Excerpt from Punching the Air by Yusef Salaam, Ibi Zoboi, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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Punching the Air

by Yusef Salaam, Ibi Zoboi

Punching the Air by Yusef Salaam, Ibi Zoboi X
Punching the Air by Yusef Salaam, Ibi Zoboi
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2020, 400 pages

    Paperback:
    Dec 2021, 400 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Lisa Bintrim
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About this Book

Print Excerpt


our mind's eyes and our eyes' minds
see the world as they want to
Everything already illustrated
in black and white

Anger Management

Did you ever see Amal get angry?
the prosecutor asked Ms. Rinaldi

It's the most important question in my trial
    Am I angry    Am I violent    Am I—

Objection, Clyde said

Sustained, the judge said

Did Amal ever display emotions that were—

Yes, Ms. Rinaldi said

That's why I work so hard with Amal
To channel his anger into his art

And I know, I know
that right then and there
she didn't even have to look my way
because she won't see me
She's never seen me
She only sees my paintings and drawings
as if me and what I create
are two different worlds

There's a stone in my throat
and a brick on my chest

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Excerpted from Punching the Air by Yusef Salaam and Ibi Zoboi. Copyright © 2020 by Yusef Salaam and Ibi Zoboi. Excerpted by permission of Balzer + Bray. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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