Ibi Zoboi

“I am most interested in documenting the specificity of our children’s lives and helping them dig deep into their memories, observations, and imaginations to tell their own stories. Books are a way of shouting to the world that we are here and we have a voice.”


Ibi Zoboi is the author of the 2017 young adult novel, American Street, which was nominated for the National Book Award and received five starred reviews. Her young adult novel, Pride, arrives in 2018 and her debut middle grade novel, My Life as an Ice-Cream Sandwich, will be here 2019. Ibi’s writing has also appeared in The New York Times Book Review, the Horn Book Magazine, and The Rumpus. She is also the founder of the Daughters of Anacaona Writing Project (DAWP).

Born in Port-au-Prince Haiti, Ibi immigrated to New York when she was four. Raised by her mother first in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn and then the Cambria Heights section of Queens, Ibi grew up surrounded by the realities of the 1980s – poverty, violence, and crack. In college, Ibi studied journalism, but it wasn’t until she began participating in poetry slams and became part of the New York City spoken word community that she truly began to find her voice. Ibi then went on to earn an MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Of course, Ibi loves reading and writing, especially science fiction, fantasy, and mythology. For fifteen years, Ibi worked as a writer-in-residence and teaching artist in the New York City public schools through organizations such as Teachers & Writers Collaborative, Community-Word Project, and the Sadie Nash Leadership Project.

These days, Ibi is easy to find. She’s usually the one wearing the bright colors and eating a mango or avocado. She lives in a messy house in Brooklyn with her husband, her three children, and three pet turtles named Lucky, Jade, and Leo.

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