All American Boys

All American Boys

eBook - 2015
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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.
Publisher: 2015
Branch Call Number: OVERDRIVE
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Reproduction: Electronic reproduction. New York : Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, 2015. Requires OverDrive Read (file size: N/A KB) or Adobe Digital Editions (file size: 3397 KB) or Kobo app or compatible Kobo device (file size: N/A KB) or Amazon Kindle (file size: N/A KB)
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc
ISBN: 9781481463355

Opinion

From Library Staff

"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." (from NoveList)

After a misunderstanding in a convenience store, a young black man is horrifically beaten up by a police officer and one of the only witnesses is a white classmate, who also happens to know the police officer well. This dramatic, fast-paced story, told from the perspective of the victim and the ... Read More »

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.

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.


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PinesandPrejudice Aug 18, 2017

A triumph. This is an IMPORTANT book. I was in the middle of this other awful book that I wasn't enjoying when the events in Charlottesville, VA happened. There wasn't much I could do but educate myself and speak out on social media, being far away. I couldn't believe I was reading fluffy; I needed to be further educating myself and not just with the news. I recently bought ALL AMERICAN BOYS and immediately knew it was the book I had to be reading.

When I finished, I held the book and cried. I cried for those Heather Heyer, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner to name only few of the many. I cried for my country. I am grateful this book and others like it (THE HATE U GIVE, MARCH, etc.) that continue to educate and inspire and tell of the real racism plaguing our country. Thank you to those authors for their courage to share their art and to tell these stories.

As this is a book review my thoughts on the book itself as as follows: The multiple POVs was excellent for telling two sides of the situation. It was all about perspective and Seeing others which I fall for in a story every time. I thought Quinn's journey from silence to activism was well told; it was also relatable to me as a white woman. Rashad's journey was also well-explored and eye opening for me. Both sides were powerful in their own way, but the act of uniting them was brilliant.

I had two small negatives with the book. As the protagonists are male, it was very heavy with subjects that are popular with a majority of men like basketball; I honestly couldn't care less about those parts of the book. Also, it barely passed the Betchel test and I wish there would have been more of a female presence than just the minor, supporting roles.

Overall, this book was amazing and I recommend it to anyone and everyone. It appeals to many and should be required reading in schools and for adults. It's a great tool to educate oneself and examine what has, unfortunately, become a part of our country's history. I commend Reyolds and Kiely on this beautiful, true, passionate, engaging, and honest work of art.

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twhitehead24
Jul 18, 2017

"All American Boys" is a good book on a very difficult subject - racism. This book is told through the perspective of two high school boys - the victim being black and the witness being white. Rashad, the victim, is brutally beaten by a white cop and this beating is witness by Quinn, a white classmate. That night, both their lives changed. Through those changes, their classmates, teachers, and even town, sees how torn racism can change people. If everyone could see how a peaceful protest is so much better than the violence we have seen on TV. Stand up peacefully for the things you believe in. It was great to read how, in the end, everyone of all races, came together to help stand up for Rashad and many others that were "absent again today". Will be recommending this book to our high school readers.

JCLEmilyD Apr 25, 2017

This book was a tough one because of the topic: police brutality. It gives viewpoints from both the victim, Rashed, and a a close friend of the police officer, Quinn. As Rashed struggles with why this happened and wanting things just to get back to normal, Quinn is struggling with loyalty and doing what is right. This book is so in-credibly well written and gives voices to a very important topic.

CMLReads_Kristin Aug 01, 2016

Rashad is brutally beaten by the police. Quinn witnesses the whole thing and is afraid to talk about what he saw because the police officer is a family friend. Told in alternating viewpoints. A nuanced look at issues of race and police violence. Begs to be read and discussed. Fans of Kekla Magoon's How It Went Down or Paul Volponi's Black and White should defintely check this one out!

