Readers will be swept into Ayoade’s vivid recollections of his early years, including his strict education, brushes with death, and a strained relationship with his father. He recounts the family’s passion for American movies that made “America seem like the perfect place,” sparking his desire for a better future, and details his decision to become a veterinarian and eventually pursue a career in the U.S. military to ensure the best life for his family (and future generations). Ayoade’s story is moving, particularly his reconciliation with his father and hard-earned American citizenship, and his message that it’s never too late to chase your dreams resonates.
That message will evoke strong emotions for readers as Ayoade highlights the importance of hard work and the benefit of a committed support system, alongside his constant “wishing, praying, and fighting to be free from all the sadness and injustice around me”—a theme that echoes through much of the book, including in his acknowledgement that the fear he experienced as a nuclear missile operator was a “cost of this freedom.” Ayoade’s poetry and personal photographs are sprinkled throughout, illuminating his deep love for family and his ultimate belief in liberty as “The reason for it all./ A foundation for a new generation,/ The best gift to any child.”
Takeaway: This stirring memoir documents an immigrant’s fight for the American dream.
Great for fans of: Ashley C. Ford’s Somebody's Daughter, Maria Hinojosa’s Once I Was You.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A