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Read for a Lifetime 2022-2023 List: Punching the Air

Illinois Center for the Book Reading Program

Book Cover

About the Book

400 Pages 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 night, an altercation in a gentrifying neighborhood escalates into tragedy.  “Boys just being   5  boys” turns out to be true when those boys are white.  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? 

About the Authors