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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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

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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.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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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

7 of 9 people found this review 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

4 of 5 people found this review 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.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Powerful message

Read along with my son who is reading for middle school. Very powerful message for everyone...
Narrators did an awesome job of pulling the reading in to the characters.
Has lead to a lot of good discussions at home.

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Necessary and Inspiring; Should Be Required Reading for the #BlackLivesMatter Generation

Necessary and Inspiring; Should Be Required Reading for the #BlackLivesMatter Generation

Really, this story is inclusive and representative enough that it could expand anyone's search for understanding at a crucial moment in this nation's history – hearing so many different different perspectives from characters reacting based on their own contextual connection to a shocking and terrible act was riveting and helped me to connect some dots with regard to aspects I hadn't fully considered . But I think that the appeal to young people in particular is strong and invites them to think about the view from outside the standard US/THEM that may be shaping their outlook depending on their own demographics and the media that informs the views that their own parents are passing on to them. The readers are both really good — convincing and appealing, they brought the narrative to life and their voicing of two really well-written protagonists left me wishing it was twice as long because I wanted to hear more about the lives of the two boys and their families – the supporting characters were fascinating as well. This book should definitely be in school libraries and I'd recommend it without reservation.

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Painful! Powerful! Hope!

we've said it a million times before...can we be brave enough now to just do it...make it happen...I think we're all so tired...

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Great conversation starter!

I have read numerous stories about racial injustices. Each told the stories of courage, fear, triumph, violence, dehumanization, and humanity. I cannot recall a story that did such an excellent job of capturing the experiences of racism from multiple perspectives. The evolution of Rashard and Quinn, the ability of Rashard and Quinn to empathize with others affected by the horrible beating.

The writers highlighted that to conquer racism people need to be willing to be courageous, uncomfortable, and honest. And, an ability to see the humanity in others is a must.

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Another Gem

This book reaches home a great read for all teens especially minority teens...EXCELLENT BOOK

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Sad but true

This is a really good book that everybody should read. Unfortunately it is sad but true