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Punching the Air
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
103 posts | 83 read | 62 to read
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 Jason Reynolds, Walter Dean Myers, and Elizabeth Acevedo. The story that I thought was my life didnt start on the day I was born Amal Shahid has always been an artist and a poet. But even in a diverse art school, hes 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, Amals bright future is upended: he is convicted of a crime he didnt 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.
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review
Julsmarshall
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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Pickpick

My goodness, what a powerful story. This coming of age story in verse explores themes of racism, discrimination, police brutality, and inequality. It packs a punch with poignant prose and an unblinking reality. Zoboi has collaborated with Yusef Salaam, one of the exonerated NY five, and it is a timely and important read. Good on #audio #BookspinBingo @TheAromaofBooks

IndoorDame I loved this! So moving! 2mo
ncsufoxes Yusef Salaam‘s book was really interesting. He wrote about what happened & his experience in prison. 2mo
TheAromaofBooks Great progress!!! 2mo
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IndoorDame
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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I‘m pretty sure this was going to be the month I didn‘t buy any books, but then I read the tagged book and had to own my own copy, and somehow all those other friends with really good deals made their way into my kart… 🙄 #bookmail #feedingtheaddiction

Crazeedi It's rather easy to do 🥰 2mo
TheBookHippie Oooooooooo some favorites of mine on there!!! 💕💕💕 2mo
ShyBookOwl 😂 2mo
UwannaPublishme That‘s an Emily Dickinson book I haven‘t heard about. Stacked! 2mo
60 likes4 comments
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IndoorDame
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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#faceoncover #luckyinlove @Eggs @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks One of my top reads from this month! I sent away for my very own copy as soon as this one went back to the library.

Eggs ❤️🧡🩷 (edited) 2mo
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AllDebooks
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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Well, Sunday's #Hyggehour readathon did not go to plan. I was planning on reading The Glass Universe by Dava Sobel. Unfortunately, this little chap had to be rescued from a cat fight. I spent the hour calming him and treating his wounds. Poor boy 🐾

@Chrissyreadit @TheBookHippie

batsy Aww. Hope he's doing better 💜 2mo
Dilara Oh dear. I hope he's feeling better now. 2mo
Bookwormjillk Awww. Poor buddy. I hope he‘s okay. 2mo
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quietlycuriouskate Oh no! Hope he's ok. My beloved ginger cat was the terror of the feline neighbourhood when I was a kid. 2mo
Chrissyreadit ❤️ 2mo
IndoorDame Oh no 😥 sending love to you and kitty 💜 2mo
julieclair Oh my… glad you were there to rescue and soothe him. 2mo
JessClark78 ❤️ 2mo
TheBookHippie Oh no!!!! Poor thing. 2mo
ElizaMarie The baby! He looks so beautiful and calm (thanks to you) 💕 2mo
Ruthiella Poor kitty! 2mo
dabbe Feel better, sweet l‘il man! 🖤🐾🖤 2mo
CSeydel Oh nooo 🫣 Hope he‘s ok. And you as well. Glass Universe is so good! but I do remember it being a slow read (for me). (edited) 2mo
AnnCrystal 🥺😽💕💝 poor little sweet kitten 💝. 2mo
AllDebooks Thanks all, he's ok. ❤️ 2mo
54 likes15 comments
review
IndoorDame
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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Pickpick

I wanted at least one contemporary read specifically in honor of black history month, and I ended up being blown away by this for more reasons than I could possibly fit in a single review! I appreciate political fiction most when it‘s not heavy handed, and maybe that‘s one reason I‘ve had especially good luck with novels in verse. 👇🏼

