American Street

American Street

Book - 2017
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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?
Publisher: New York, NY : Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, [2017]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780062473042
Characteristics: 324 pages ; 22 cm
Call Number: Y ZOBOI, I


From Library Staff

Zoboi has constructed a unique blend of Haitian Voodoo beliefs with a contemporary American setting. With authentic characters, Creole slang, and a firm stance that family comes before boyfriends, this is a strong, entertaining YA contemporary novel.

For fans of Everything, Everything and Bone Gap. This fierce debut tackles first love, Haitian Vodou and “The American Dream.” This one’s getting lots of buzz!

From the critics

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OPL_KrisC Apr 14, 2018

This is a dark and gritty story of a young Haitian immigrant girl who arrives in the US with her mother only to find out that her mother is going to be detained instead of being able to continue onto their family in Detroit. It is gut-wrenching at times and contains some explicit language and violence.

LPL_KimberlyL Mar 04, 2018

American Street is a gritty, harshly realistic take on the immigrant experience and life in Detroit. I would say it's Urban Fiction for the YA age range, and one to pick up if you're looking for an emotional gut punch that tackles MAJOR themes. I would, however, recommend that you listen to the audiobook and pass on the physical form. Everyone I've talked to seems to prefer the audiobook experience - that makes sense, because Robin Miles is a goddess at narrating. She perfectly executes the tone of Ibi Zoboi's writing style, and the two together are the ideal match!

Chapel_Hill_KatieJ Jan 07, 2018

Fabiola and her mother are trying to move to Detroit from Haiti, when her mother is detained by immigrant authorities. Fabiola was born in the United States, so she is able to go to Detroit where she moves in with her aunt and three cousins. She imagines the man outside their house on American Street is Papa Legba, a guiding spirit who can tell her how to get her mother back. Fabiola seems to adjust to life in Detroit, but at the same time is completely in over her head. The book is gritty and surprising, with a touch of magical realism. Fabiola's relationship with Kasim is a central part of the book, but the relationship she has with her three cousins is really the heart of the book.

Nov 30, 2017

If you're considering reading this, DO IT! You won't regret it.

ArapahoeLaura Jul 30, 2017

This book broke my heart, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Wow.

Jun 02, 2017

This book is a stunning, captivating debut from Ibi Zoboi. The story was intriguing and the meshing of Haitian and Detroit culture was done perfectly. The only criticism I would levy against it is that Fabiola's mother took too much of a backseat to the romance. Coming in, I was hoping romance would barely be explored much less take over the entire plot. But I found our romantic interest and the developement of their relationship adequately believable and enjoyable. I really enjoyed the developement and characterization of Chantal, Pri, and Donna. Overall, a truly beautiful novel I would recommend to anyone.

May 19, 2017


Real review: This was so good and I'm having trouble putting that into words. Zoboi is a gifted storyteller. The characters of AMERICAN STREET captivate you from the very first page. I would say the character development is the strongest aspect of this book and the story is quite unlike anything I've ever read. I also loved how Fabiola would compare her experiences as a Haitian immigrant in America with Vodou culture. I'm paraphrasing here but Fabiola described her situation as, "American by birth, Haitian by blood". I didn't expect the magical realism and it was a really beautiful surprise. A superb debut YA novel! I'm avidly awaiting Zoboi's next work.

I was not 100% convinced that the detective Fabiola was giving information to could get Fabiola's mother out of the detention centre that easily, unless she had strong connections with ICE (which isn't confirmed). Obviously the case the detective was working on was a big one, but it didn't seem like a case that crossed state lines or would get national headlines. It just seemed too good to be true. I still enjoyed the ending and concluded the author wanted to give the reader hope.

15-year-old Fabiola Toussaint stands at the intersection of American Street and Joy Road, bathed in orange streetlight and the hazy smoke of Papa Legba’s cigar. Each path has a cost -- one her Haitian roots and Vodou spirits, and the other her hopes and dreams. Which path will she take? Or is there another?

This story of family, faith and courage turns an unflinching gaze on the immigrant experience in contemporary America, and is one of my favorite YA reads so far this year. Ibi Zoboi is one to watch.

For fans of Jason Reynolds, Nnedi Okorafor, and Laura Ruby.

LPL_KateG May 08, 2017

Holy Moly. I just listened to the audiobook (which was incredible and narrated by one of my fave readers, Robin Miles), and this book was a roller-coaster of emotions. Absolutely gut-punching. I thoroughly enjoyed the pacing of this novel - it kept me very interested in the plot while still giving me enough insight into the characters. I was left in awe and wanting to discuss it with someone! LPL has it as a Book Club in a Bag kit, and I'd highly recommend putting it on your book club's To Read list.

Apr 28, 2017


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OPL_KrisC Apr 14, 2018

OPL_KrisC thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Feb 26, 2018

hyunokshin thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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