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10 thoughts on “All American Boys

  1. Jesse (JesseTheReader) Jesse (JesseTheReader) says:

    Wow This was incredibly powerful This is a book that will move you and challenge you to think about the world that we currently live in It focuses on racism and police brutality I really respected the emphasis on how not all police are bad but that there can be power imbalances This book definitely left a mark on me and I know that it’s one that I’ll think about often

  2. Beth Beth says:

    Books save lives And they change hearts and minds This will be one of those books

  3. C.G. Drews C.G. Drews says:

    This was so so powerful and basically amazing I know it's a slightly older book 2015 but it's like on par with The Hate U Give which has a ton of well earned fame This one about #blackLivesMatter is like just as powerful and super heartbreaking and the last scenes were heartwrenchingIt's dual narrated by Rashad and uinn And it was interesting to get both perspectives Rashad is the victim of police brutality where he's nearly beaten to death for doing absolutely nothing And uinn knows the cop who beat Rashad and has to come to realise that being apathetic and silent in matters of racism is taking the side of the brutality It's also actually co written which I didn't know at first And these two characters basically never meet Their lives are intertwined but they don't really even know itI liked how deep and complex everything was too Like the characters aren't paper plates The writing is complex I felt super angry at uinn's narrative at first like he automatically sides with the white cop who was just doing his job until uinn actually DECIDES TO USE HIS BRAIN but his character development is A Rashad's POV is a little slow because it's mostly set in the hospital but he's an artist and he's aaaaamazing I loved the detailed exploration of his thoughts through this The anxiety and nightmares and realising he's never going to be the same after this Also as a side note his injuries and recovery process were detailed REALLY CLOSELY and I found that super interesting Mostly books seem to gloss over hospital stays Basically Rashad was a lovely artistic cinnamon rollThe protest scenes were SO POWERFUL Also 1010 impressed at the absence of romance The boys had crushes but this book basically has NO romanceI do confess that I don't do sport though There is a bit of a focus on basketball so my brain checked out thereBASICALLY excellent book is excellent I think it's really important to read these kind of books that tackle racism white supremacy police brutality and protesting for euality and totally discuss them in depth in ways that make them real This isn't just something that happens occasionally and you see a hashtag on twitter It's sad and wrongWell guess what? I'm white too and that's exactly why I was marching I had to Because racism was alive and real as shit It was everywhere and all mixed up in everything and the only people who said it wasn't and the only people who said Don't talk about it were white Well stop lying That's what I wanted to tell those people Stop lying Stop denying That's why I was marching Nothing was going to change unless we did something about it In the United States in the seven year period ending in 2012 a white police officer killed a black person nearly two times a week If you are neutral in situations of injustice you have chosen the side of the oppressor

