Ibi Zoboi's YA novel is an incredible and gripping debut. Dealing with the ever-present void of her mother's detention by U.S. immigration forces, Fabiola navigates her new life as an immigrant living in Detroit with her Haitian American cousins. Zoboi skillfully depicts some of the tensions and cultural differences between Haitian immigrants having to assimilate vs. Haitians being American born. She weaves in familial and romantic love, trauma of various kinds, Haitian spirituality, joy and laughter. You will feel close to and invested in these characters, these Black girls—this vital story.— From Nadia
Summer 2018 Reading Group Indie Next List
“American Street left me absolutely breathless. Ibi Zoboi has written a story about family, first love, and the crossroads of faith and hope. Through the lens of Zoboi’s gorgeous prose, Fabiola’s voice soars as she struggles to make sense of her new life, longs to be reunited with her mother, and finds herself faced with an impossible choice. This is YA at its very best: aching, revealing, and so true it hurts.”
— Stephanie Appell, Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN
A National Book Award Finalist with five starred reviews!
A New York Times Notable Book * Publishers Weekly Flying Start * Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year * ALA Booklist Editors' Choice of 2017 (Top of the List winner) * School Library Journal Best Book of the Year * Kirkus Best Book of the Year * BookPage Best YA Book of the Year
American Street is an evocative and powerful coming-of-age story perfect for fans of Everything, Everything; Bone Gap; and All American Boys.
In this stunning debut novel, Pushcart-nominated author Ibi Zoboi draws on her own experience as a young Haitian immigrant, infusing this lyrical exploration of America with magical realism and vodou culture.
On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a good life.
But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own.
Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?
About the Author
Ibi Zoboi was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and holds an MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her writing has been published in The New York Times Book Review, The Horn Book, and The Rumpus, among others. She is the author of American Street, a National Book Award finalist, and Pride. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their three children. You can find her online at www.ibizoboi.net.
“Self-assured, elegant and utterly captivating.”
— New York Times
★ “Mixing gritty street life with the tenderness of first love, Haitian Vodou, and family bonds, the book is at once chilling, evocative, and reaffirming.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
★ “Filling her pages with magic, humanity, tragedy, and hope, Zoboi builds up, takes apart, and then rebuilds an unforgettable story. This book will take root in readers’ hearts.”
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Zoboi urges us to examine the American dream to see if there is room within it to hold the ones we love
— Ebony Magazine
★ “Zoboi’s stunning debut intertwines mysticism and love with grit and violence…Fierce and beautiful.”
— Booklist (starred review)
“Will reach young readers regardless of their background.”
— Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)
★ “A breathtaking story about contemporary America that will serve as a mirror to some and a window for others, and it will stay with anyone who reads it.”
— School Library Journal (starred review)
“A poignant meditation on one girl’s struggle to find her way in a new world.”
— Nicola Yoon, bestselling author of EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING.
“Brimming with culture, magic, warmth, and unabashed rawness, “American Street” is ultimately a blistering tale of humanity. This is “Manchild in the Promised Land,” for a new generation, and a remarkable debut from Zoboi, who without question is an inevitable force in storytelling.”
— Jason Reynolds, award-winning co-author of ALL AMERICAN BOYS
“Zoboi’s nascent storytelling gifts ensnare from page one. To this spellbinding voice of the next generation, I bow.”
— Rita Williams-Garcia, New York Times bestselling author and three-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Award
“Following in the footsteps of Edwidge Danticat, Zoboi’s young adult debut is equal parts gritty and transcendent.”
— The Horn Book
“A refreshing take on a common literary preoccupation, the American dream...fascinating and beautiful.”