Punching the Air
Written by Ibi Zoboi
and Yusef Salaam
Published by Balzer + Bray
The story that I thought
was my life
didn’t start on the day
I was born
Amal Shahid has always been an artist and a poet. But even in a diverse art school, because of a biased system, he’s seen as disruptive and unmotivated. Then, one fateful night, an altercation in a gentrifying neighborhood escalates into tragedy. “Boys just being boys” turns out to be true only when those boys are white.
The story that I think
will be my life
Suddenly, at just sixteen years old, Amal is convicted of a crime he didn’t commit and sent to prison. Despair and rage almost sink him until he turns to the refuge of his words, his art. This never should have been his story. But can he change it?
With spellbinding lyricism, award-winning author Ibi Zoboi and prison reform activist Yusef Salaam tell a moving and deeply profound story about how one boy is able to maintain his humanity and fight for the truth in a system designed to strip him of both.
Primary ISBN: 9780062996480
Available As: Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook, eBook
Young Adult, Age 14 or older
Community Represented: Muslim/Muslim American
Themes: Detention, Discrimination: Racial, Own Voices/Lived Experience
Setting: United States
Character’s New Arrival/New American Status: Unknown Arrival
Book Creator(s) Connection to the Community Represented: Own Voices/Lived Experience
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