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American Street Hardcover – February 14, 2017
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From the Publisher
Meet the Author
Ibi Zoboi was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and immigrated to the U.S. when she was four years old. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, where she was a recipient of the Norma Fox Mazer Award. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and three children. American Street is her first novel.
- 5 Starred Reviews ★
- Ebony Magazine "Must Reads" for February 2017
- Teen Vogue 10 Diverse Books by YA Authors of Color to Read in 2017
American Street has 5 Starred Reviews!
'It will stay with anyone who reads it.' - School Library Journal.
'Fierce and beautiful.' - Booklist.
'An unforgettable story.' - Kirkus Reviews.
'Chilling, evocative, and reaffirming' - Publishers Weekly.
'Will reach young readers regardless of their background.' - Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books.
“Mixing gritty street life with the tenderness of first love, Haitian Vodou, and family bonds, the book is at once chilling, evocative, and reaffirming.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“Filling her pages with magic, humanity, tragedy, and hope, Zoboi builds up, takes apart, and then rebuilds an unforgettable story. This book will take root in readers’ hearts.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
“Zoboi urges us to examine the American dream to see if there is room within it to hold the ones we love (Ebony Magazine)
“Zoboi’s stunning debut intertwines mysticism and love with grit and violence…Fierce and beautiful.” (Booklist (starred review))
“Will reach young readers regardless of their background.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review))
“A breathtaking story about contemporary America that will serve as a mirror to some and a window for others, and it will stay with anyone who reads it.” (School Library Journal (starred review))
“A poignant meditation on one girl’s struggle to find her way in a new world.” (Nicola Yoon, bestselling author of EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING.)
“Brimming with culture, magic, warmth, and unabashed rawness, “American Street” is ultimately a blistering tale of humanity. This is “Manchild in the Promised Land,” for a new generation, and a remarkable debut from Zoboi, who without question is an inevitable force in storytelling.” (Jason Reynolds, award-winning co-author of ALL AMERICAN BOYS)
“Zoboi’s nascent storytelling gifts ensnare from page one. To this spellbinding voice of the next generation, I bow.” (Rita Williams-Garcia, New York Times bestselling author and three-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Award)
“Following in the footsteps of Edwidge Danticat, Zoboi’s young adult debut is equal parts gritty and transcendent.” (The Horn Book)
“Self-assured, elegant and utterly captivating.” (New York Times)
From the Back Cover
On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a good life.
But after they leave Port-au-Prince, -Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immi-gration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, -Chantal, -Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of -Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a -surprising -romance, all on her own.
Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an -impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?
In her stunning debut, Pushcart--nominated author Ibi Zoboi draws on her own experience as a young Haitian immigrant, infusing this lyrical exploration of -America with magical realism and Vodou culture. Unflinching yet filled with joy, American Street is an evocative and -powerful coming-of-age story.
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Top Customer Reviews
Ibi Zoboi’s new novel, “American Street” is a gritty and haunting tale of a Haitian teenage immigrant, Fabiola Toussaint, who is separated from her mother when her mother is detained by immigration officials at the airport upon reaching America. Fabiola is then left alone to travel to meet her aunt and cousins in Detroit, where she is met with a harsh and unexpected view of the Unites States on the corner of American Street and Joy Road. In the family’s house on Detroit’s west side, Fabiola struggles to maintain her connection to the Haitian vodou of her heritage while striving to fit in and make a life of her own. Fabiola’s relationships with her cousins, new friends and love interest are strikingly poignant and raw, leaving her vulnerable to heartbreak and pain while she attempts to reunite with her mother.
I read this book at full speed, not wanting to miss a single word while simultaneously racing to discover the conclusion to the story. I highlighted about 50 different selections that I wanted to return to and ponder, and was struck at how timely this novel is at this time of political strife regarding immigration and racial tensions. Zoboi herself is a Haitian immigrant, although she came to America when she was four years old rather than a teen as Fabiola did. A wonderful author’s note in the book shares her motivation for writing this story and the connection with the shooting of Trayvon Martin in 2012, along with a rich backstory on the cultural Haitian heritage woven throughout the book.
Review published originally on my Goodreads and Instagram (@theloudlibrarylady)
(Disclaimer: I received an advance reader copy of this book through Edelweiss ~ all opinions are my own)
I truly enjoyed this novel considering I did not expect this book to do well.
American Street is about Fabiola Toussaint who immigrates to America with her mother from Haiti, but upon arrival, her mother is detained at customs, leaving Fabiola to navigate a new country and culture on her own with some help from her cousins and aunt.
The theme of this story is based on Fabiola trying to make sense of what happened to her mom and then trying to find a way for her mother to join her. As she begins to settle into her new environment, she meets and falls in love with a young guy named Kasim Anderson. Anderson will teach her about her new world and also serve to temporarily fill the void that Fabiola only desires for her mother.
So many events occur that keep the storyline interesting and moving, but I must say, it is also sad. Honestly, I experienced many emotions while reading this book, and when I finished it, I still had all the characters I met in my mind. I finished this book in two sittings, though I did take a break because of work.
I gave this book 4 stars on GoodReads, but it is technically 4.5 out of 5.0. Zoboi did a great job writing this book. Our main character, Fabiola Toussaint, is well developed and the theme is real and will resonate with many readers who have foreign blood in them. I enjoyed this book and definitely recommend it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have mixed feeling about this novel. I wasn’t expecting what I got when I read this novel.Read more