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Punching the Air Reviews

Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam

Punching the Air

Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam

Score pending

1 review

Category: Children's
Imprint: HarperCollins
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 14 Aug 2020
ISBN: 9780008422141

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.

4 stars out of 5
Suzi Feay
5 Jan 2021

"The main thrust of the narrative lies not in the legal details but the experiences of a black youth in the criminal justice system"

A few buds of hope spring up in the arid garden of “juvie”: Amal encounters a mix of outright racism, disinterest and true concern, but it’s not until he finds the means of artistic expression via poetry and paint that his despair begins to lift. The urgent verse format, together with swirling, abstract illustrations by Omar T. Pasha, pulls the reader along compulsively. Amal’s deep dive into his own resources, no doubt mirroring Salaam’s own experiences, is ultimately uplifting — whatever the situation in which we find ourselves.