Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi

This fantastic young adult poetry book will have you invested in the story and have you thinking about its deeper meaning. This book follows the story of sixteen-year-old Amal Shahid. Amal goes to a diverse school where he enjoys being creative. Amal expresses his creativity through art and poetry. Amal has a life-shattering experience when an altercation happens in a gentrified neighborhood. Amal knows this will change his life, and not for the better. Amal is accused and convicted of a crime he didn’t commit, and as the reader, you see the inner struggles he faces and the utter pain of your word not being worth anything. Amal uses his poetry and art to help him cope and express himself in a world where he isn’t necessarily allowed to express himself.

By Teen Reviewer, Grace