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Summer Reading 2017: All American Boys

Find the book you want to read this summer!

About the Book

All American Boys

by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

A bag of chips. That’s all sixteen-year-old Rashad is looking for at the corner bodega. What he finds instead is a fist-happy cop, Paul Galluzzo, who mistakes Rashad for a shoplifter, mistakes Rashad’s pleadings that he’s stolen nothing for belligerence, mistakes Rashad’s resistance to leave the bodega as resisting arrest, mistakes Rashad’s every flinch at every punch the cop throws as further resistance and refusal to STAY STILL as ordered. But how can you stay still when someone is pounding your face into the concrete pavement?

There were witnesses: Quinn Collins—a varsity basketball player and Rashad’s classmate who has been raised by Paul since his own father died in Afghanistan—and a video camera. Soon the beating is all over the news and Paul is getting threatened with accusations of prejudice and racial brutality. Quinn refuses to believe that the man who has basically been his savior could possibly be guilty. But then Rashad is absent. And absent again. And again. And the basketball team—half of whom are Rashad’s best friends—start to take sides. As does the school. And the town. Simmering tensions threaten to explode as Rashad and Quinn are forced to face decisions and consequences they had never considered before.

Written in tandem by two award-winning authors, this four-starred reviews tour de force shares the alternating perspectives of Rashad and Quinn as the complications from that single violent moment, the type taken from the headlines, unfold and reverberate to highlight an unwelcome truth.

Applicable categories for the Urban Read Harder Challenge: 

Up late (thriller or suspenseful novel)

For fans of

  • Jacqueline Woodson
  • Sherman Alexie
  • The Hate U Give
  • How it Went Down
  • Ghost

About the reader

Kelli Yon, Visual Arts

In the past, Kelli has recommended the following books:

  • At the Water's Edge by Sarah Gruen
  • Photography Changes Everything by by Marvin Heiferman and Merry Foresta
  • The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White, illustrated by Maira Kalman
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  • River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West by Rebecca Solnit