"I hope all the books I've read will save my life." ~ pg. 93
Herein lies the review of a story about the system. A system that is designed to strip people of color; a system that is unjust more than it is fair. A system that fails young adults and makes it hard for them to maintain humanity. Yet we still fight for the truth in both real life and in fiction.
Told entirely in verse, Punching the Air tells a moving story of a young artist named Amal Shahid. He is involved in an altercation one fateful night in a gentrified neighborhood. It escalates into a tragedy. Now 16-year-old Amal's bright future is snatched and exchanged for a conviction of a crime he didn't commit. No more art school; hello, prison where Amal's only weapon are his words.
"A butterfly's wings can change the path of a storm." ~ pg. 225
It is November; I'm calling it. Punching the Air is the BEST literary collab of 2020. The poetry of Ibi Zoboi along with the real-life experience of Exonerated Five member, Yusef Salaam, makes this novel-in-verse so powerful. Young adults, prison reform activists and poetry readers at heart will absolutely want to read this novel. Thank me later for putting it on your radar!
Title: Punching the Air
Author: Ibi Zoboi & Yusef Salaam
Published: September 2020