Punching the air / written by Ibi Zoboi with Yusef Salaam ; illustrations by Omar T. Pasha.

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  • Additional Information
    • Publication Information:
      First edition.
    • Abstract:
      Summary: 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. 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, he's seen as disruptive and unmotivated by a biased system. 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'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 and fight for the truth, in a system designed to strip him of both.
    • ISBN:
    • Accession Number:
    • Accession Number:
  • Citations
    • ABNT:
      ZOBOI, I. A.; SALAAM, Y.; PASHA, O. T. Punching the air. First edition. [s. l.]: Balzer & Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2020. ISBN 9780062996480. Disponível em: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=cat05595a&AN=fay.720431. Acesso em: 26 nov. 2020.
    • AMA:
      Zoboi IA, Salaam Y, Pasha OT. Punching the Air. First edition. Balzer & Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers; 2020. Accessed November 26, 2020. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=cat05595a&AN=fay.720431
    • APA:
      Zoboi, I. A., Salaam, Y., & Pasha, O. T. (2020). Punching the air (First edition.). Balzer & Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
    • Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date:
      Zoboi, Ibi Aanu, Yusef Salaam, and Omar T. Pasha. 2020. Punching the Air. First edition. Balzer & Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=cat05595a&AN=fay.720431.
    • Harvard:
      Zoboi, I. A., Salaam, Y. and Pasha, O. T. (2020) Punching the air. First edition. Balzer & Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Available at: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=cat05595a&AN=fay.720431 (Accessed: 26 November 2020).
    • Harvard: Australian:
      Zoboi, IA, Salaam, Y & Pasha, OT 2020, Punching the air, First edition., Balzer & Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, viewed 26 November 2020, .
    • MLA:
      Zoboi, Ibi Aanu, et al. Punching the Air. First edition., Balzer & Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2020. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=cat05595a&AN=fay.720431.
    • Chicago/Turabian: Humanities:
      Zoboi, Ibi Aanu, Yusef Salaam, and Omar T. Pasha. Punching the Air. First edition. Balzer & Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2020. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=cat05595a&AN=fay.720431.
    • Vancouver/ICMJE:
      Zoboi IA, Salaam Y, Pasha OT. Punching the air [Internet]. First edition. Balzer & Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers; 2020 [cited 2020 Nov 26]. Available from: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=cat05595a&AN=fay.720431


Booklist Reviews 2020 August #1

*Starred Review* A single punch leads to a fight between Amal and his friends—all Black—and a group of white boys from a gentrifying part of his neighborhood. Amal is found guilty of assault while his friends are given plea deals. All are sent to prison, while the white boys involved are not charged at all. In prison, Amal gets a stark education on how unjust the justice system is as he witnesses guards abusing their power, administrators carelessly ignoring the welfare of the imprisoned as if their lives are disposable, and the avenues of "rehabilitation" proving to be decrepit and empty. Only Amal's painting and poetry allow him to withstand the torture of physical beatings and solitary confinement. Zoboi worked with prison reform activist Yusef Salaam to create Amal's story in verse. Yusef himself was a victim of wrongful incarceration when he and four other young men were convicted of a crime they did not commit. His experiences lend a visceral gravitas to Zoboi's pen, and together they capture Amal's emotional struggles as he grasps for hope despite his circumstances. Moreover, they accurately depict the justice system as an engine fine-tuned to crush the urban poor and young Black men in particular. Prescient and sobering, Zoboi's book is a vital story for young readers in a tumultuous time. Grades 9-12. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2020 #5

Sixteen-year-old Amal Dawud Shahid (who is African American) knows he didn't throw the punch that left Jeremy Mathis (who is white) injured "so bad / that he can't wake up / to tell the truth." But Amal is nevertheless arrested and sent to trial. As this first-person verse novel begins, testimonies from witnesses are "like a scalpel / shaping me into / the monster / they want me to be." Amal is found guilty and sent to a juvenile detention center, where he is thrust into a world of unspeakable danger and despair. Even in the direst of circumstances, though, there are moments of peace for Amal -- through protection from fellow inmate Kadon and his crew, letters received from his crush, and his talents for poetry and the visual arts (Kadon calls him "Young Basquiat"); Pasha's spare but evocative black-and-white illustrations are interspersed throughout. Zoboi and Salaam's expert placement of lines on the page reinforces the harsh reality of the school-to-prison pipeline, with repeated visual and textual imagery of "squares...corners...boxes" reflecting Amal's feelings of suffocation and frustration. However, as he reminds himself, "Amal means hope," and the sympathetic, nuanced portrayal of this young man will have readers holding out hope until the novel's end. An author's note details Zoboi's connection to and ultimate collaboration with Salaam, along with his history as a member of the "Central Park Five," now the Exonerated Five. Eboni Njoku September/October 2020 p.108 Copyright 2020 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

PW Reviews 2020 August #1

Zoboi (Pride) and Salaam (one of the Exonerated Five) together craft a powerful indictment of institutional racism and mass incarceration through the imagined experience of Amal, a Black, Muslim 16-year-old facing imprisonment. Amal, a gifted artist and poet attending a prestigious fine arts high school, has his life turned upside down when a nighttime park confrontation leaves a white kid from the other side "of that invisible line/ we weren't supposed to cross" in a coma, and Amal and his four friends on the hook for assault and battery they did not commit. Using free verse, Zoboi and Salaam experiment with style, structure, and repetition to portray "old soul" Amal's struggle to hold on to his humanity through the chaotic, often dehumanizing experience of juvenile incarceration. From the trial onward, the authors liken the pervasive imprisonment of Black bodies to the history of chattel slavery in America ("and this door leads to a slave ship/ and maybe jail"), and describe how educational racism feeds Black students into the school-to-prison pipeline ("I failed the class/ she failed me"). Zoboi and Salaam deliver an unfiltered perspective of the anti-Blackness upholding the U.S. criminal justice system through the eyes of a wrongly convicted Black boy ("shaping me into/ the monster/ they wanted me to be"). Ages 14–up. Agent (for Zoboi and Salaam): Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary. (Sept.)

Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.