Punching The Air is a powerful YA book written in verse about a black boy who’s wrongfully incarcerated. I received a free copy of this book because I am a part of the #PunchingTheAirTour , however all opinions and thoughts are not biased!
Introduction To Punching The Air
Amal Shahid has a bright future ahead of him, yet despite being in a diverse art school, he’s still seen as disruptive. People automatically place him into the stereotype of a Black boy. And then at the age of 16, his life goals have turned upside down as he sits in prison for a crime he did not commit.
The Plot Of Punching The Air
Although it’s short, this book unpacked so many vital topics through metaphors and imagery. I devoured it in a sitting and it’s definitely a new favourite. Each verse hits me every time and I had to reflect on them before moving on to the next chapter. My whole camera roll was filled with screenshots of quotes, this being one of them:
Locking you up isn’t enough
for them They will try
to crush your spirit until
you’re nothing but—
we both say together
And what does dust do, Amal?
What did Maya Angelou say about dust?
It rises, I whisper
Although the plot isn’t what a typical book should be. But I loved how readers don’t know much about Amal’s crime and his past. This book focuses on what it’s like for a young Black boy being wrongfully accused and how his art and words have such power. The hopeful vibe of this book is incredible and I really enjoyed how Amal used art and words to break out of a boxed stereotype. I felt so many emotions whilst reading this book, I seriously cannot recommend it enough.
Characters Of Punching The Air
I usually go into details about characters in reviews. However, this being so short I wouldn’t want to spoil another’s reading experience! But I just want to mention, I loved the interactions between other prisoners and how close knitted some of them became.
Also, I will say that I loved how realistic Amal is. From doubting and then believing in his religion (Islam) to feeling anger and losing all hope to being creative and so inspired. I have no doubt that many other readers will be able to have a strong connection with Amal.
Conclusion of Punching The Air
This book is intense and just so beautiful. The discussions of white people always being the innocent one, police brutality and injustices of growing up Black are done so well. A five star read and I already know Ibi Zoboi is an auto buy author for me.
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