I picked up this book because it was one of the predecessors to Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give, and author Jason Reynolds is blurbed on the cover of Thomas’ book. I was really interested to see what books on the topic of racism and police brutality had come before the stunning The Hate U Give.
I enjoyed this book and liked the use of dual narrators. The perspectives on the issue felt very well-rounded. I also liked that some stereotypes were broken with Rashad’s dad initially siding with the police. I also like Quinn’s conflict of loyalty versus justice.
My one qualm with this novel is the time frame of one week. To me, looking at this incident over just the course of a single week isn’t enough as a resolution doesn’t often come for months, years, or ever. I wish we could have seen how this played out when it went to court and what the lives of these characters were like throughout that. While the optimistic note that it ended on was nice, it felt a little false and like they were tying up an issue that was really only beginning.
However, I think it’s a great story for showing how people of all backgrounds can find common ground on divisive issues like this.
Title(s): All American Boys
Authors(s): Jason Reynolds, Brendan Kiely
Overall Rating: 4/5
Format Accessed: Hardcover
Publisher: Simon & Schuster