Book Review: American Street

American Street by Ibi Zoboi is a coming of age novel that will work well for grades 9-12. Fabiola Toussaint, the protagonist grew up in Haiti and hasn’t spent a day away from her mother. Their plan was to move to America and live with her aunt and her cousins in Detroit. Unfortunately, Fabiola was allowed in the country, but her mother was detained.
Fabiola is thrust into a world she doesn’t understand with people she barely knows. She thought that her life was rough in Haiti, but Detroit is full of violence, crime, and drugs. Fabiola is trying to help her mother, but can she also help her family with all of their issues? This heart-wrenching book is well-written and depicts the struggles that immigrants face including assimilation. Can one adapt to a new environment, and hold onto their own cultural identity? The characters are authentic and believable. The novel is emotionally-intense at times. Anyone who is into culturally diverse urban books would like this novel. The book contains some strong language. This novel would make a great addition to a high school classroom library. 

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