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Publisher's Summary

A New York Times best seller

"Should be required reading in every classroom." (Nic Stone, number one New York Times best-selling author of Dear Martin)

"A true love letter to Los Angeles." (Brandy Colbert, award-winning author of Little & Lion)

"A brilliantly poetic take on one of the most defining moments in Black American history." (Tiffany D. Jackson, author of Grown and Monday’s Not Coming)

Perfect for fans of The Hate U Give, this unforgettable coming-of-age debut novel explores issues of race, class, and violence through the eyes of a wealthy Black teenager whose family gets caught in the vortex of the 1992 Rodney King Riots.

Los Angeles, 1992

Ashley Bennett and her friends are living the charmed life. It’s the end of senior year and they’re spending more time at the beach than in the classroom. They can already feel the sunny days and endless possibilities of summer.

Everything changes one afternoon in April, when four LAPD officers are acquitted after beating a Black man named Rodney King half to death. Suddenly, Ashley’s not just one of the girls. She’s one of the Black kids.

As violent protests engulf LA and the city burns, Ashley tries to continue on as if life were normal. Even as her self-destructive sister gets dangerously involved in the riots. Even as the model Black family façade her wealthy and prominent parents have built starts to crumble. Even as her best friends help spread a rumor that could completely derail the future of her classmate and fellow Black kid, LaShawn Johnson.

With her world splintering around her, Ashley, along with the rest of LA, is left to question who is the us? And who is the them?

©2020 Christina Hammonds Reed. All rights reserved. (P)2020 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

Editor's Pick

Debut YA novel packs a powerful, timely punch
It’s 1992 and Ashley Bennett lives a charmed life with her wealthy friends in Los Angeles. Nearing the end of their senior year, the teens split their time between prom prep and ditching school to lounge by the pool. Yet everything changes when Rodney King is beaten, the white LAPD officers involved are acquitted, and violent riots cause sections of the city to burn. This novel is scarily relevant to our times. Coming mere months after the impassioned protests following the death of George Floyd, there’s an eerie prescience to The Black Kids, which makes this story so important, not just for teens but for adults too. Actress Kiersey Clemons’s raw performance beautifully captures the essence of our main character and makes her easy to relate to. We’re all a little unsure of ourselves, of how to make the right choices, and whom we consider an ally. Following Ashley Bennett’s journey as she tries to figure that out is heartening and enlightening, and makes me feel there really is hope for change. —Margaret H., Audible Editor

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For The Love Of The Oreo Cookie

A very highly cultured black girl growing up in the suburbs of the out skirts of Los Angeles. She is very beautiful in her views. Her family life is the American dream. This is a great read for young adults.