IndoorDame I also found the concurrent theme of finding hope in art to ring very true even within the brutal landscape of the American industrial prison complex. 2mo
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IndoorDame
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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#hyggehour is on the late side tonight cause I spent most of the 8 o‘clock hour soaking in a hot bath. I do feel much more relaxed now, and kitty and I are finally settling down with a cup of tea and this incredible book that I started this morning. #litsolace

dabbe 🩷💜❤️ 2mo
TheBookHippie @marleed and I were discussing this book today as well. It‘s so very good. 2mo
TheBookHippie 💕💕💕💕 2mo
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Chrissyreadit 🩵🩵🩵 2mo
Leftcoastzen 😻👏 2mo
marleed It‘s so good! 2mo
AllDebooks ❤️ Beautiful kitty ❤️ The book sounds amazing! Stacked (obviously) 😅 2mo
IndoorDame @marleed @TheBookHippie I‘ve only read the first 60 pages, but I‘m already blown away! I‘ve read several other books evoking this theme and none do it half so seamlessly. 2mo
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marleed
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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Pickpick

This book came into my possession a few months (love LFLs!) ago and I‘m honored to prioritize it during Black History month. It is a moving novel in verse made even more powerful with inspiration from Yusef Saleem (of the Exonerated Five) to help create this masterpiece.

February #DoubleSpin Category: Paperback Shelves @TheAromaofBooks

TheBookHippie It‘s amazing right?! I‘m so fortunate to have a signed copy on the day it came out in the pandemic 😅 in a tiny used bookstore. 2mo
TheAromaofBooks Great progress!! 2mo
marleed @TheBookHippie what a treasure you have. It‘s so beautifully written and the formatting on the page is fascinating. The book was old enough that the audio was readily available so it was fascinating to listen and read-along watching for any tweaks in prose. I feel honor-bound to return this to an LFL for the next person to experience, but I anticipate owning my own copy soon! 2mo
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marleed @TheBookHippie Aargh, how does anyone reward this man by voting for him as POTUS !? 2mo
TheBookHippie @marleed continues to blow my mind. 2mo
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GatheringBooks
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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#NewYearNewBooks Day 13: The #Artist vibe in this cover is on point. 🎨🎨🎨🖌️🖌️🖌️ Another one of my recent Big Bad Wolf book haul in Sharjah.

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Awesome 🎨📚👏🏻 3mo
Eggs Great cover ❤️💜🤍 (edited) 3mo
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ChaoticMissAdventures
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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Pickpick

#DoubleSpin
This is a heartbreaking, short novel in verse about a young artist boy sent to juvie for a fight.
Yusef Salaam is one of the famous Exonerated Five and is now a prison abolitionist, Zoboi works with him here to paint a raw and important picture of children in prison.
It is a beautiful and thoughtful novella and worth the time
4.5⭐

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SanjanaGhosh
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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60th book of the year!

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peanutnine
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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Pickpick

Such a powerful novel in verse that reflects on the bias of the prison system and the strength & refuge found through art. Amal's story is bittersweet and moving as he fights to maintain his sense of self after he is wrongly incarcerated & his life upended. This was a beautiful audiobook to listen to.
#Booked2023 @BarbaraTheBibliophage @Cinfhen @alisiakae

TheAromaofBooks Great progress!! 8mo
Cinfhen I‘ve heard this one is really good 8mo
peanutnine @ncsufoxes thanks I'll definitely check it out! 8mo
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TheBookHippie
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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This.

Edit-as I stated in the comments before anyone comes after me —-these babies were INNOCENT and CHILDREN and he took out an an ad in every NY paper to have them MURDERED. They were 14-16 years old and INNOCENT.

