American Street

Finalist, National Book Awards 2017 for Young People's Literature

American Street by Ibi Zoboi book cover
ISBN 9780062473042
Balzer + Bray / HarperCollinsPublishers
Ibi Zoboi author photo, credit: Joseph Zoboi
Ibi Aanu Zoboi

Ibi Zoboi was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and immigrated to the U.S. when she was four years old. She holds an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, where she was a recipient of the Norma Fox Mazer Award. Her award-winning and Pushcart-nominated writing has been published in Haiti Noir, the Caribbean Writer, the New York Times Book ReviewThe Horn Book magazine, and The Rumpus, among other publications. More about this author >

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On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—the good life. But after leaving 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 must learn that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?

Judges Citation

A loving, lyrical, and poignant epic about immigrating to the United States, American Street chronicles Fabiola Toussaint’s struggle to navigate her new life in Detroit. On the one hand, it is a page-turning story of survival and tenacity up against the pressures of crime and uncertainty, and on the other, it is a fresh, nuanced paean to the rich, magical reality undergirding every intersection of our country. American Street reminds us that all of America lives and breathes with the spirits and cultures of the people who’ve emigrated here from around the world.

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