American Street

American Street

Book - 2017 | First edition.
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A National Book Award Finalist with five starred reviews and multiple awards!

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?

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

Publisher: New York, NY : Balzer + Bray, [2017]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780062473042
0062473042
Branch Call Number: Y Fic
Characteristics: 324 pages ; 22 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

"Looking for a YA book about the immigration experience that will appeal to high schoolers? This National Book Award finalist is about a girl coming to the U.S. from Haiti with her mother. Unexpectedly, her mother is detained, leaving Fabiola to navigate a new country - on her own." - I... Read More »

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.


From the critics


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Barrie_Teen_Lists Mar 24, 2021

After Fabiola Toussaint and her mother left Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in hopes of finding a better life in America, Fabiola's mom gets detained in New Jersey by U.S immigration. This left Fabiola to navigate the streets of Detroit and her loud and crazy cousins Chantal, Princess and Donna.

Little did she know she was walking into a new world where your reputation defines who you are. She gradually gets to know her cousins as girls who are truly feared around the streets and highly regarded. They were known as the three Bees. Princess - the brawn, Primadonna – the beauty and Chantel – the brains.

Between trying to learn the American ways, finding where she fits in and worrying about her mom she comes across a detective who promises the release of her mother if Fabiola promises to help catch a strong drug leader who also happens to be Donna's boyfriend, Drayton.

Then comes Kasim who Fabiola finds herself falling for but then discovers that Drayton and Kasim are close like brothers. Gradually she discovers more secrets about her cousins that change everything.

Caught between this new crossroad and dangerous secrets Fabiola has to watch her every move and choose who to be loyal to.

American Street is the debut novel of Ibi Zoboi whose book is a National Book Award Finalist. Ibi Zoboi also incorporated her Haitian roots and experience being an immigrant in a new foreign land to write this beautiful tale of finding one's self in a land where you feel so small and lost.

This book also deals with the cons of being in a toxic relationship (Donna and Drayton), police brutality and also provides a new and more human insight on what it truly is like to be born in the 'streets' where drug lords rule, not the police.

My favourite thing about this book was how the author provided the reader with a chapter from the other main character so you could understand and sympathize with them because you see their scars and understand what they have all been through.

I would rate this book 5/5. I would also recommend this book to young adults (14 and up) and to anyone who loves realistic fiction and books that are more contemporary and are relatable to issues we have today.

c
creativegirly123
Apr 02, 2020

This book was what got me out of a period of not reading for almost a year. I saw it in the library and it looked untouched and new so I gave it a chance. Every day I came back to read it. Today I finally finished, and it was incredible. Tragic, but fitting. I really loved it and felt everything so deeply from it. It kind of reminds me of another of my favorite books, The Hate You Give. Overall it is a 10/10 and definitely worth reading. It presents a good and serious picture of Haitian culture.

p
pink_dove_131
Nov 02, 2018

American street is about a teenage a girl named fabiola who lived in Haiti with her mother and moved in to Detriot to live with her aunt and cousins but on their way to Detriot Fabiola’s mom got deported and got sent to a detenction center in New Jersey.So now that Fabiola is in Detroit she feels that her life has changed completely and is living with her aunt and cousins.Throughout the book it has made me emotional because in the book it has a lot of parts where the characters in the book are giving there point of view of the story and how they see the whole story.This is the first book I read from this author. I do think she has more of a inspirational and strong message in her books than other books that i have read about the same topic.I would recommend this book because in the book theres alot of entertaining details and it also shares a good message for young adults.I recommed this book to high school or college students because this book has violence,language,and little bit of sexual contect so I would’nt recommend this book to a middle schooler or someone younger than a middle schooler.The audience would enjoy this book because the genre of the book is magical realistic fiction.

r
ReadItOutLoud
Oct 23, 2018

"American Street" weaves through you like vodou magic. I felt at times that I knew Fabiola (Fabulous) and other times like I desperately wanted too. She has such a powerful persona that gets forced out of her when she is separated from her mother and confronting harsh realties of the Detroit inner city. But Haiti was no picnic either and Fab is not prepared to go down easily. There is some romance in this book but even that is gritty and real. If you like "The Hate You Give" by Angie Thomas you must give this book a read. Looking forward to reading "Pride".

After reading another critically acclaimed YA book that failed to develop the characters and left the reader with an abrupt ending, I fell really deeply into this book and couldn't put it down. I wanted to know what was happening next, how everything would tie together. I loved Fab's voice, I loved getting to know her and watch her grow. Such a great book and yes, a very sad ending--but very relevant in terms of what's going on in the black community. Such a great book, highly recommend.

KatieD_KCMO Aug 17, 2018

After reading another critically acclaimed YA book that failed to develop the characters and left the reader with an abrupt ending, I fell really deeply into this book and couldn't put it down. I wanted to know what was happening next, how everything would tie together. I loved Fab's voice, I loved getting to know her and watch her grow. Such a great book and yes, a very sad ending--but very relevant in terms of what's going on in the black community. Such a great book, highly recommend.

OPL_KrisC Apr 14, 2018

This is a dark and gritty story of a young Haitian immigrant girl who arrives in the US with her mother only to find out that her mother is going to be detained instead of being able to continue onto their family in Detroit. It is gut-wrenching at times and contains some explicit language and violence.

LPL_KimberlyL Mar 04, 2018

American Street is a gritty, harshly realistic take on the immigrant experience and life in Detroit. I would say it's Urban Fiction for the YA age range, and one to pick up if you're looking for an emotional gut punch that tackles MAJOR themes. I would, however, recommend that you listen to the audiobook and pass on the physical form. Everyone I've talked to seems to prefer the audiobook experience - that makes sense, because Robin Miles is a goddess at narrating. She perfectly executes the tone of Ibi Zoboi's writing style, and the two together are the ideal match!

k
KMJ_
Jan 07, 2018

Fabiola and her mother are trying to move to Detroit from Haiti, when her mother is detained by immigrant authorities. Fabiola was born in the United States, so she is able to go to Detroit where she moves in with her aunt and three cousins. She imagines the man outside their house on American Street is Papa Legba, a guiding spirit who can tell her how to get her mother back. Fabiola seems to adjust to life in Detroit, but at the same time is completely in over her head. The book is gritty and surprising, with a touch of magical realism. Fabiola's relationship with Kasim is a central part of the book, but the relationship she has with her three cousins is really the heart of the book.

v
veronicaannott
Nov 30, 2017

If you're considering reading this, DO IT! You won't regret it.

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ReadItOutLoud
Oct 23, 2018

ReadItOutLoud thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

OPL_KrisC Apr 14, 2018

OPL_KrisC thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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r
ReadItOutLoud
Oct 23, 2018

"I have to be like Papa Legba now - a trickster. So I will wear the costume, say the right things, and play the game to get what I need."

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