American Street by Ibi Zoboi
About: 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 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 soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream. -Taken from Smith Catalog
Audrey’s Thoughts: American Street is one of the most original and inspiring works I’ve read in young adult, especially this year. The story and storytelling are both captivating and beautifully rendered.
Fabiola is a Haitian Immigrant moving to Detroit to join her aunt and cousins when her mother is detained at customs. Suddenly, Fabiola is in a completely new ecosystem. She must somehow get her mother to Detroit like originally planned, as well as navigate and adjust to her new urban environment.
The use of magic realism is perfect! I love how it propelled the narrative as well as helped to illustrate Haiti and Haitian Culture. This is a visceral read where you can smell and imagine the Haitian food. At the same time you can also feel the characters struggles, the violence, and love.
Zoboi has a gift for writing. I can’t wait to put this book in the hands of “real girls” wanting something more in their literature. So much is packed in this debut novel. This book also examines the Intersectionalism found in race, sex, class, etc.