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TFK Reads: My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich


The main character in My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich is named Ebony-Grace Norfleet Freeman. But in the imaginary world she’s created in her mind, she goes by E-Grace Starfleet.

My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich, by Ibi Zoboi, is one of TFK’s recommended books from 2019. After we made our picks, we handed them off to our team of TFK Kid Reporters. Here, TFK Kid Reporter Henry Carroll shares his review.

This is the 10th and final book review in the series. We hope you’ve had a wonderful year, filled with great reading. We’ll be back with more book coverage in 2020.

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Ebony-Grace, from Alabama, is spending the summer before seventh grade with her father, in Harlem, a neighborhood in New York City. She’s struggling to make friends there. So Ebony-Grace retreats into her favorite pastime, pretending to be a space explorer in an imaginary world she has created with her grandfather, a former NASA engineer. This only makes it harder for her to meet new people. But adjusting to life in Harlem is made a little easier when Ebony-Grace begins to find connections between her imaginary world and the movement of the city.

The characters in My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich are very believable. They could be real kids. They are often mean, taking pleasure in excluding others from their group. The book would appeal to readers who like a realistic story with elements of fantasy.

I would not have chosen this book had I seen it in a bookstore. But I’m glad I read it. Ibi Zoboi has crafted a well-paced and engaging story, with the occasional comic strip that gives us a glimpse into Ebony-Grace’s imagination.