Author: Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Balzar + Bray
Publication Date: September 1, 2020
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
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.
Rating: 4 stars
Mini Review: This Young Adult told in verse novel does not disappoint. Loosely based on a case back in 1989 where 5 young men were wrongfully convicted and eventually exonerated.
This story picks up when Amal Shahid is on trial for a felony crime he did not commit. He is found guilty and we then get his point of view as he spends time in a Juvenile Detention Center. Amal has dreams, and is extremely talented and carries his innocence with him always.
The authors do paint a pretty dark picture of what occurs in these centers, but we know Yusef Salaam has brought that experience to help write this book. Being that is written in verse, it does lighten it up a little, as it told in small bits and jumps around a lot. I highly recommend this book, and if you have an opportunity the Audio is amazing.