In an unforgettable new novel from award-winning authors Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, 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?
But 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 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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Authors Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, who both write for young people, collaborated on this powerful story—Reynolds writing from the perspective of Rashad, a black boy who’s the target of police brutality, and Kiely from the perspective of Quinn, a white boy who witnesses the violence. When the boys’ town becomes bitterly divided by racial tension, Quinn grapples with a choice: speak up about what he saw or stay quiet and try to forget about it. All American Boys provides a timely, thoughtful, and engaging take on systemic racism in America. It’s a good starting point for honest conversations among readers of all ages.
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.
Customer ReviewsSee All
This book has encouraged me to stand up for my race and to be brave and a leader. This book was truly an outstanding and strong experience for me 👍🏾👍🏾
A book about ENDING stereotypes and racism unfortunately littered with stereotypical characters and especially the women.