book reviews

Book Review: All American Boys

Book Details:

  • Published Date: September 29, 2015
  • Author: Jason Reynolds & Brendan Kiely
  • Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
  • Format: Kindle/Audiobook
  • Narrators: Guy Lockard & Keith Hobbs
  • Length: 334 pages/6h 35m
A bag of chips. That’s all sixteen-year-old Rashad is looking for at the corner bodega. What he finds instead is a fist-happy cop, Paul Galluzzo, who mistakes Rashad for a shoplifter, mistakes Rashad’s pleadings that he’s stolen nothing for belligerence, mistakes Rashad’s resistance to leave the bodega as resisting arrest, mistakes Rashad’s every flinch at every punch the cop throws as further resistance and refusal to STAY STILL as ordered. But how can you stay still when someone is pounding your face into the concrete pavement?

There were witnesses: Quinn Collins—a varsity basketball player and Rashad’s classmate who has been raised by Paul since his own father died in Afghanistan—and a video camera. Soon the beating is all over the news and Paul is getting threatened with accusations of prejudice and racial brutality. Quinn refuses to believe that the man who has basically been his savior could possibly be guilty. But then Rashad is absent. And absent again. And again. And the basketball team—half of whom are Rashad’s best friends—start to take sides. As does the school. And the town. Simmering tensions threaten to explode as Rashad and Quinn are forced to face decisions and consequences they had never considered before.

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Wow. This was such a powerful read.

Two boys, Rashad and Quinn, go to the same school, but live completely different lives. Rashad, black and Quinn, white…don’t know each other, however, Quinn knows that they attend the same school.

“Rashad is absent again.”

Rashad, accused of something he didn’t do because of being black has to deal with the media attention after the run in with the cop and getting beating by him while in the hospital. Quinn happens to be close to that cop, he was basically Quinn’s second father, but he feels something isn’t right. Quinn has to decide to either stand up for what he believes is right or defend Paul.

This book was powerful in so many ways and honestly it shows that we are stronger together.

My Rating:

4 star

Have you read All American Boys? What were your thoughts?

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