Ibi Zoboi biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Ibi Zoboi

Ibi Zoboi

Ibi Zoboi Biography

Ibi Zoboi holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her novel American Street was a National Book Award finalist and a New York Times Notable Book. She is also the author of Pride and My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich, a New York Times bestseller. She is the editor of the anthology Black Enough. Born in Haiti and raised in New York City, she now lives in New Jersey with her husband and their three children.

Ibi Zoboi's website

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Interview

Ibi Zoboi discusses what drew her to collaborate on Punching the Air, which focuses on crime, race and redemption.

I was in the sixth grade when our teacher left a newspaper on his desk. The front page story had images of five teenage boys and the word Wilding was written across the top in bold, black letters. This news story caught my attention because the boys, who were accused of doing something terrible, looked just like the boys in my class, with their high-top fades and windbreakers. They seemed to be the same boys who would beatbox to the latest hip-hop songs and show off their dance moves in class, the same boys I was starting to develop crushes on.

Growing up in New York City, I watched a lot of news about crime and violence, and the faces of Black and Latinx boys were all over the TV screens and newspapers as both the victims and perpetrators. This had a huge impact on me as a teen. As the daughter of an immigrant, my social life centered around whatever my mother's fears were, and since she unfortunately believed the messages in the media— that Black and Latinx boys were menacing and prone to criminal behavior—dating was forbidden. But I and so many others my age, knew the truth: that these boys were so much more than how they were being portrayed in the media, that there is a long history of oppression in this country ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Ibi Zoboi at BookBrowse
Punching the Air jacket Pride jacket American Street jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Ibi Zoboi but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Laurie Halse Anderson

    Laurie Halse Anderson

    Laurie Halse Anderson is the New York Times-bestselling author who writes for kids of all ages. Known for tackling tough subjects with humor and sensitivity, her work has earned numerous international, national, and state ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Punching the Air

    Try:
    Shout
    by Laurie Halse Anderson

  • Curtis Dawkins

    Curtis Dawkins

    Curtis Dawkins grew up in rural Illinois and earned an MFA in fiction writing at Western Michigan University. He has struggled with alcohol and substance abuse through most of his life and, during a botched home robbery, ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Punching the Air

    Try:
    The Graybar Hotel
    by Curtis Dawkins

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