Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salem

Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salem: A Riveting Exploration of Justice and Identity

In their powerful collaboration, “Punching the Air,” renowned author Ibi Zoboi and activist Yusef Salaam deliver an emotionally charged and thought-provoking novel-in-verse that tackles themes of injustice, systemic racism, and self-expression. With poignant writing and a captivating narrative, this book shines a light on the realities faced by marginalized communities and offers a much-needed voice to those who too often go unheard.

Inspired by Yusef Salaam’s own experience as one of the Exonerated Five, this novel follows the journey of Amal Shahid, a teenage artist and poet. When falsely accused of a crime he did not commit, Amal finds himself thrust into a broken criminal justice system that is stacked against him. As he battles the harsh realities of life in prison, he must also confront the painful truths about society’s prejudices and assumptions.

The collaboration between Ibi Zoboi, the award-winning author of “American Street,” and Yusef Salaam, one of the Central Park Five, brings together literature and activism in a profound and authentic way. Zoboi’s lyrical prose, combined with Salaam’s firsthand experiences, create a narrative that resonates deeply with readers, forcing them to confront uncomfortable truths about racial bias, systemic injustice, and the power of art.

Narrated in verse, “Punching the Air” captures Amal’s raw emotions, offering a glimpse into his innermost thoughts and feelings. The use of poetry allows for an intimate and powerful exploration of identity, creativity, and resilience. Each word is carefully chosen, creating a symphony of emotions that reverberates beyond the pages.

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Through Amal’s journey, Zoboi and Salaam delve into the complexities of the criminal justice system and its impact on individuals and communities. They expose the deep-rooted biases that permeate society and elucidate the detrimental repercussions for those trapped in its clutches. The authors also shed light on the importance of representation and the ways in which art can be a transformative tool for advocacy and social change.

“Punching the Air” serves as a reminder that even in the darkest of circumstances, there is always hope. It encourages readers to examine their own beliefs and prejudices, and to challenge the status quo. The novel invites empathy and compassion, laying the foundation for meaningful discussions about race, justice, and the power of art.

At a time when conversations about racial injustice have gained renewed momentum, “Punching the Air” provides a necessary perspective on the struggles faced by marginalized individuals within the criminal justice system. It is a testament to the resilience and strength of those who have been wronged, as well as a call to action for readers to advocate for equality and change.

In “Punching the Air,” Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam have crafted a poignant and timely novel that demands to be read and discussed. It is a reminder of the power of storytelling and the ability of words to bridge divides and inspire social transformation. This collaboration is a triumph, and its impact will undoubtedly linger in the hearts and minds of readers long after the final page.

Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salem

Punching The Air


Punching The Air

Author by : Ibi Zoboi
Languange Used : en
Release Date : 2020-09-01
Publisher by : HarperCollins

ISBN :

Description : New York Times and USA Today bestseller * Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor * Walter Award Winner * Goodreads Finalist for Best Teen Book of the Year * Time Magazine Best Book of the Year * Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year * Shelf Awareness Best Book of the Year * School Library Journal Best Book of the Year * Kirkus Best Book of the Year * New York Public Library Best Book of the Year From award-winning, bestselling author Ibi Zoboi and prison reform activist Yusef Salaam of the Exonerated Five comes a powerful YA novel in verse about a boy who is wrongfully incarcerated. A must-read for fans of Jason Reynolds, Walter Dean Myers, and Elizabeth Acevedo. 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 starts today 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....






Punching The Air


Punching The Air

Author by : Ibi Zoboi
Languange Used : en
Release Date : 2021-12-07
Publisher by : Balzer & Bray

ISBN :

Description : New York Times and USA Today bestseller * Goodreads Finalist for Best Teen Book of the Year * Time Magazine Best Book of the Year * Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year * Shelf Awareness Best Book of the Year * School Library Journal Best Book of the Year * Kirkus Best Book of the Year * New York Public Library Best Book of the Year From award-winning, bestselling author Ibi Zoboi and prison reform activist Yusef Salaam of the Exonerated Five comes a powerful YA novel in verse about a boy who is wrongfully incarcerated. One of the most acclaimed YA novels of the year, this New York Times and USA Today bestseller is a must-read for fans of Jason Reynolds, Walter Dean Myers, and Elizabeth Acevedo and is now available in paperback! 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 starts today 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....






Punching The Air


Punching The Air

Author by : Ibi Zoboi
Languange Used : en
Release Date : 2020-09-01
Publisher by : HarperCollins UK

ISBN :

Description : SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2022 YOTO CARNEGIE MEDAL From award-winning, bestselling author Ibi Zoboi and prison reform activist Yusef Salaam of the Exonerated Five comes a powerful YA novel in verse about a boy who is wrongfully incarcerated. Perfect for fans of the Noughts & Crosses series and The Hate U Give....