dariazeoli ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ 13mo
TheBookHippie @dariazeoli and before anyone comes after me these babies were INNOCENT and CHILDREN and he took out an ad to have them MURDERED. So yes to alllllll the hearts. 13mo
AmyG Giddy up! And so it begins. May he get exactly what he deserves. (edited) 13mo
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Prairiegirl_reading All I can say is it‘s about damn time!!! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 13mo
Susanita The Central Park Five story was part of the latest episode of Now & Then https://overcast.fm/+ufswwiIQU 13mo
TheBookHippie @Susanita thank you for this! I treasure my signed copy of his book. 13mo
IndoorDame Well said! ♥️✊🏼 13mo
gossamerchild 👏 This is epic. Thank you for sharing. 👏 13mo
Julsmarshall Thanks for sharing. Anyone else having a spur of the moment pizza and wine night to celebrate? 🥂 13mo
CoverToCoverGirl From here in Canada, @AmyG @Prairiegirl_reading @Julsmarshall I‘m with you all. I‘m absolutely indulging in celebratory glass of wine, wishing I had pizza too. 13mo
TheBookHippie @CoverToCoverGirl 💕💕💕💕💕 13mo
CoverToCoverGirl @TheBookHippie accountability and justice matter, I pray they will both be recognized and upheld. 💞 13mo
TheBookHippie @CoverToCoverGirl 🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻 13mo
JamieArc I saw Salaam share his story at the White Privilege Conference a few years ago. Powerful to see him share his story. 13mo
TheBookHippie @JamieArc I was trying to remember did I see him in 2019? So powerful to listen to. I‘ll never forget. 13mo
kspenmoll I do not understand why people choose to ignore the proven innocence of these you g men. I had no@idea Trump took out such an ad. Now he is the epitome of evil to me. 12mo
63 likes17 comments
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Melismatic
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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Pickpick

This photo was spied during one of my daily walks during quarantine in mid 2020. Butterflies are such a powerful metaphor used often in this novel/poetry. How one person‘s action/lack of action/choice has so many unforeseen consequences. 🦋

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RebL
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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Can we really call it a criminal “justice” system? Great book, horrible reality.

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ImHere
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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Pickpick

I really liked this book. The perspective it showed me was influential. I loved how the book showed situations from different perspectives. I found that really interesting. I would 100% recommend this book. 9/10

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kera_11
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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Pickpick

a novel written in verse about a Black teen wrongfully convicted and sent to prison. Amal narrates his story as he goes through this traumatic event and the parallels he sees in prison and school and the various racial based aggressions he faces.

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ShelleyBooksie
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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Pickpick

What an excellent read! Powerful and thought provoking.

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pitbull33
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
Pickpick

It‘s great it‘s very educational and talks a lot about human rights.

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BTussey
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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Pickpick

Powerful story. Beautiful prose.

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Lauredhel
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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Pickpick

Finished this #novelinverse for #booked2021. It‘s a quick but thought provoking read inspired by the incarceration story of one of the Central Park Five. The book draws a direct line from the Middle Passage to the modern day slavery of the prison industrial complex; and also tells a more personal story about the value of art and poetry in extreme circumstances.

alisiakae Nice review! Tagging my fellow co-hosts @Cinfhen and @BarbaraTheBibliophage 3y
Cinfhen Sounds great 😊 3y
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Lauredhel
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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Finished Future Girl (it was great! Can‘t wait for the TV adaptation). On to Punching the Air, for the book in verse prompt of #booked2021

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Reynosa8701
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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Pickpick

This book had me feeling every emotion

LibrarianRyan This was so good. I wish more people knew about it. 3y
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AsYouWish
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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Pickpick

This story is heartbreaking and so sad and it is the true story for so many people on a daily basis. I enjoyed this story (which is weird to say considering the plot), it held my interest from the first word to the last. It made me emotional and made me feel for the character as he was fighting for his voice to be heard. Highly recommend!!

🥊🥊🥊🥊

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TheLudicReader
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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Pickpick

This novel in verse tells the story of sixteen-year-old Amal, who has been (wrongly) convicted of attempted manslaughter and sent to jail. His art and poetry sustains him…but barely. I am more conscious than ever of my privilege and thankful for books that make me look more closely at the things that privilege has made me blind to. I read this in an afternoon and will be recommending it to students.

