All American Boys by Jason Reynolds & Brendan Kiely
Rashad and Quinn are brought together by one significant event.
Rashad is wrongfully accused of stealing and harming a woman at the local grocery store and finds himself face planted on the ground, beaten and bruised by a police officer.
Quinn happened to be there that night and witnessed the police officer Paul, someone he looked up to, wrongfully pummel Rashad into the ground.
We follow their stories as they battle anger, guilt, prejudice, and racism. As well as understanding the importance of a movement, and standing up for change and what they believed in.
Jason & Brendan did a perfect job of breaking down the implications and stereotypes associated with the coined phrase, “All American” and what that meant for each person and perspective. Not only that, they showed how easy or unquestionable it is to be labeled “All American” positively as a white person, and how black people continue to defend that they are, in fact American just so that they may receive fair and just treatment.
Quinn’s growth and development throughout the story was phenomenal. He battled with his own prejudice, racist assumptions and thoughts. And fought against the status quo, that his family and some friends were almost forcing him to stick to.
Rashad had to face some of the realities, unfairly placed on him in society as a young black man. And he also had to battle internally with some assumptions and prejudice he had against fellow black men and police officers.
Without giving too many spoilers, I enjoyed listening to/reading this book. It is thought-provoking, unnerving and necessary for the current social and political climate. I definitely recommend checking it out!
Posted on goodreads as well!