My Life As An Ice Cream Sandwich


My Life As An Ice Cream Sandwich

Author by : Ibi Zoboi
Languange Used : en
Release Date : 2019-08-27
Publisher by : Penguin

ISBN :

Description : National Book Award-finalist Ibi Zoboi makes her middle-grade debut with a moving story of a girl finding her place in a world that's changing at warp speed. Twelve-year-old Ebony-Grace Norfleet has lived with her beloved grandfather Jeremiah in Huntsville, Alabama ever since she was little. As one of the first black engineers to integrate NASA, Jeremiah has nurtured Ebony-Grace’s love for all things outer space and science fiction—especially Star Wars and Star Trek. But in the summer of 1984, when trouble arises with Jeremiah, it’s decided she’ll spend a few weeks with her father in Harlem. Harlem is an exciting and terrifying place for a sheltered girl from Hunstville, and Ebony-Grace’s first instinct is to retreat into her imagination. But soon 126th Street begins to reveal that it has more in common with her beloved sci-fi adventures than she ever thought possible, and by summer's end, Ebony-Grace discovers that Harlem has a place for a girl whose eyes are always on the stars. A New York Times Bestseller...






Pride


Pride

Author by : Ibi Zoboi
Languange Used : en
Release Date : 2018-09-18
Publisher by : HarperCollins

ISBN :

Description : In a timely update of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, National Book Award finalist Ibi Zoboi skillfully balances cultural identity, class, and gentrification against the heady magic of first love in her vibrant reimagining of this beloved classic. A smart, funny, gorgeous retelling starring all characters of color. Zuri Benitez has pride. Brooklyn pride, family pride, and pride in her Afro-Latino roots. But pride might not be enough to save her rapidly gentrifying neighborhood from becoming unrecognizable. When the wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, Zuri wants nothing to do with their two teenage sons, even as her older sister, Janae, starts to fall for the charming Ainsley. She especially can’t stand the judgmental and arrogant Darius. Yet as Zuri and Darius are forced to find common ground, their initial dislike shifts into an unexpected understanding. But with four wild sisters pulling her in different directions, cute boy Warren vying for her attention, and college applications hovering on the horizon, Zuri fights to find her place in Bushwick’s changing landscape, or lose it all. "Zoboi skillfully depicts the vicissitudes of teenage relationships, and Zuri’s outsize pride and poetic sensibility make her a sympathetic teenager in a contemporary story about race, gentrification, and young love." (Publishers Weekly, "An Anti-Racist Children's and YA Reading List")...






Star Child


Star Child

Author by : Ibi Zoboi
Languange Used : en
Release Date : 2022-01-25
Publisher by : Penguin

ISBN :

Description : A Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book A Walter Dean Myers Honor Book From the New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award finalist, a biography in verse and prose of science fiction visionary Octavia Butler, author of Parable of the Sower and Kindred. Acclaimed novelist Ibi Zoboi illuminates the young life of the visionary storyteller Octavia E. Butler in poems and prose. Born into the Space Race, the Red Scare, and the dawning Civil Rights Movement, Butler experienced an American childhood that shaped her into the groundbreaking science-fiction storyteller whose novels continue to challenge and delight readers fifteen years after her death....






Better Not Bitter


Better Not Bitter

Author by : Yusef Salaam
Languange Used : en
Release Date : 2021-05-18
Publisher by : Grand Central Publishing

ISBN :

Description : Named a Best Book of 2021 by NPR This inspirational memoir serves as a call to action from prison reform activist Yusef Salaam, of the Exonerated Five, that will inspire us all to turn our stories into tools for change in the pursuit of racial justice. They didn't know who they had. So begins Yusef Salaam telling his story. No one's life is the sum of the worst things that happened to them, and during Yusef Salaam's seven years of wrongful incarceration as one of the Central Park Five, he grew from child to man, and gained a spiritual perspective on life. Yusef learned that we're all "born on purpose, with a purpose." Despite having confronted the racist heart of America while being "run over by the spiked wheels of injustice," Yusef channeled his energy and pain into something positive, not just for himself but for other marginalized people and communities. Better Not Bitter is the first time that one of the now Exonerated Five is telling his individual story, in his own words. Yusef writes his narrative: growing up Black in central Harlem in the '80s, being raised by a strong, fierce mother and grandmother, his years of incarceration, his reentry, and exoneration. Yusef connects these stories to lessons and principles he learned that gave him the power to survive through the worst of life's experiences. He inspires readers to accept their own path, to understand their own sense of purpose. With his intimate personal insights, Yusef unpacks the systems built and designed for profit and the oppression of Black and Brown people. He inspires readers to channel their fury into action, and through the spiritual, to turn that anger and trauma into a constructive force that lives alongside accountability and mobilizes change. This memoir is an inspiring story that grew out of one of the gravest miscarriages of justice, one that not only speaks to a moment in time or the rage-filled present, but reflects a 400-year history of a nation's inability to be held accountable for its sins. Yusef Salaam's message is vital for our times, a motivating resource for enacting change. Better, Not Bitter has the power to soothe, inspire and transform. It is a galvanizing call to action....






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