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All American Boys Hardcover – September 29, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Rashad Butler is a quiet, artistic teen who hates ROTC but dutifully attends because father insists "there's no better opportunity for a black boy in this country than to join the army." He heads to Jerry's corner store on a Friday night to buy chips, and ends up the victim of unwarranted arrest and police brutality: an event his white schoolmate Quinn Collins witnesses in terrified disbelief. Quinn is even more shocked because the cop is Paul Galluzzo, older brother of his best friend and Quinn's mentor since his father died in Afghanistan. As events unfold, both boys are forced to confront the knowledge that racism in America has not disappeared and that change will not come unless they step forward. Reynolds and Kiely's collaborative effort deftly explores the aftermath of police brutality, addressing the fear, confusion, and anger that affects entire communities. Diverse perspectives are presented in a manner that feels organic to the narrative, further emphasizing the tension created when privilege and racism cannot be ignored. Timely and powerful, this novel promises to have an impact long after the pages stop turning. VERDICT Great for fostering discussions about current events among teenage audiences. A must-have for all collections.—Ashleigh Williams, School Library Journal
"ALL AMERICAN BOYS is a terrific story that will compel readers to consider who they are, what they stand for, and what they should stand for. It’s that good." -Richie's Picks
*"With Reynolds writing Rashad’s first-person narrative and Kiely Quinn’s, this hard-edged, ripped-from-the-headlines
book is more than a problem novel; it’s a carefully plotted, psychologically acute, character-driven work of
fiction that dramatizes an all-too-frequent occurrence. Police brutality and race relations in America are
issues that demand debate and discussion, which his superb book powerfully enables.” - Booklist, starred review
*"Timely and powerful, this novel promises to have an impactlong after the pages stop turning. " - School Library Journal, starred review
"The scenario that Reynolds and Kiely depict has become a recurrent feature of news reports, and a book that lets readers think it through outside of the roiling emotions of a real-life event is both welcome and necessary." - Publishers Weekly
"...[The authors'] passion elevates the novel beyond aneeded call to action to a deeply moving experience." -Kirkus Reviews
Top customer reviews
All-American Boys is about how different kinds of people react to police brutality. The book flits between two different perspectives, both high schoolers, both with different perspectives on the beating. The black student, Rashad, is the one who gets beaten unjustly, and the white one, Quinn, is a friend of the policeman’s brother, and witnesses the beating. Quinn is originally torn, because even though the situation is clear, he knows the policeman and not the student, but he eventually comes around to support Rashad.The interesting thing about this book is the fact that it is mostly about the emotional conflict taking place in the main characters, as opposed to the actual legal battle, though this is mentioned and discussed in the book. I liked this book for several reasons. One of which was the fact that it is actually such a typical story. It’s plot was so easy to predict and understand, it actually felt kind of comforting. Another was its representation of how different people can be American. It provided inspiration to all Americans. I would recommend this book to almost anyone. Its’ simple story is easy to comprehend, and provides a valuable window into a difficult subject, an emotional topic for many, to teach us how life works.
I'm writing this after the Dallas shootings, making this subject even more uncomfortable, given that the police who were killed were there to protect people participating in a peaceful demonstration against police brutality. The plot thickens.