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BarbaraJean
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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Pickpick

I totally missed the #YAbuddyread discussion...but I finished the book & I‘m glad I did. It‘s a powerful novel in verse, told in the voice of a wrongfully convicted teen. Amal‘s journey was heartbreaking, seeing his passion & talent for art & poetry in the midst of a system designed to crush him. I do wish the book had been fleshed out more—I was left wondering about the context of Amal‘s conviction, as well as where his story would go at the end.

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BarbaraJean
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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I think of that trip that never happened
and the Door of No Return

My life, my whole damn life
before that courtroom
before that trial
before that night
was like Africa

And this door leads to a slave ship
And maybe jail maybe jail
is is America

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BarbaraJean
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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Locking you up isn‘t enough
for them They will try
to crush your spirit until
you‘re nothing but—

Dust
we both say together

And what does dust do, Amal?
What did Maya Angelou say about dust?
Umi asks.

It rises, I whisper

You gotta say it loud enough
for me to hear it, baby—
Loud enough for you to believe it

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Chrissyreadit
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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Pickpick

This page stuck with me. I‘ve heard this. Repeatedly, on social media, on news stations. On the ad Drump took out to condemn a group of innocent boys in 1989. This book was all HEART. And all the stars. #yabuddyread

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Deblovestoread
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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#BookReport. The Queen of Hearts was meh (LitsyAtoZ) Opal & Nev is a mild pick. I wanted to love it but it didn‘t generate any depth of emotion for me. (Booked2021) Glad to have wrapped up Emma. Still my least favorite Austen. Punching the Air is 5 🌟 for me. A young black man‘s journey after being arrested and convicted for assault told in verse. I gave the modern retelling of Emma 40% and that was too much.

Cinfhen Wow!!! Kismet…..Today‘s Audible deal is 3y
Cinfhen I wasn‘t sure if it was worth buying but for $2.95 and your 5 star review, I think it‘s totally worth it. Thanks for posting & sharing ‼️ 3y
Deblovestoread @Cinfhen I read a print version. I have a hunch an audio version will be even more emotional. Looking forward to your thoughts. 3y
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megnews
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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Any other thoughts? I saw the ending discussed in some reviews.

