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Publisher's Summary

In an unforgettable new novel from award-winning authors Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, 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 16-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?

But 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 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.

©2015 Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely (P)2015 Simon & Schuster

What listeners say about All American Boys

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Thought provoking

This was an excellent book. It reminded me of of The Hate You Give in that we, white people, have no clue about what a young black man fears every day when a cop is in sight. We will never have to give the “black boy speech” to our sons telling them exactly what to do to not be beaten or killed when a cop stops you. In this book we see a glimpse of what a cop, black or white, goes through when making quick decisions and how easily a black cop can racially profile a black kid as easily as a white cop. That made me think. I have no idea what a police officer goes through every day and the decisions they make and the huge amount of pressure they face to keep us safe. There Are bad cops as there are bad people. I think it is fear most of the time as the book points out. Good book for YA and older. Should be read in every high school.

11 people found this helpful

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Required Reading

This should be required reading for all high school students and staff in the US. Facilitated discussions which are open and honest about racism, loyalty, and humanness, among other topics, should be required of all staff and students.

20 people found this helpful

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It was a unforgettable story and experience.

I loved the story of two perspectives and to come together and knowing this happens in the real world and is still happening is very amazing to hear a book about modern day and race

6 people found this helpful

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Beautiful, gripping, important

Everyone should read this book. So important. It made me cry...and laugh out loud. This performance is incredible too. Highly recommend.

4 people found this helpful

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good

It was a nice compelling story but it needs more depth to it more explanation into some of the characters and situations

8 people found this helpful

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  • 06-12-20

awesome

loved it! I plan to use it with my 7rh grade students in the fall.

1 person found this helpful

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Movie

This was a great book, I think it would make a great movie. Great audio as well

1 person found this helpful

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Realist Characters

The aspect I really enjoyed the most was the way the characters were written. Everything Rashad said felt like it could be heard from the mouth of a teenage boy. And if the characters were voiced by only one actor I feel I still would've been able to tell the characters apart. apart from their circumstances Rashad and Quinn handled the situation differently, whether it be because of the people in their lives or their ability to walk away from the situation. The book felt like it was well researched when it came to statistics and how people use media to try and make a positive change. I admired both characters' journeys into realising the importance of their actions following the event and how it could effect others.

1 person found this helpful

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Meh

Good charecters but way too didactic. Instead of tackling the human emotions that it captures well, it makes forced political statements. It tries to be complex, but often fails.

1 person found this helpful

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A must read for high schoolers and up!

This book couldn’t be more relevant and necessary. Masterfully told and would be a great anchor for a social justice unit for high schoolers. Love the dual narrative format and love anything Jason Reynolds is a part of!