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All American Boys Paperback – August 29, 2017
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*"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
*"Diverse perspectives are presented in a manner that feels organic to thenarrative, further emphasizing the tension created when privilege and racismcannot be ignored. Timely and powerful, this novel promises to have an impactlong after the pages stop turning." -School Library Journal, starred review
"...a deeply moving experience." -Kirkus Reviews
*"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, starred review
"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
About the Author
Jason Reynolds is a New York Times bestselling author, a Newbery Award Honoree, a Printz Award Honoree, National Book Award Honoree, a Kirkus Award winner, a two time Walter Dean Myers Award winner, an NAACP Image Award Winner, and the recipient of multiple Coretta Scott King honors. The American Booksellers Association’s 2017 spokesperson for Indies First, his many books include When I Was the Greatest, Boy in the Black Suit, All American Boys (cowritten with Brendan Kiely), As Brave as You, For Every One, the Track series (Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and Lu), and Long Way Down, which received both a Newbery Honor and a Printz Honor. He lives in Washington, DC. You can find his ramblings at JasonWritesBooks.com.
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I noticed a change in the book's theme as it book goes along. It starts off almost hateful but then it has a theme of generosity or support near the end. Without spoiling too much, the events of the first chapter are never forgotten about. With every page, you see the effects of what happened. A quote from the book, “Nobody says the words anymore, but somehow the violence still remains. If I didn’t want the violence to remain, I had to do a hell of a lot more than just say the right things and not say the wrong things.” , perfectly reflects how I felt reading this book.
The two authors Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely try to maintain a balance between Rashad and Quinn. The middle of the book is very focused on Quinn and him dealing with betrayal and his friends, while Rashad is focused on more in the beginning and end of the book. I guess this makes sense because Rashad was just in the hospital, but I feel that there was more he could have done at certain points. The support given to Rashad by his friends, English, Carlos, and Shannon, is the opposite of how Quinn’s friendships are falling apart.
I am disappointed that some parts of this book were not as challenging for me, and also that there was no real struggle for me in deciding which side I was on, but I think it was a very good book. Although there were things they could improve on, the message is good and the book as a whole is definitely a 5/5. The book is the perfect amount of pages to last you a good week or two, and it is immersing. There were parts of this book where I would not put it down until my kindle died.
I have read this book twice and I am reading it a third time. I would recommend this to every reading teacher out there. This is a must read and can replace books like “Old Yeller” and “To Kill a Mockingbird” in required reading. It gives a good stance on current political issues and gives different views on those issues. Every library, bookstore, and online bookstore needs to have this book. This book will brighten the minds of the latest generation while giving them a good time. This book is one of the best books I have ever read, and that really says something about this book. I look forward to reading the author's other books.
Rashad, an African-American ROTC student, narrates most of his story from a hospital room, where he’s recovering from the brutal violence he suffered at the hands of a white officer, who suspected him of attacking a woman and robbing a convenience store. The officer is a close family friend of Quinn, a white, well-respected son of an Iraqi War vet who was killed in action. Quinn, who is Rashad’s classmate but doesn’t know him well, witnesses the assault and spends most of the novel struggling with questions of racism, privilege, and inequality.
Reynolds and Kiely wisely keep Rashad and Quinn apart for most of the novel—and the effect is powerful. This technique highlights the disparity in their worlds and the impact that each boy’s race has on his life experience. Very much a contemporary novel, the story alludes to fairly recent and well publicized acts of police violence against Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and others.
The novel is a quick read, yet that does not detract one iota from its impact or the authenticity of its social commentary. Reynolds and Kiely have crafted a gripping, trenchant narrative featuring believable characters coping with current social problems that have real consequences. This novel belongs in the hands of every teenager and secondary English teacher in the country.