Roary47 You probably saw mine that I thought it ended suddenly. I wanted to know what really happened that night and an epilogue type of finish. I really enjoyed reading this book and was rooting for Amal along the way. I wanted to jump into my Kindle and defend him from the tattooed guard and object that his character witness doesn‘t really know him. I also wanted to hug Stanford for the watercolors. I was moved by that simple gift. 3y
megnews @Roary47 I saw yours and also @ravenlee‘s. There is that desire to have a book end with a happy ending or at least have the loose ends tied up. But reality often isn‘t like that. Because of that I was ok with the ending. I loved that gift too. 3y
ravenlee I want to think that the victim‘s testimony made a difference in Amal‘s sentencing (was there ever a sentencing hearing? I don‘t remember one), but I‘m skeptical. I‘d like to think the butterfly flew free, but if it‘s an appeal rather than a sentencing adjustment it could take years. The ending is better for leaving that ambiguous, I think. 3y
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mrp27 I too wanted more resolution but that's not always reality, still a very good read. I recommend watching the Netflix show, When They See Us. I saw it long before he wrote this book but his personal story was always in my thoughts as I read this. 3y
megnews @mrp27 thanks for the recommendation. Going to check it out 3y
mrp27 Definitely do so, such an amazing story but it is a tough watch. The last episode broke me. There is also a great follow up interview with Oprah. 3y
JaclynW I'm almost done reading this one! 3y
JaclynW I loved this book so much! Thank you for choosing it as one to discuss in our group @megnews !!! 3y
25 likes8 comments
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megnews
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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Roary47 Actions should cause chains of events based on that action. Yes, Amal threw the first punch. Yet, who did he actually hit in that group of boys. That didn‘t matter and it should have for real justice and punishments to be served. 3y
ravenlee Amal knows that every action, no matter how small and unnoticed, has repercussions. He‘s trying to work that into his current situation, remembering that even incarcerated his actions can ripple outward. But the actions of others also have effects, which can alter someone else‘s life through no fault of their own. 3y
JaclynW I really loved this description in the book. I think it can take on two very different ideas though - one a negative and the other a positive. What will we all focus on? Our view on this can definitely shape our actions. 3y
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megnews
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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Roary47 I was appalled with the teacher. Art is a class for self expression and she did not allow that self expression. There is always that one teacher that makes a difference and she should have been it for talented Amal. I‘m glad he had Imari to help him and really see him as his teachers should have. 3y
ravenlee The art teacher was repugnant. She probably thought she was doing “the right thing” by being his character witness, but she was so awful. Everything she did involving Amal made everything worse. Buford can‘t seem to decide if she‘s working with children or adults, so her tactics make no sense. She wants to be the hero of her story so she acts like she‘s working in their best interests, tough love and such. 3y
ravenlee Imani…I hope she continues to work outside the prison. She‘s an idealist who‘s being worn down by the system and I hope she finds a way to persist. I don‘t know what to think of the guard. He seems to want to help a little, but not get involved at the same time. 3y
TheBookHippie Until you see being in someone‘s life as your privilege instead of theirs -it‘s an issue. If you‘re in it for yourself or to be a hero, nope. White savior, prejudice and all kinds of nonsense like the art teacher are normal unfortunately. It‘s extremely difficult to keep going but I hope Imami does. I hope she finds the beautiful pieces and it spurs her forward. 3y
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megnews
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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Roary47 Well, as a teacher the kids that act up are the ones that need attention. They will get it no matter what. When you include them in positive behaviors they will not exhibit the negative behaviors. 3y
megnews @Roary47 I felt like this excluded the kids who might need this outlet the most. 3y
Roary47 @megnews agreed. Kids that are looking for attention are likely not getting it anywhere and need to be included and cared about. 3y
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ravenlee It‘s the parenting advice to ignore a child‘s tantrum and withhold attention until the child is calm. But without learning how to control the impulses that led to the tantrum and deal with the too-big emotions, the problem behavior persists. Carrot-and-stick doesn‘t really work. 3y
mrp27 It's supposed to be an incentive which I get but instead it's just more rules to control oppress and suppress. 3y
JaclynW @roary47 @megnews @ravenlee @mrp27 This totally reminded me of the teachers who take recess away from kids who “misbehave“ in class. This outlet is most needed in kids like that. To take it away makes no sense and is punishing everyone in the class. There are better ways to manage behavior and help people channel their impulses and behaviors. Some people get this. Others stick to an old fashioned way. 3y
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megnews
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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Roary47 I think he felt like the mistakes and misgivings didn‘t matter. When he finally did do it he realized they do because that‘s how you find your truth. The saying goes that the truth can set you free. 3y
ravenlee I think some of it was just being tired of being told what to do and how to do it - both from the prison system and from school (that awful art teacher). He had to try it, just give in to the attempt, and it meant something. It was also an exercise he was already doing, giving some structure to his ponderings. 3y
mrp27 Why should he try? The whole system has failed him in every way. I understand that's not positive but I think it's the way he felt. 3y
JaclynW @mrp27 I agree that he felt burned by the system. He wasn't wanting to try. It is a difficult situation - it is like damned if you do, damned if you don't. Either way he felt like it wasn't a win-win. 3y
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megnews
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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Roary47 I‘m glad I don‘t hear these things from my local news. They just give facts. I get this from other teachers about students they have had or have trouble with. There are stories of teachers reaching these hard to reach kids because they took the time to know their truth. 3y
megnews @Roary47 I think one of the biggest description differences I hear in the news is calling 17year old black males men and 19 year old white males teens or boys. An example I always think of about media bias is after hurricane Katrina. There were 2 pics of a white and black person taking groceries from a store afterward. One was described as finding food and the other as looting. I‘ll be the first to admit I didn‘t always notice these ⬇️ 3y
megnews Inconsistencies but now@I analyze every headline to see if it‘s fair and how it might be different if the article was about a different race. 3y
