Ibi Zoboi is the author of two novels for young adults, including Pride and American Street, and a finalist for the National Book Award. She holds an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York. Zoboi’s middle-grade debut, My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich, sets an utterly captivating character in a meticulously researched 1980s Harlem for a novel that deftly captures the historical intersection of the space race, popular science fiction, and early hiphop.
Identity is at the heart of these mid grade novels about kids trying to find their place in the world. In Mariama Lockington's For Black Girls Like Me, a young adopted girl wonders what her family would be like if they all looked like her. In Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers by Celia Perez, a group of girls learns that friends can be family no matter what. Ibi Zoboi shares the story of a young girl finding her way in a new place in My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich.
Dr. Gayatri Sethi is an educator and writer who muses about social justice themes. A former professor, she now independently offers workshops, seminars and courses on social justice, anti-racism and decolonizing education. She is of South Asian Indian descent, born in Tanzania and raised in Botswana. Some of her writings on identity and belonging have been published in Brown Girl Magazine and the Aerogramme. She resides in Decatur when she is not traveling globally with her family.
My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich
In the summer of 1984, 12-year-old Ebony-Grace makes the move from Alabama to Harlem to spend a few weeks with her father. An exciting and terrifying place for a sheltered girl from Hunstville, gritty and graffitied Harlem reveals it has more in common with her sci-fi adventures than she thought. Set in the early days of hip-hop, My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich is a moving and hilarious story of a girl finding a place and a voice in a world that’s changing at warp speed.