I read this book only days before I saw Get Out so I am still very caught up in this theme at the moment. And yes, this was another assignment for my YA class. I was thrilled to death that we were assigned a BLM novel. Because yeah, we talk about it in school sometimes but we don’t talk about it in a pop culture setting and I really wish we did more often.
All American Boys is a newer novel by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely and is told from the point of view of two boys, Rashad, who is Black, and Quinn, who is White. At the very beginning of the book, we see Rashad going to buy a bag of chips at a convenience store… and the proceeding events are a little complex, but in short, seconds later Rashad is having the living crap beat out of him by a police officer who is convinced that Rashad was stealing the chips (he wasn’t). A couple people manage to get the incident on video, but Quinn is really close by and sees the whole thing go down. And to make matters worse, Quinn is close friends with the police officer who is beating the tar out of Rashad. The boys spend the rest of the novel grappling with what happened that day at the convenience store.
IT’S SO GOOD.
The problem is, I know I’m going to have a hard time getting people to read it BECAUSE it’s a BLM novel and so many people I know are unwilling to put away their preconceived notions of BLM to even read a fictional YA book. I mean, if we aren’t even willing to read a book because we don’t like the content, what are we even doing? Come on people, pick up this book and learn something today. You won’t regret it. And if you don’t like it, hopefully you will have at least expanded your horizons.