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Roary47 @megnews that is very true. I never thought about it that way. The only time I‘ve heard my local news refer to an individuals race and age is when they are looking for them. If they are mentioned on the news they just use their names and a lot of times don‘t even show a picture. I‘m sure that media still does this, but I stopped listening to the bias statements I kept hearing that were frustrating. I do research instead of listen to it anymore. 3y
ravenlee It‘s not just the kids - there‘s been a problem with media portrayals involving photos. I don‘t remember specifics like where and when, but there was a Black man arrested because he had beaten a man (I think to death) - but said man was attempting to assault the suspect‘s teenage daughter in a rest area bathroom. Well, they used the suspect‘s mug shot and the “victim‘s” Facebook profile photo in the news releases. 3y
ravenlee I remember Brock Turner‘s case, too - how he was just a kid, too young to know what he was doing or to have the consequences impact the rest of his life. Compare to any of the Black boys who were treated like dangerous men and paid with their lives. 3y
ravenlee I don‘t know what the solution is, but I hope that awareness (which seems to be on the rise) will make a difference. 3y
megnews @ravenlee yes I always think of Brock Turner too. I don‘t know what the solution is either but I do hope awareness is a start. 3y
TheBookHippie I don‘t personally think I‘ll live to see justice or even something close to it considering we just went backwards a whole lot, awareness is something that is just happening in a broader sense, it isn‘t enough. But it‘s a start. Hopefully it will keep going. It‘s no different for my students now than it was 30 years ago and recently it‘s worse, I‘ll use my last breathe fighting but until massive overhaul is done, it‘s a drop in the ocean. 3y
megnews @TheBookHippie I don‘t feel life I will see it either. Is it possible? 3y
TheBookHippie @megnews Maybe in a hundred years … I‘m still exhausted from the last four to even dare to hope. 3y
mrp27 I see this in the media all the time. The most obvious example is the author himself. When he was accused of rape with the other Central Park boys, now called the exonerated 5, Trump took out a full page ad to convict him and the others and making statements about them being thugs and animals in the media and then of course we all heard when he called white supremacists very fine people. I agree that I don't see an end to this in my lifetime. 3y
JaclynW Yes!! I have noticed this! But shamefully, I haven't noticed it until recently. The media and certain social circles really take advantage of using certain labels to direct a story. It is so unfair! Not equal treatment at all. I do hope awareness is brought to a wider population and that this stops. Facts are needed. Like @thebookhippie stated, it is hard to have hope (for quick change) after the last 4 years have seemed to have sent us backwards. 3y
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megnews
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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AbigailJaneBlog Honestly I don't think there's any wrong or right way to react to the kind of thing discussed in this book. I think I would be VERY angry 3y
megnews @AbigailJaneBlog I agree there‘s no right or wrong reaction and that I‘d be angry. Anger can eat you alive. Anger & protest use a lot of energy that may be needed to survive the circumstances. Giving in can lead to hopelessness but hope so often leads to disappointment in these situations. I think Amal is going to have to conserve energy and find a peace within himself. 3y
Roary47 I‘m wondering how long the injured kid was in the hospital. Because based on the fact that he finally woke up this trail may have gone too quickly. I would be angry if this was a snap decision. If they just detained him that‘s one thing, but he was sentenced. I‘m glad Amal was able to turn to art to filter his emotions. 3y
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ravenlee I think anger is understandable - but it can be the self-destructive rage or the purpose-giving fire. The books he‘s reading, I think, indicate maybe he can go toward the latter. 3y
megnews @ravenlee I was so glad he was exposed to these books. 3y
mrp27 I agree there is no wrong or right way to feel in Amals situation but you have to be careful to not let any emotion take control of your actions. Feel what you need to feel and then channel it in a positive way. 3y
JaclynW @mrp27 I agree with you that we need to be careful not to let any emotion take complete control of your actions. This usually doesn't end in any beneficial way. I love your comment about channeling all emotions into a positive direction. That is my goal every day (I'm not always great at it thought!). It would be so tough to be in this situation. I can't imagine the thoughts and feelings churning in your mind!! 3y
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megnews
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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AbigailJaneBlog I think that's a really interesting question. I think we obviously have some autonomy as humans, but I really do think circumstances have a huge impact, especially when considering age, race etc 3y
megnews @AbigailJaneBlog I agree we have some autonomy though the impacts of nature, nurture, & environment strongly impact the choices we see available & learn to make. However, I think the outcomes or consequences of those choices are impacted to a high degree by societal forces dependent on race and class. You see this in the justice system with the length of sentences and whether or not leniency is shown. 3y
Roary47 I agree you both @AbigailJaneBlog and @megnews on autonomy. In the Art Class they did the mistakes and misgivings assignment which outlined that yeah they should not have done blank, but society also impacts a lot of who they are and who they have become. 3y
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ravenlee Well, let‘s look at the difference in outcomes of the boys involved in the fight. Amal‘s friends took the plea deal and presumably got some punishment. What about the white boys? Did anything happen to any of them? We see no consequences, though their actions were equal to or worse than (as the instigators) the black boys‘. So the environment affects that outcome more than any individual autonomous choices. 3y
megnews @ravenlee I agree 100%. 3y
TheBookHippie You may have a choice. However they‘re both not good, because of who you are then is it really a choice? 3y
mrp27 We all have autonomy but I believe people of color and other minority groups are predisposed and are routinely oppressed through many societal forces such as poverty, lack of resources in disadvantaged communities etc. 3y
Chrissyreadit I agree with @ravenlee 100% our culture and justice system are skewed to support a very specific group. 3y
JaclynW Such a great question! Great comments too! I agree to all comments above. We cannot ignore the obvious privilege that comes with certain races, gender and socio-economic status. The justice system definitely has a track record of favoring certain groups. This is so embarrassing and as a country we should demand better. How can people sleep at night knowing so many innocent people are behind bars and getting horribly unfair treatment. 3y
megnews @JaclynW and so many guilty ones aren‘t (because of 💰 or because they‘re young white males “with their whole lives ahead of them”) 🤮 3y
JaclynW @megnews Exactly!! 3y
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megnews
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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#YABuddyRead

