All American Boys is an unflinching examination of policy brutality in today’s America. Told from alternating perspectives by the black boy — assumed to have been shoplifting and beaten so badly by a cop that he spends weeks in the hospital — and the white boy — best friend of the cop’s brother, who saw the whole thing go down. The book adeptly handles anger and frustration as well as uncertainty and the fear of speaking up. Read this one as a family.— From Holiday Picks 2015
A 2016 Coretta Scott King Author Honor book, and recipient of the Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature.
In this Coretta Scott King Honor Award–winning novel, two teens—one black, one white—grapple with the repercussions of a single violent act that leaves their school, their community, and, ultimately, the country bitterly divided by racial tension.
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.
About the Author
Jason Reynolds is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, a Newbery Award Honoree, a Printz Award Honoree, a two-time National Book Award finalist, a Kirkus Award winner, a two-time Walter Dean Myers Award winner, an NAACP Image Award Winner, and the recipient of multiple Coretta Scott King honors. Reynolds is also the 2020–2021 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. His many books include When I Was the Greatest, The Boy in the Black Suit, All American Boys (cowritten with Brendan Kiely), As Brave as You, For Every One, the Track series (Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and Lu), Look Both Ways, and Long Way Down, which received a Newbery Honor, a Printz Honor, and a Coretta Scott King Honor. He lives in Washington, DC. You can find his ramblings at JasonWritesBooks.com.
Brendan Kiely is the New York Times bestselling author of All American Boys (with Jason Reynolds), The Last True Love Story, and The Gospel of Winter. His work has been published in ten languages, received a Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award, the Walter Dean Myers Award, the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award, was twice awarded Best Fiction for Young Adults (2015, 2017) by the American Library Association, and was a Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2014. Originally from the Boston area, he now lives with his wife in New York City. Tradition is his fourth novel.
"ALL AMERICAN BOYS is a terrific story that will compel readers to consider who they are, what they stand for, and what they should stand for. It’s that good." -Richie's Picks
*"With Reynolds writing Rashad’s first-person narrative and Kiely Quinn’s, this hard-edged, ripped-from-the-headlines
book is more than a problem novel; it’s a carefully plotted, psychologically acute, character-driven work of
fiction that dramatizes an all-too-frequent occurrence. Police brutality and race relations in America are
issues that demand debate and discussion, which his superb book powerfully enables.” - Booklist, starred review
*"Timely and powerful, this novel promises to have an impactlong after the pages stop turning. " - School Library Journal, starred review
"The scenario that Reynolds and Kiely depict has become a recurrent feature of news reports, and a book that lets readers think it through outside of the roiling emotions of a real-life event is both welcome and necessary." - Publishers Weekly
"...[The authors'] passion elevates the novel beyond aneeded call to action to a deeply moving experience." -Kirkus Reviews