Parents' Guide to

American Street

By Lucinda Dyer, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Raw and gritty immigrant story best for mature teens.

American Street Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 13+

An exploration into a world I didn't know about

As someone who grew up in a safe, suburban, and wealthy town, this book let me glimpse into the lives that many people have to live through. An important book if you want your kids to have a look into cultures different then theirs. I made my rating 13+ despite the moderate use of profanity - your kids have heard all these words by middle school, and this book is not glorifying the way they are used. Censoring this book from their reading collection because of language would be censoring them from learning about the very real world presented in the story. Also, not to call out anyone in particular, but I do find it funny how a parent would find the swearing problematic, but not the violence.
1 person found this helpful.
age 17+

Mature book not meant for kids

I wasn't a fan of this book. The story was decent but the author managed to make it 324 pages by adding a ton of inappropriate language and content. I did think the story was interesting at times, but overall it was too much swearing, teen drug and alcohol abuse, and violence for my taste, and definitely too much for my 8th grader.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3):
Kids say (2):

This edgy and realistic novel takes an unflinching look at the new life a Haitian-raised teen girl tries to create for herself in a gritty Detroit neighborhood. Author Ibi Zoboi, who immigrated to the U.S. from Haiti when she was a child, is a gifted storyteller who has created a vivid and memorable cast of characters. But her novel is best suited for mature teens given the graphic storylines about family loyalties, drug dealing, and an abusive relationship. Readers should consider whether the merits of the writing outweigh any concerns about language and drug-related content.

Book Details

  • Author: Ibi Zoboi
  • Genre: Coming of Age
  • Topics: High School
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Balzer + Bray
  • Publication date: February 14, 2017
  • Number of pages: 324
  • Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
  • Last updated: September 27, 2021

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