Questions from bookbrowse.com

megnews I think this image comes from the history of white supremacy passed down in our nation that continues to be perpetuated by the media. When the media chooses to portray different people in different ways and those attitudes are replicated in various systems, from education to criminal justice, people internalize it and it becomes common, collective thought. 3y
Roary47 Oh man that question is deep. I agree with you @megnews we view certain groups because of the previous knowledge, or images we are given by bias parties. The clothes they wear, the way they walk, the people they spend time with. Amal I feel played into those stereotypes like his hoodie and skipping school and no one took the time to find out what he was thinking or actually doing. 3y
ravenlee I think that, historically, the black man has frequently been portrayed as monstrous, devilish, inhuman; especially in interactions with whites. It‘s about control - over both the black men and the white women (“you should be afraid of people like that, just stay home and be good and they won‘t get you”). And black adolescents are more frequently treated/tried as adults, too, so a young black man gets the worst of it. 3y
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megnews @ravenlee exactly! 3y
megnews @Roary47 I didn‘t feel like Amal was playing into stereotypes. I think people choose to wear certain things because it makes them comfortable. White kids skip school too. I think we have to get past the outward appearance and like you said, take time to get to know people. 3y
TheBookHippie White young men doing the same things -nothing would happen. It‘s ingrained in everything we see and are taught. That‘s why it‘s anti racist and unlearn, instead of learning, you need to unlearn what you were taught and admit we were raised to be racist. 3y
mrp27 I agree with everything said here and also we tend to view people who are accused of a crime as monsters and automatically guilty without listening to the facts or being on the jury. 3y
Chrissyreadit I highlighted the page in my post that reflects this- everything we are taught is an us vs them where they are the bad guys. But more than that studies have shown black children choosing white dolls over black dolls (hopefully this generation is no longer) 3y
JaclynW I agree to everything stated above. Stereotypes, what we are taught, what we see on tv/movies is why the general population see a monster - when that could be the farthest thing from the truth. Like @thebookhippie said, we need to unlearn what we were taught. I also agree with @roary47 in that we need to get to know each individual before making a judgement/conclusion. 3y
JaclynW (super late reply!!) 3y
megnews @JaclynW super late replies are fine 😃 3y
JaclynW @megnews thanks💕 3y
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ravenlee
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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Pickpick

