Sunday, March 7, 2021

The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed - OPTIONAL

The Black Kids
by Christina Hammonds Reed
, 368 pages. Simon and Schuster, 2020. $19. 

Language: R (187 swears, 55 'f'); Mature Content: PG13 (teen intimacy, drugs, alcohol); Violence: PG13 (police brutality, talk of Jim Crow violence) 



17yo Ashley attends a private high school in a fancy neighborhood in L.A. Her parents have always given her and her sister the best of everything, so even though she is black, she fits in better with the rich white friends from her neighborhood than she does with the other black kids at her school who are there on scholarship. It's 1992 and the aftermath of the Rodney King trial has LA in flames, and Ashley is learning some quick and personal lessons about racial inequity, family history, and life outside her posh neighborhood. 

I loved the perspective of using the LA Riots as a background, Reed weaves in enough details to engage readers who may not know what happened without making it sound like a history lesson. Ashley's relationships were raw and realistic. This debut coming of age novel is well done, a gritty story with girl drama, family drama, and several high stakes moments that kept me thoroughly engaged.

Lisa Librarian

No comments: