November 3, 2017 by TinyNavajo
All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
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I haven’t read many books that deal with racism and how that affects people in real life. I have with fantasy, and I have in science fiction, but reading a book that deals with actual life, a contemporary novel, especially with the political atmosphere as it is today.
All American Boys tells the story of racism from the eyes of two different boys, two different lives, two different views, one school and one thread in common. They are both affected by racism that physically affected only one of them.
It all started with the graffiti on the sidewalk. But technically, it all started when Rashad was accused of stealing from a local minimart when all he was trying to do was reach for his cellphone. All that Quinn saw was his best friend’s older brother beat a young black man to the ground again and again. It started again when Quinn decided that it was best for everyone if he just kept what he saw quiet. But when it’s days before Rashad is out of the hospital for the wounds that were inflicted on him by the police officer that things at school start to heat up more and more as sides are taken and true feelings start to emerge.
Rashad wonders why he has done all the things that his father taught him about how to deal with the police, joined the ROTC, and have done everything right yet still, be thought to be stealing because of the color of his skin. Quinn wonders if he really knew his surrogate father, his best friend’s older brother, the police officer who beat up his classmate, or if he only knew a small part of him. As these two boys continue throughout life, trying to figure out what they truly believe and know about life and the circumstances that brought them into one another’s circles, and whether or not racism will truly be gone in society.
Have you ever read a book that made you truly think about society? Like, truly TRULY think, not just about race, but about your own place in society? If you have comment below and let me know!