Wow, this book. It‘s frustrating and challenging and beautiful and heartbreaking and…everything. The ending killed me because I need to know! But it had to end that way. We can have the dream while allowing for the likelihood of the ugly reality.
#YABuddyRead @megnews

megnews Yes! 3y
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Roary47
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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Pickpick

3✨ Summer School teaching is more like babysitting so I‘ve been reading a lot! Finished this for #YABuddyRead for June. I‘m giving it 3 stars because it doesn‘t feel finished. It is a great read. It is written in verse and I‘m impressed it was written by two authors since it pulled together well. I had to look up the Central Park 5 from the author‘s note, so I guess I know how it ended even though this was not the story.

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AbigailJaneBlog
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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Pickpick

This month's #YABuddyRead was beautiful. Hearbreaking and difficult and anger-inducing, but beautiful. It tells the story of Amal, a creative black youth wrongfully imprisoned, through captivating verse and abstract artwork. I imagine I'll be revisiting this book again and again. 5 ⭐

@megnews

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megnews
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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Reminder: #YABuddyRead discussion this Saturday. I just finished the questions and so excited for discussion!

OriginalCyn620 Yay! 🤗 3y
Roary47 Eek. I‘m still waiting on hold for this one. 😭 3y
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Daisey
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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Pickpick

I didn‘t realize this was a novel in verse until after I started listening to the audio. I appreciated the rhythm of listening, but I kind of wish I had read it in print to see it on the page. Beautiful imagery in a tough story that emphasizes the importance of art.

#audiobook #NovelInVerse #YA #YABuddyRead

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Blackink_WhitePaper
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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Pickpick

Poignant writing, words are heavy with sadness yet beautiful. Moved both by the story and verses. 4🌟

#YAbuddyread #doublespin #bookspinbingo

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 3y
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OriginalCyn620
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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Pickpick

Excellent read! I bet the audio version is great!

#bookspinbingo

#YABuddyRead

megnews I loved it! 3y
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 3y
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megnews
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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Pickpick

Excellent!
#YABuddyRead

TheBookHippie Isn‘t it though?! Soooo good. I read it in October the first time I am enjoying the reread! 3y
LibrarianRyan This book was so Good! Not at all what I was expecting, but it was great. At first I hated the cover, but as i got into the story and saw the meaning in the cover... OMG! Loved this book 3y
megnews @LibrarianRyan I loved the cover but it definitely became even more meaningful as I read. 3y
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OriginalCyn620
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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#YABuddyRead

Loving this book so far...I think I really dig stories told in verse!

megnews I do too! I‘m loving it so far 3y
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AvidlyAlexis
Punching the Air | Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam
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Pickpick

28/100, 5☆, This was an intense and beautifully written story. It reads like spoken word and has such wonderful cadence. I highly recommend. I listened on audio and I could listen to it on repeat because it is so rich with poignant themes and undertones.