  4. Kelly (and the Book Boar) Kelly (and the Book Boar) says:

    Find all of my reviews at #RashadIsAbsentAgainToday I’m going to be perfectly honest here and say All American Boys is not the most well written book you’ll ever find However it might be one of the most important and I encourage any parent of a middle grader to force them to encourage them to read it I generally try to keep my non book opinions off of Goodreads but I’m telling you right now if you are a Trump supporter person who already knows you aren’t going to agree with this review Rashad is absent again today after being mistaken for a shoplifter and suffering from broken ribs a broken nose and internal bleeding inflicted upon him by his arresting police officer uinn didn’t witness what happened inside the corner store but was outside when Rashad was taken down by a cop who just so happens to be a family friendmentor This is their story of how they each deal with the aftermath of this altercation over several daysI started reading this book on the day an unarmed black man with his arms in the air was filmed by a police chopper being executed in the middle of the street The explanation by the police department? He was reaching into his car window and they thought it was for a weapon Reaching into a car window THAT WAS CLOSED Now they say they think maybe he had PCP inside the vehicle but the tests haven’t come back yet eye roll And per usual the country is up in arms and making excuses for this murder because the guy should have got on the ground like he was told and nothing would have happened Right Just like “nothing happened” to Charles Kinsey Instead of making excuses for why deadly force was necessary in order to subdue a man surrounded by police WITH HIS GODDAMN ARMS UP why aren’t people asking why in the fuck WASN’T deadly force used on a suspected terrorist who was actively engaging in a shoot ‘em up with police but somehow was only shot in the shoulder Seriously people WAKEUP And don’t even think to try and say I’m a police hater My view on this entire issue is very simple But no Instead of talking about cops who are obviously not cut out to be cops and why it’s immediately okay to blame the victim in every one of these instances and how the hell we fix the glaring problem of race relations in this country we instead get up in arms and rage out for weeks about a potentially washed up uarterback deciding to take a knee FUCK THAT I live in a city that defiles the National Anthem every Sunday by screaming “home of the CHIEFS” rather than “Brave” but those same dumbshit rednecks are ready to “punch someone in the head” if they don’t stand up for a fucking song Word to the wise – don’t pull a Kanye and say this to someone in a wheelchair accidentally As this book puts it so well Nobody says the words any but somehow the violence still remains It also reminds us that History can only teach its lesson if it is remembered It’s time to ask yourselves Where was I the year all these black American boys were lying in the streets? And understand that IF YOU ARE NEUTRAL IN SITUATIONS OF INJUSTICE YOU HAVE CHOSEN THE SIDE OF THE OPPRESSOR There’s an old saying if you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything It’s time to stand up or sit down or take a knee Whatever you see fit “This is a roll call SEAN BELL Then she followed with “Absent again today OSCAR GRANT Absent again today REKIA BOYD Absent again today RAMARLEY GRAHAM” She paused and at that point the rest of us knew exactly what to do “Absent again today” “AIYANA JONES” “Absent again today” “FREDDIE GRAY” “Absent again today” “MICHAEL BROWN” “Absent again today” “TAMIR RICE” “Absent again today” “ERIC GARNER” “Absent again today” “TARIKA WILSON” “Absent again today” And Spoony kept feeding Berry the papers one after another as she continued to read down the list of unarmed black people killed by the police Endless thanks to Eilonwy for putting such an important story on my radar

  5. Cristina Monica Cristina Monica says:

    Here Are 5 Books about Race Relations You MUST READ All American Boys The Poet X The Hate U Give Dear Martin Ghost Boys

  6. Joce (squibblesreads) Joce (squibblesreads) says:

    I am not the same person that I was when I started this book Thank you Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely for reminding me why I read and the propensity with which books can change us make us alter our lenses we use to view the world and our privilege and touch our souls

  7. Megan Megan says:

    Phew This is a difficult one to rate eually difficult to review I wanted to give it one star and three stars and five stars simultaneously I can't uite work out my own response Part of the problem is that All American Boys is preaching to the choir for me This book did little to further my understanding of race relations or police power in the US Then again I've closely followed the stories of Michael Brown Tamir Rice Sandra Bland etc etc etc I'd be curious to know the reaction of people who support #alllivesmatter people who cheered when the jury decided not to indict Darren Wilson people who feel ambivalent or people who just haven't been paying much attention It seems like this book is really written for them If it can change their minds or broaden their perspectives then the book is a monumental achievement That being said I just don't like social problem novels very much When it comes to social problems I'd much much rather read non fiction And I suppose I am troubled to imagine that there are people compelled by a fictional account of racism and police brutality than the copious real world examples Of course if the safe distance of fiction is necessary to open minds then how can I criticize the use of fiction as a tool for good? Mostly I worry that social problem novels aren't effective that they only foster a sense of smug satisfaction about pre existing convictions and alienate those who disagree The book does a fantastic job representing the voices and concerns of the teenaged protagonists I could imagine many of my former students relating deeply to these characters and getting fired up about the injustices depicted The book offers a high interest low reading level bridge to challenging material I would wager that there will be reluctant readers that pick up a copy of Invisible Man after reading All American Boys Teachers will find ample opportunities to supplement this text with non fiction articles and I imagine students will be eager to read those articles in the context of this book My one true criticism of the text other than its genre which may just be a personal mismatch is that our first view of Paul takes place during his brutal beating of Rashad It broke uinn's heart to see his role model acting so reprehensibly and the story would have been effective if it had broken our hearts as readers as well Since we first see Paul as a villain we can never really empathize with uinn's disillusionment

