Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam

Genre: Realistic Fiction/ 386 p.

Based loosely on Yusef Salaam’s real life, Amal and his friends, who are all black, get into a fight with a group of all white teens. Amal and his friends all go to jail, with Amal’s being the worst sentence, while the white teens are not charged with anything. Amal maintains that he just threw a single punch and is not responsible for the damage they say he inflicted, but no one is listening. His family is struggling with his conviction as they always feared something like this would happen to him based on where they live and how he looks. They are trying to be supportive, but his situation seems almost hopeless. Amal is a talented artist and poet, however, and that seems to get him through the tough days of prison. He struggles to convey his emotions because he is angry, but showing anger seems to make him a target for further ridicule and abuse around him. Is there any hope to finding out the truth of what happened that fateful night? Does he have any chance of a future now that this has happened to him?

Written in verse, this powerful story is the product of a passionate author and a man who’s real life situation inspired this story. Many readers will identify with Amal because he feels trapped not only in the prison system, but in his situation in life. He fears that no matter what he did with his life he was destined to end up right here. He has dreams and goals, but is almost afraid to think about them because they seem so unrealistic for someone like him. This story will get people talking, in a good way. Recommended especially for reluctant readers.

0 Responses to “Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s




Archives


%d bloggers like this: