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American Street

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  18,544 ratings  ·  3,013 reviews
The rock in the water does not know the pain of the rock in the sun.

On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a good life.

But after they leave 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 gr
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published February 14th 2017 by Balzer + Bray
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Everton Patterson There is quite a bit of strong language in the book, so I would agree with high school and older.
This question contains spoilers... (view spoiler)
Jasmine Fab's narration says that they can't live in the house anymore after all of the events towards the end of the book. Matant Jo starts crying packing up…moreFab's narration says that they can't live in the house anymore after all of the events towards the end of the book. Matant Jo starts crying packing up her room and they mention that they will leave furniture behind for the neighborhood to take because they won't be back. They'll probably stay in Detroit but move to a different area or neighborhood is my thinking.(less)

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 ·  18,544 ratings  ·  3,013 reviews

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Emily May
Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
According to my papers, I’m not even supposed to be here. I’m not a citizen. I’m a “resident alien.” The borders don’t care if we’re all human and my heart pumps blood the same as everyone else’s.

4 1/2 stars. The more I think about it, the more I realize just how much I loved American Street. There's the obvious reasons - it's an ownvoices work about Haitian immigrants in Detroit; there's the general reasons like the extremely sympathetic narrator and the wonderful cast of diverse secondary
Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)
This was great. The authenticity of this story was really the driving force for me. You could tell that the author knew what she was talking about and could very much relate to the MC. I loved the fact that this story didn't have anything fancy going for it, no deus ex machina or anything like that. Just a pure, truthful portrait of the life of an immigrant who moves to America hoping for new life and comes to find that the new life may not be such an improvement from the old one in some ways. I ...more
Elyse  Walters
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wow....Once again I can't say this enough......"a GREAT 'reader' can make all the difference in the world when it comes to audiobooks"!!!

"American Street" is read by Robin Miles. ROBIN MILES IS FANTASTIC!!!!!
I 'melted' listening to her voice. Her dialect was soooo delicious-in Caribbean Creole.
Robin Miles 'more' than made up for some of the book's shortcomings. There are some shortcomings-- but I thoroughly enjoy this audiobook!!!!

I felt for this story from the get go. When Fabiola
Trina (Between Chapters)
Video review (spoiler free)-

There are plenty of own voices reviews of this book here on Goodreads, so please scroll through those for opinions other than mine!

What I liked:
-Fabiola was an engaging main character. I also loved her cousins, but the book tried to cover so many topics that I felt we didn't get to know them beyond the surface.

-I loved the Haitian Creole culture and spirituality elements.

-The theme of being torn between loyalty to your family vs what you f
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
Assigned reading for MLIS 7421: Multicultural Youth Literature.

“We fold our immigrant selves into this veneer of what we think is African American girlhood. The result is more jagged than smooth. This tension between our inherited identities and our newly adopted selves filters into our relationships with other girls and the boys we love, and how we interact with the broken places around us.”

I had really high hopes for American Street because it’s an incredibly important topic that I would l
Feb 10, 2017 rated it liked it
I almost gave up on this book towards the beginning, but I decided to keep going and I'm glad I did. I love the topics is covers, but I think it suffers from trying to cover too much in too short of a book. The plot feels a bit rushed to me and it would've been nice if this book was longer so it could've developed a little bit more. ...more
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

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I'm trying to read as many books this month as I can by black or bi-racial identifying authors and AMERICAN STREET is one I was really excited about, because it's been on my Kindle for-EVER. It's the story of a Haitian girl named Fabiola who comes from Haiti to live with her cousins in Detroit. Her mother is detained by immigration officials, leaving her in the care of her aunt and cousins, as she tries to navigate not just American cult
Jul 02, 2017 rated it liked it

As the characters in this book would say, "I'm not feeling it." A lot of interesting characters and ideas that didn't gel into a cohesive finished product. It felt less like an immigrant's struggle to assimilate than a series of fragmented glimpses into the many challenges of growing up in a blighted inner city, specifically Detroit.

I liked it, but I would say a bunch of colorful loose threads never made it into a finished quilt. Too bad.

Jessica Jeffers
I’ve started and deleted this review a zillion times now because I’m struggling to figure out how to say what I want to say. I seem to be in the minority with my opinion of this book and that’s a position I hate being in when my opinion is mostly somewhere in the middle.

There are some things that this book does extremely well, and some things that are rather important about this book. For starters, it’s an ownvoices narrative about a teen who emigrates from Haiti with her mother, who is denied
Jodi Meadows
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Just wow. This book should be read far more widely than it is. It should be in every classroom.

AMERICAN STREET tackles so many issues in just a few hundred pages -- immigration, choices, drugs, religion, violence, police violence, toxic relationships, family drama, first love, loss . . . So, so many complex issues are touched on in such thoughtful ways. I cannot recommend this book enough.

Ibi Zoboi is an incredible writer.
Dannii Elle
I picked this audiobook up on a whim. I had finished my previous one, mid-dog walk, and picked one of the first titles available to me, on my library app. I wasn't expecting anything from this and knew little of what the book contained.

Initially this was an interesting listen that provided me with a perspective I knew little of; that of a Haitian immigrants in Detroit. I appreciated the diversity as well as the insight to a world I had such little knowledge of. But as the book progressed, I foun
Sarah Elizabeth
(I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“We will get my Manman.
I exhale deep as we leave the airport. It feels like I’m leaving part of me behind – a leg, an arm. My whole heart.”

This was a YA contemporary story about a girl newly arrived in America from Haiti.

Fabiola was an okay character, and I felt sorry for her the way her mother was detained by customs and she was left to start her life in America without her.

The storyline in thi
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am a mountain

A beautiful multi-layered novel that addresses the experiences of black immigrants; attaining the good life isn’t always easy.

It's a story that reminds us of the hope that still lives within, and around us. Often times, we just need to remember where we came from and what propelled us to take the journey in the first place.

This was a very intimate experience for me. As an immigrant myself, I was able to relate to Fabiola's need to find her footing in a new world.

I reali
Jan 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
Had high hopes for this one but unfortunately it fell short. I think this book was trying to do too much and didn't do justice to the topics it was trying to address: immigrant assimilation, detainment, Haitian traditions, drugs in a community, growing romance, violence in Detroit, etc. If it had focused more on the actual plot line (getting the MC's mother out of a deportation situation), it would have felt more developed. Also, I didn't really connect with any of the characters -- I found it h ...more
Update! Full review:

Ya'll I read this book in a day! haha I'm surprised. I literally started it yesterday morning and finished it yesterday night. It was the type of book that pulled you in and refused to let you go. I loved that! The writing was gritty meaning there was explicit language and also terms that maybe not everyone would be comfortable with, but to be honest this book was written in a way that made you understand the lifestyle of teens in Detr
Feb 14, 2022 rated it liked it
Reading for Black History Month

The stories of Black immigrants often get overshadowed by the stories of Black Americans. They don't completely fit into the group that was "originally" in the country, so they try to carve out a piece of their own history.

I admit I know stupid little about Haiti, so it was great to read about Fabiola's story. Her mom getting detained by ICE is so relevant in this day and age. I think Detroit was a bit of a shock for her in the meantime.

I didn't really care for the
Mariah Roze
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this book for the Goodreads' Book Club Diversity in All Forms! If you would like to participate in the discussion here is the link:

I love this book! Not only was it written very well. It covered a topic that I personally can't think of any other book covers, for YA. That topic is immigrating from Haiti to the USA, specifically Detroit.

"On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a g
dnf at 50%

I honestly thought I would love this. Or at the very least like it. DNF'ing wasn't even a thought that crossed my mind when I picked up American Street.

I am really drawn to novels about the immigrant experience, the clashing of two cultures and the troubles that can arise as a result. I am so glad that own voices stories such as this one exist, but unfortunately it missed the mark for me.

American Street begins with our main character Fabiola making the journey from Haiti to the US wi
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was a bit hesitant going into this after reading reviews that this book wasn't really on immigration as I had hoped, but I had still wanted to give it a try. And I'm so glad I did. This is the story of a girl trying to find her place in Detroit after coming over from Haiti. (Fabiola was born in America & went back to Hiati; her mother & her traveled back to the U.S. to live in Detroit with Fab's aunt & cousins. Her mother is detained while Fab's is allowed to go. I was hoping to see Fabiola tr ...more
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-contemporary

This story is heart wrenching and at many times hard to read because of the content. I also found most of the characters to be rather unlike able. I really only liked Fabiola and Imani. I also felt there were a few things i would’ve liked seen resolved on the page at the end that we didn’t get.

I struggled with the love interest as well in this one because he is dismissive of how his best friend treats his girlfriend. He also drops everything on a regular basis for that friend to do some
Dave Schaafsma
Oct 10, 2018 rated it really liked it

American Street is a YA novel focused on a girl named Fabiola Toussaint who emigrates with her mother from Haiti to live with her aunt and 3 cousins in Detroit. On the way her mother gets sent to an Immigration Detention facility in New Jersey, so Fabiola goes by herself to Detroit.

The teachers know my story. They know our story—the Three Bees. No. The four bees.
Chantal is brains.
Donna is beauty.
Pri is brawn.
I am brave. No one has to tell me this. I know it for myself.

“Bee” here also stands for
Aj the Ravenous Reader
I only ever read a short story by the author but it was enough to make me want to read more of her work and I was not disappointed. This a very well written YA contemporary-a complete package for its genre. It's realistic despite the magical-realism element to it. It's very relatable and engaging.

The plot is of great social significance. There's enough romance to make it interesting. It's a mix of funny and sad although it's mostly sad. It depicts the harsh realities of black lives whether they
Francina Simone
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Omg.... so much to unpack here... review to come. I'm in awe ...more
Apr 28, 2017 rated it really liked it

This is an incredible story. I read it in one sitting because it is so engrossing. I would easily recommend this book to most readers.
Initial reaction: I enjoyed every moment of this novel because it was an emotional and realistic journey with a strong protagonist whose narrative voice stayed with me long after I finished the story. It's a difficult read to swallow in places because of the actions of some of the characters, but in the end, I was rooting for Fabiola to find her footing.

Full review:

I have so many emotions upon finishing "American Street" - and that's a very good thing.

It's a story with many layers to its narrati
Read In Colour
Nov 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
It can be difficult to play by the rules when you don’t know what those rules are. So finding herself in Detroit without her mother and with family she only knows from phone calls is a bit overwhelming for Fabiola. Readers of a certain age will remember when we first met Omar Tyree’s Flyy Girl, Tracy Ellison, over 20 years ago. Fabiola’s Detroit cousins, known as the Three Bs (brains, beauty & brawn), Chantal, Donna and Princess are Tracy meets the Gross sisters from the Proud Family, hardened i ...more
An Electronic Advance Reader Copy was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss for review. Quotes have been pulled from an e-ARC and may be subject to change.

Fabiola moves to the USA from Haiti, but her mother is stuck in New Jersey because her Visa expired. She ends up staying with her Aunt Jo and three cousins. Will she have the courage to take down the drug lords who rule the streets of Detroit so she can get her mother back?

I loved reading through Fabiola's viewpoint. She sees the American wa
Niki Marion
Mar 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An exceptionally crafted novel that somehow hits heavy-hitting topics like immigration, assimilation, poverty, the delicate balance between spirituality and superstition, police brutality, drug use, and the ever-present worry about fitting in with heart, complexity, and depth. Our narrator Fabiola arrives in Detroit after her mother is detained on entry to the United States from Haiti. Her teenage cousins arrive at the airport to pick her up and bring her to her new home, which, to Fabiola, will ...more
What an absolute whirlwind. The last 15% I feel like I’ve been dragged about because my emotions are EVERYWHERE.

Thoroughly enjoyed the family dynamics, strong characters and the thanksgiving.

There were some super sweet moments and others just so heart wrenching.

Also quick note I listened to the audio for this and it was absolutely fantastic!
Apr 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tbr-bookshelf
Me: *burst into tears and screams*
Boyfriend: *comes in* WHAT HAPPENED?! Are you ok?! Who got hurt?!
Me: *holds up book*
Boyfriend:.................Oh my God, Cookie *hugs me* Its not real-

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Ibi Zoboi's debut novel American Street was a National Book Award finalist. She is also the New York Times Bestselling author of Pride, My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich, 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. Born in Haiti and raised in New York City, she now lives in ...more

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