JCLBeckyC May 14, 2016

Written by two authors--Jason Reynolds wrote the chapters narrated by Rashad and Brendan Kiely wrote the chapters narrated by Quinn--we get to know these two guys--and their friends, classmates, and family. They are portrayed so realistically, it's hard not to feel sorry for everyone involved. But this is not a sad story. It's a story full of hope.

mvkramer Mar 30, 2016

It's happened again - everyone loved this book except for me. And it's probably fantastic - the writing style and I just aren't meant to be. The prose is so...leaden. I couldn't get into it. Also, I know the topic is really timely and relevant, but I got an "afterschool special" vibe.

Chapel_Hill_KatieJ Feb 24, 2016

This is a book that is very clearly set in the present, with timely topics about race, police brutality, and protest movements. Rashad is beaten by a cop outside a convenience store after being accused of shoplifting. Quinn witnesses this, but doesn’t speak up at first because he knows the police officer is his friend’s big brother. While in the hospital, Rashad is only concerned about his injuries and how his family reacts. At first, he is uneasy with all of the press coverage, and doesn’t see himself as part of the bigger picture about police brutality. At first, Quinn is unsure whose side he is on, but acknowledges how different his life is from Rashad’s even though they are from the same town and go to the same high school. This is a powerful book told from two alternating perspectives.

ellie_o Jan 29, 2016

I have chills.
This book was beautifully and powerfully written. The subject matter is not simplified, and no one tries to make sense of it. The book ends without an answer, as it should. It's an English teacher's dream - something well-written, tackling current events with a hook for even reluctant readers. The dual narratives give depth and provide a wonderful starting place for conversation. The writing is lyrical at times while still entirely approachable.
This is an important book that I hope to see on school reading lists and in teen's TBR piles. It's important for adults as well, though - this book gives voice to millennials struggling to figure out what they stand for, a voice that may be difficult for older generations to hear sometimes.

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badwolf82
Jan 14, 2016

Such a timely and well written book on police brutality and racism in America. I enjoyed the alternating viewpoints from the two boys, one black, one white. A book that lends its self to discussion and self reflection. What Reynolds and Kiely have written is something that will stay with you. I highly recommend this to teens and adults alike.

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blue_dog_31717
Aug 02, 2017

"[Maybe he did] Meth?"
"Only white people do that" (pg.175)

JCLEmilyD Apr 18, 2017

He wasn't strong because he wasn't afraid. No, he was strong because he kept doing it even though he was afraid. (p. 289)

JCLEmilyD Apr 18, 2017

Say what? To hold your head up? That everything would be okay? Baby, I could tell by the look on your face that you ain't need none of that. Sometimes, when people get treated as less than human, the best way to help them feel better is to simply treat them as human. Not as victims. Just you as you. Rashad Butler, before all this. (p. 243)

JCLEmilyD Apr 17, 2017

They were probably afraid, too. Afraid of people like Paul. Afraid of cops in general. Hell, they were probably afraid of people like me. I didn't blame them. I'd be afraid too, even if I was a frigging house like Tooms. But I didn't have to be because my shield was that I was white. (p. 180)

JCLEmilyD Apr 17, 2017

I felt like I'd been doing the same damn thing the last couple of days--trying to stare so hard at my own two feet so I wouldn't have to look up and see what was really going on. And while I'd been doing that, I'd been walking in the wrong directions.
I didn't want to walk away anymore. (p. 185)

JCLEmilyD Apr 17, 2017

But here are the words that kept ricocheting around me all day: Nobody says the words anymore, but some how the violence still remains. If I didn't want the violence to remain, I had to do a hell of a lot more than just say the right things and not say the wrong things. (p. 218)

k
KaseyNB
Apr 13, 2017

“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. We! White people!”

k
KaseyNB
Apr 13, 2017

“IF YOU ARE NEUTRAL IN SITUATIONS OF INJUSTICE, YOU HAVE CHOSEN THE SIDE OF THE OPPRESSOR.”

Notices

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blue_dog_31717
Aug 02, 2017

Violence: Beating of a minor.

mvkramer Mar 30, 2016

Violence: Police brutality.

mvkramer Mar 30, 2016

Other: Underage drinking.

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blue_dog_31717
Aug 02, 2017

blue_dog_31717 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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KaseyNB
Apr 13, 2017

KaseyNB thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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