Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam
Publisher Information: New York, NY: Balzer + Bray, 2020
Summary: Amal Shahid has always been an artist and a poet. But even in a diverse art school, he's seen as disruptive and unmotivated by a biased system. Then one fateful night, an altercation in a gentrifrying neighborhood escalates into a tragedy. "Boys just being boys" turns out to be true only when the boys are white.
Suddenly, at just sixteen years old, Amal's bright future is upended: he 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 to fight for the truth, in a system designed to stripe him of both.
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Links of Interest:
Author website: ibizoboi.net
Author website: yusefspeaks.com
Educator's guide: HERE
Interview with authors: HERE
Innocence project: HERE
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