Monday, November 16, 2015

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

After his ROTC training Rashad packs his uniform into his backpack and goes to the convenience store to pick up supplies for a party.  While bending down, a white woman trips over him and the police officer in the store grabs Rashad and begins beating him.  The arrest and beating are witnessed by Quinn, a teen who knows the cop and thinks of him as a big brother.  Rashad survives the beating, barely, and wakes up to find himself the center of community outrage over another beating of a black boy by a white cop.  Quinn, meanwhile, is struggling with what he has seen and his loyalty to his friend.  As tensions at school rise, Quinn has to choose which side he's on.

A timely book that really puts you in the brains of the two main characters.  With all the racial tensions in the country and the ongoing problem of black youths being beaten and killed by white officers, this book gives readers something more than a headline.  I'm a little sad that it is definitely a high school book due to the language because it's definitely something middle schoolers could talk about as well.