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All American boys
Book
2015
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Reviews

Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Two teenage boys, one black (Rashad) and one white (Quinn), are inextricably linked when Quinn witnesses Rashad being savagely beaten with little or no provocation by a policeman who has served as Quinn's de facto big brother since his father was killed in Afghanistan—and whose younger brother is one of Quinn's best friends. Can Quinn simply walk away from this apparent atrocity and pretend he hasn't seen what he has seen? And what of Rashad? Hospitalized with internal bleeding, all he wants is to be left alone so he can focus on his art. The challenge for both boys becomes more intense when the case becomes a cause célèbre dividing first their school and then the entire community. The basketball team becomes a microcosm of split loyalties and angry disputes that come to a head when a protest march powerfully demonstrates the importance of action in the face of injustice. With Reynolds writing Rashad's first-person narrative and Kiely writing 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 this superb book powerfully enables. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

PW Annex Reviews

In this painful and all-too-timely book, two authors—one black, one white—present a story of police brutality. Reynolds (The Boy in the Black Suit) voices Rashad, the innocent victim of a police beating; Kiely (The Gospel of Winter) writes Quinn, a horrified witness. The book moves quickly, starting on a Friday night with the boys—classmates who don't know each other—preparing for a party, and ending with a social-media-inspired protest march one week later. For Rashad, the week means facing the physical and mental effects of what has happened, including a father who initially assumes that Rashad is guilty. For fatherless Quinn, the struggle comes from the fact that the cop is not only the older brother of a close friend, but also a father figure. 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. Ages 12–up. Agent: (for Reynolds) Elena Giovinazzo, Pippin Properties; (for Kiely) Rob Weisbach, Rob Weisbach Creative Management. (Sept.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2015 PWxyz LLC

School Library Journal Reviews

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

[Page 172]. (c) Copyright 2015 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Author Biography

Jason Reynolds is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, a Newbery Award Honoree, a Printz Award Honoree, a two-time National Book Award finalist, 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. Reynolds is also the 2020&;2021 National Ambassador for Young People&;s Literature. His many books include When I Was the Greatest, The 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), Look Both Ways, and Long Way Down, which received a Newbery Honor, a Printz Honor, and a Coretta Scott King Honor. He lives in Washington, DC. You can find his ramblings at JasonWritesBooks.com.

Brendan Kiely is the New York Times bestselling author of All American Boys (with Jason Reynolds), The Last True Love Story, and The Gospel of Winter. His work has been published in ten languages, received a Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award, the Walter Dean Myers Award, the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award, was twice awarded Best Fiction for Young Adults (2015, 2017) by the American Library Association, and was a Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2014. Originally from the Boston area, he now lives with his wife in New York City. Tradition is his fourth novel. - (Simon and Schuster)

Annotations

When sixteen-year-old Rashad is mistakenly accused of stealing, classmate Quinn witnesses his brutal beating at the hands of a police officer who happens to be the older brother of his best friend. - (Baker & Taylor)

When sixteen-year-old Rashad is mistakenly accused of stealing, classmate Quinn witnesses his brutal beating at the hands of a police officer who happens to be the older brother of his best friend. Told through Rashad and Quinn's alternating viewpoints. - (Baker & Taylor)

A 2016 Coretta Scott King Author Honor book, and recipient of the Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children&;s Literature.

In this Coretta Scott King Honor Award&;winning novel, two teens&;one black, one white&;grapple with the repercussions of a single violent act that leaves their school, their community, and, ultimately, the country bitterly divided by racial tension.

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.

Written in tandem by two award-winning authors, this four-starred reviews tour de force shares the alternating perspectives of Rashad and Quinn as the complications from that single violent moment, the type taken from the headlines, unfold and reverberate to highlight an unwelcome truth. - (Simon and Schuster)

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