Ibi Zoboi

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Ibi Zoboi

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Ibi Zoboi was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and holds an MFA in writing for children and young adults 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, and Punching the Air with co-author and Exonerated Five member, Yusef Salaam. She is the editor of the anthology Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America. Raised in New York City, she now lives in New Jersey with her husband and their three children. ...more

NYT Review of 'HOLD TIGHT, DON'T LET GO' by Laura Wagner

There's a new YA novel set in post-earthquake Haiti. So exciting! There's now enough post-earthquake Haitian literature for a whole college course!

I was so honored to be able to review this book for the New York Times!


SUNDAY BOOK REVIEW  | CHILDREN'S BOOKS ‘Hold Tight, Don’t Let Go,’ by Laura Rose WagnerBy IBI ZOBOIMARCH 11, 2015

When we are uncertain that the ground beneath our feet will not rumbl
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Published on March 15, 2015 06:44
Average rating: 3.84 · 47,454 ratings · 10,053 reviews · 21 distinct worksSimilar authors
American Street

really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 14,775 ratings — published 2017 — 16 editions
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Pride

3.77 avg rating — 16,375 ratings — published 2018 — 19 editions
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Black Enough: Stories of Be...

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4.14 avg rating — 3,313 ratings — published 2019 — 14 editions
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My Life as an Ice Cream San...

3.30 avg rating — 993 ratings — published 2019 — 8 editions
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Punching the Air

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4.73 avg rating — 180 ratings — expected publication 2020 — 9 editions
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The Farming of Gods

3.14 avg rating — 7 ratings — published 2012
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A is for Ayiti

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it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 4 ratings — published 2012
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The People Remember

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0.00 avg rating — 0 ratings — expected publication 2021
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Nigeria Jones

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Meet Cute: Some People Are ...

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3.60 avg rating — 10,005 ratings — published 2018 — 8 editions
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City of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson
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Ghost by Jason Reynolds
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The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
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The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
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A Psalm for Lost Girls by Katie Bayerl
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The Careful Undressing of Love by Corey Ann Haydu
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Midnight Without a Moon by Linda Williams Jackson
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The Turner House by Angela Flournoy
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More of Ibi's books…
“IT’S A TRUTH universally acknowledged that when rich people move into the hood, where it’s a little bit broken and a little bit forgotten, the first thing they want to do is clean it up. But it’s not just the junky stuff they’ll get rid of. People can be thrown away too, like last night’s trash left out on sidewalks or pushed to the edge of wherever all broken things go. What those rich people don’t always know is that broken and forgotten neighborhoods were first built out of love.”
Ibi Zoboi, Pride

“If hot red is for anger and rage, pink is the color of a soft burning – hot enough to light up the dark corners of sadness and grief, but cool enough to be tender, innocent, open.”
Ibi Zoboi, American Street

“So trying to come to America from the wrong country is a crime?”
Ibi Zoboi, American Street

Polls

May 2019 Young Adult Book of the Month Nominations

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas by Angie Thomas
Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighborhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill. But now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shutoff notices are as much a part of Bri’s life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.

On the Come Up is Angie Thomas’s homage to hip-hop, the art that sparked her passion for storytelling and continues to inspire her to this day. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; of the struggle to become who you are and not who everyone expects you to be; and of the desperate realities of poor and working-class black families.
 
  7 votes, 33.3%

Skyward (Skyward, #1) by Brandon Sanderson by Brandon Sanderson
Defeated, crushed, and driven almost to extinction, the remnants of the human race are trapped on a planet that is constantly attacked by mysterious alien starfighters. Spensa, a teenage girl living among them, longs to be a pilot. When she discovers the wreckage of an ancient ship, she realizes this dream might be possible—assuming she can repair the ship, navigate flight school, and (perhaps most importantly) persuade the strange machine to help her. Because this ship, uniquely, appears to have a soul.
 
  5 votes, 23.8%

The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1) by Marie Rutkoski by Marie Rutkoski
Winning what you want may cost you everything you love...

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.
 
  3 votes, 14.3%

Pride by Ibi Zoboi by Ibi Zoboi
Zuri Benitez has pride. Brooklyn pride, family pride, and pride in her Afro-Latino roots. But pride might not be enough to save her rapidly gentrifying neighborhood from becoming unrecognizable.

When the wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, Zuri wants nothing to do with their two teenage sons, even as her older sister, Janae, starts to fall for the charming Ainsley. She especially can’t stand the judgmental and arrogant Darius. Yet as Zuri and Darius are forced to find common ground, their initial dislike shifts into an unexpected understanding.

But with four wild sisters pulling her in different directions, cute boy Warren vying for her attention, and college applications hovering on the horizon, Zuri fights to find her place in Bushwick’s changing landscape, or lose it all.

In a timely update of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, critically acclaimed author Ibi Zoboi skillfully balances cultural identity, class, and gentrification against the heady magic of first love in her vibrant reimagining of this beloved classic.
 
  2 votes, 9.5%

Ash by Malinda Lo by Malinda Lo
Cinderella retold

In the wake of her father's death, Ash is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, rereading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away, as they are said to do. When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she believes that her wish may be granted.

The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King's Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, Ash learns to hunt with Kaisa. Though their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, it reawakens Ash's capacity for love-and her desire to live. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own, and she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love.

Entrancing, empowering, and romantic, Ash is about the connection between life and love, and solitude and death, where transformation can come from even the deepest grief.
 
  2 votes, 9.5%

Vendetta (Blood for Blood, #1) by Catherine Doyle by Catherine Doyle
When it comes to revenge, love is a dangerous complication.With a fierce rivalry raging between two warring families, falling in love is the deadliest thing Sophie could do. An epic debut set outside modern-day Chicago.

When five brothers move into the abandoned mansion in her neighbourhood, Sophie Gracewell's life changes forever. Irresistibly drawn to bad boy Nicoli, Sophie finds herself falling into a criminal underworld governed by powerful families. As the boys' dark secrets begin to come to light, Sophie is confronted with stinging truths about her own family, too. She must choose between two warring dynasties - the one she was born into, and the one she is falling in love with. When she does, blood will spill and hearts will break.
 
  2 votes, 9.5%

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