American Street by Ibi Zoboi

American Street

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 grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising roman...

Details American Street

TitleAmerican Street
Release DateFeb 14th, 2017
PublisherBalzer + Bray
Number of pages336 pages
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary, Fiction, Realistic Fiction

Reviews American Street

  • Emily May
    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 sy...
  • Lola Reviewer
    3.5 stars.As an immigrant myself, I connected with Fabiola tremendously.When you move from one place to a very different place – or even if you’re just there to visit – there’s usually a culture shock happening. I felt that. I know what it’s like for people to mock the way you speak or laugh at the unusual words you use. Fortunately, when Fabiola left Haiti and came to the United States of America, she had her aunt and cousins to help h...
  • Maggie
    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. As Ibi Zoboi's debut novel, bringing a fictional story that can be relatable to her was something different. She managed to captivate me from the beginning because the story is different, but it was also a different kind of boring. It's not magical, but it...
  • Sarah
    (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 he...
  • Trina (Between Chapters)
    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 feel is ...
  • Brooke
    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'...
  • Rincey
    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.
  • Francina Simone
    Omg.... so much to unpack here... review to come. I'm in awe
  • Giselle (Book Nerd Canada)
    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 thr...
  • Ashley
    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 Detroit. There ...
  • YA Wednesdays
    More people need to pick this book up. An immigrant's account of her new life in America. My full review to come soon.
  • Allison
    For right now let me just say this book is amazing. Part immigrant narrative, part alt-"American dream" narrative, part magical realism, ALL breathtaking. Also, it made me cry. Anyways, longer review to come, but this book was wonderful and I love love love Fabiola and her cousins.IBI ZOBOI IS ON MY AUTO-READ LIST NOW.Longer RTC!
  • Rikke
    4.5!!! RTC
  • Sajda (Across the Words)
    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 ...
  • Jessica
    I don't know about this one, and I don't know if my disappointment was because of the book itself or because I was expecting it to be something different. Full review to come.
  • India Hill
    This book was gritty yet magical, which is a combination that's interesting to say the least! I love the book, the dialogue felt very natural, especially between the cousins. I wasn't a huge fan of the ending, but after reading the Author's Note, I understood why it had to happen. Great read overall!
  • Rose
    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 ...
  • Read In Colour
    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 m...
  • Leo Walsh
    While I love stories of working class people struggling to live with dignity, most urban fiction reads like a bad montage of gangsta rap tunes. Stagnant and without life. It takes a Toni Morrison to breath life into urban stories. And her if her debut novel American Street is any indication, Morrison may soon have company in Ibi Zoboi. Her debut novel, American Street, weaves myth, life, love and death into a magical realist tapestry, transformin...
  • Miss Fabularian
    I was immediately pulled in. The story opens with a panicked Fabiola, bewildered in JFK airport from Haiti en route to relatives in Detroit. Fabiola's mother has been detained in a NJ detention center, and Fabiola must go the rest of the way alone. For more of this review and to see a video about fun facts about the author, click here.
  • nick
    Wow! I did not expect that ending. It's not always a happy book but the main character is so vibrant that she makes you feel hope. I also loved the strong focus on family. Review to come
  • Audrey Laurey
    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 ad...
  • Ebony Rose
    I couldn't put this book down once I got to about a third of the way in. I'm not sure what exactly was so compelling for me here - was it Fabiola, the brave, naive and reckless Haitian immigrant narrator? Maybe it was the exploration of Haitian spirituality and vodou. Or perhaps it was the fantastic cast of secondary characters - all of whom I wanted so badly to know more about. In all likelihood, it was probably a combination of all of those thi...
  • Bogi Takács
    This was great. Not a happy read. Planning on reviewing it next week and I'm also planning on talking about it in an SFF podcast episode about migrant narratives I've been invited to, so I'll paste those in here once I have them, G-d willing.
  • Marjorie Ingall
    Pushcart Prize nominee Ibi Zoboi’s accomplished first novel is flavored with Haitian folklore and vodou. Set on the corner of American Street and Joy Road in Detroit, it’s a book full of crossings and intersections, double-crosses and crossed fingers -- a reflection of the liminal, betwixt-and-between life of its narrator, Fabiola. Fabiola and her Manman are from Port-au-Prince. They’ve finally set off to live “on this side of the good li...
  • Lauren (YABookers)
    Disclaimer: I received a free copy via Edelweiss for review purposes.Une belle vie. A good life. That's what Fabiola Toussaint thought she would find on the corner of American Street and Joy Road. But as they enter the United States from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola's mother is detained by U.S immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her new surroundings and her American cousins on her own. As she begins to find her footing, Fabiola is presente...
  • Jennifer
    Y'all, this book is so incredibly beautiful and poignant and has the most perfect narrative voice. This book is magical and delightful and heartbreaking. This story is real and relevant in the wake of recent politics.Needless to say, you need this book in your life. So plan on buying this for yourself (or someone you love) this Valentine's Day (it's book birthday)! You will not regret it!
  • Rebecca
    Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2017: Read a book by an immigrant or with a central immigration narrative. In addition to fitting this challenge (it is both: author Ibi Zoboi is an immigrant from Haiti, and so is her main character, Fabiola), this book has been getting a ton of buzz. I found it to be a captivating page-turner -- one of those rare books I read even at breakfast when I'm barely awake. Fabiola and her mother come to Detroit to live ...