship and ultimately chronicle a poignant search for identity.”
--San Francisco Chronicle
“A powerful memoir that not only shows what it’s like to be in a new town or a new school, but what it’s like to move to an entirely new country! It’s an amazing journey that is sure to promote empathy with readers.”
--Jerry Craft, author of New Kid
“Incredibly honest, poignant, and ultimately triumphant, Almost American Girl is a treasure.”
--Michael Cho, author of Shoplifter
“Robin’s story is both utterly her own and deeply resonant for anyone who’s felt lost in the world and fought to carve out a place for themselves.”
--Hazel Newlevant, author of No Ivy League