February 28, 2017

Module 5 Coretta Scott King Award

Book Cover:

All American Boys by [Reynolds, Jason, Kiely, Brendan]

Book Summary:

Rashad a black teen goes into a store to get chips and a white lady trips on him when he bends over to get his phone. The store clerk and cop believe he is stealing and the cop beats up Rashad and sends him to the hospital for a weeks. A white boy Quinn sees what happens and knows the cop as a family friend. As Rashad heals in the hospital and his family deal with what happened, the community becomes divided about what really happened. Quinn also comes to deal with what he saw and how he should respond. The school becomes a hotbed of activity for what happened and a movement and protest to support Rashad forms as the book closes.

APA Reference of Book:
Reynolds, J., & Kiely, B. (2015). All American boys. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers.


Wow. This was a very gritty book about something that is still happening today. I liked the intro and ending with the zooming in and out and showing the big picture.  I really thought that this was a very good telling from both view points, the black teen and the white teen. Reynolds really did go to the root of the problem with even if you stay neutral you are part of the problem. He showed how at first Quinn had no problem but as the story progressed how he started thinking about it and how his view of this person he knew changed based on what he saw that day and what had happened in previous memories of Quinn's.  It also showed how Rashad didnt want to get more involved but started to see that he didn't need to hide or be afraid to vlice his opinion about what happened.  I thought it was interesting that Reynolds didn't have a trail take place. It made the focus on the two boys and how everyone was impacted rather than what may have happened in a trial which I think was a smart move.

Professional 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.  — Michael Cart

Cart, M. (2015, September 15). Review . Booklist.

Library Uses: 
I am not sure how I would use this in the library. Possibly to talk about what you would do if it was your friend, what side would you take? Would you speak up and go to the protest or would you just go along with what the coach or the mom was saying and only worry about you and the team?

My Rating: ****

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