Shop My Shelves-March 2021

Because my reading is usually planned several months in advance I don’t often make time for mood reading. This series is the one time a month I make/let myself look at my shelves and choose what I want to read right now with no restrictions or requirements. I wander in to my library, browse the shelves overflowing with books I want to read some day and choose whatever most catches my attention at that moment and then start to read it right away no matter how full my reading schedule is.

This month I have chosen Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam. This is a young adult novel told in verse, possibly my favorite format for books. I purchased this book in January of this year and I’ve been thinking about reading it since it arrived in the mail. Books written in verse always effect me strongly so I expect to cry a lot while reading this. I can’t wait to start!

From award-winning, bestselling author Ibi Zoboi and prison reform activist Yusef Salaam of the Exonerated Five comes a powerful YA novel in verse about a boy who is wrongfully incarcerated. Perfect for fans of Jason Reynolds, Walter Dean Myers, and Elizabeth Acevedo.

The story that I thought

was my life

didn’t start on the day

I was born

Amal Shahid has always been an artist and a poet. But even in a diverse art school, he’s seen as disruptive and unmotivated by a biased system. Then one fateful night, an altercation in a gentrifying neighborhood escalates into tragedy. “Boys just being boys” turns out to be true only when those boys are white.

The story that I think

will be my life

starts today

Suddenly, at just sixteen years old, Amal’s bright future is upended: he is convicted of a crime he didn’t commit and sent to prison. Despair and rage almost sink him until he turns to the refuge of his words, his art. This never should have been his story. But can he change it?

With spellbinding lyricism, award-winning author Ibi Zoboi and prison reform activist Yusef Salaam tell a moving and deeply profound story about how one boy is able to maintain his humanity and fight for the truth, in a system designed to strip him of both.

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