  8. Korrina (OwlCrate) Korrina (OwlCrate) says:

    45 stars rounded up to 5 Such an important beautifully written story

  9. Brigid ✩ Brigid ✩ says:

    I feel bad that I had to kinda rush through this it was overdue at the library––but I can tell you this is a great and important book that deserves attention All American Boys is the story of Rashad a black teen who is assaulted by a white cop and uinn a white classmate of his who witnesses the crime and who also happens to be friends with the cop It's uite a painful story to read because it's all too familiar It's impossible to even count the number of true stories about people of color who have been beaten and killed by white police officers A collaboration between authors Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely this book gives the reader an eye opening perspective about police brutality and racial injustice It's interesting to see the incident portrayed through the point of view of both a victim and a bystander and it brings up many significant uestions How do you choose sides––especially when someone you once respected is in the wrong? If we want the violence to stop how do we end it?My only main issue with this book is that it felt a little too short to me and I wish it had explored things a bit Rashad spends most of the book in the hospital and I kind of wanted to see about his life after recovery what the trial was going to be like how he was going to deal with being the symbol of a social justice movement etc There were also a few loose ends I wish had been resolved a bit But anyway I really hope this book gains attention I could see this book really changing the perspectives and lives of young readers––probably those of adult readers as well I will definitely read from both authors

  10. Eilonwy Eilonwy says:

    Rashad is a pretty typical 17 year old kid going to high school partying with his friends working on the sketches he hopes to make a living at one day and participating in ROTC because his dad makes him But Rashad is also black and when a woman trips over him in a convenience store a white cop jumps to conclusions about what Rashad was doing and beats him up brutally enough to break ribs and put him in the hospital for a week uinn a white kid at the same school misses what triggered the beating but sees the rest including that the cop is a guy who is practically his own big brother But uinn plays basketball with some of Rashad’s friends who let him know the cop’s version of the story is wrong uinn is torn who should he support? And should he tell anyone what he saw? I really liked this book It’s narrated by both Rashad and uinn and since they’re written by two different authors their voices were distinct I never once had to flip back to the beginning of a chapter to figure out whose POV I was reading Both boys are well rounded and engaging characters trying to find their way in the world through their own uniue experiences They both speak powerfully and authentically and as a reader sharing their development through this particular event I was completely engrossed zooming through this book in two days This is one of the few “issue type” books I’d consider re reading because there was enough else going on in the story to make it just a plain good book even without the timely and important message Rashad’s interest in art and uinn’s dedication to basketball made great subthreads; both felt completely organic Their families and friends are real people as well just trying to make their own way in the world as best they can The book also brings in other issues of police brutality such as how the cop’s official story is often different from what really happened and how we only know this because of the ubiuity of phone videos over the past few years “Rashad is absent again today” painted in front of the school as graffiti by one of his friends became a rallying cry through the story and then made me cry when it was applied to real life victims of police violence in the US “Eric Garner absent again today”“Tamir Rice absent again today”“Sandra Bland absent again today”And the list goes on and on Absent again today and forever And thinking about that is making me cry all over again I read this book over the July 4th weekend And then we had the last two weeks in this country which made it really hard to write this review Alton Sterling and Philando Castile absent again today Five police officers in Dallas and three police officers in Baton Rouge absent again today When and where the hell is it going to end? Read this book It doesn’t offer any answers to that uestion but its insights are important and well worth a few hours

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All American Boys A 2016 Coretta Scott King Author Honor book and recipient of the Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature In this New York Times bestselling 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 tensionA 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 uinn 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 uinn 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 uinn are forced to face decisions and conseuences they had never considered before Written in tandem by two award winning authors this four starred reviewed tour de force shares the alternating perspectives of Rashad and uinn as the complications from that single violent moment the type taken directly from today’s headlines unfold and reverberate to highlight an unwelcome truth

  • ebook
  • 320 pages
  • All American Boys
  • Jason Reynolds
  • English
  • 04 August 2016
  • 9781481463355

About the Author: Jason Reynolds

After earning a BA in English from The University of Maryland College Park Jason Reynolds moved to Brooklyn New York where you can often find him walking the four blocks from the train to his apartment talking to himself Well not really talking to himself but just repeating character names and plot lines he thought of on the train over and over again because he’s afraid he’ll forget it al