Reynolds, Jason and Kiely, Brendan All American Boys, 310 pgs. Atheneum, 2015. $17.99. Language: R (100+swears, 44Fs); Mature Content: PG; Violence: PG13 (Police Brutality)
Rashad is absent again today. He was accused of shoplifting and severely beaten by the police officer who arrested him. Rashad was reaching into his ROTC bag to get his phone out of his uniform, not to steal a bag of chips. Now he is in the hospital with a broken nose, broken ribs and internal bleeding. Was he attacked because he is African American?
Quinn plays on the basketball team with Rashad’s friends. Quinn’s mentor is his neighbor Paul, the older brother of his best friend. Paul is the Officer involved in the beating of Rashad which Quinn witnessed. Now Quinn is torn between loyalty and doing what is right.
This co-authored account of the aftermath of a racially charged incident is very well-written; engaging, thought provoking and disturbing. The alternate perspectives keep the story moving, and the basketball practices gives some “away from the topic” refreshing action. Too much swearing for a middle school, but the topic is important and handled fairly.
HS - ADVISABLE Lisa Librarian