All American Boys

All American Boys - Brendan Kiely, Jason Reynolds

How much can a book rattle you? This book rattled me, rattled me more than you can image. Why? Because of what it evoked inside of me. The book speaks truth if you can handle the truth about racism and about injustice.   I’m not going to stand on a platform and tell you about racism and injustice but I will tell you about not speaking up. I was irked at Quinn who kept quiet about what he saw, about what he witnessed because … because he was scared. It bothers me…..yes it does, when someone has information and is scared of the ramification of doing what is right.   Anyone, if you know something, you know the truth, and it will help a situation, you need to unload your mind and tell someone what you know. Whoever you are, don’t be like Quinn, unload your mind quickly, and do it unanimously if you have to, because it just might make a difference in someone’s life and your own. For Quinn, he had Jill to unload on but he still had a lot on his mind. The whole incident happened quickly, Rashad kept repeating that he did nothing wrong but the officials wouldn’t believe him. Maybe things would have turned out differently had the individuals been of a different race, we don’t know that and we can’t consider different scenarios, we have to deal with the facts. Rashad was African American and Paul, the police officer was Caucasian and there are two different versions of what occurred, Rashad’s and Paul’s.   Whose story do you want to believe?  I hope as you read this story it gets under your skin, gets you fired up or at least gets you thinking about life, that is what a good story will do.

 

When I hear about racial issues on the news, I always wonder, at what point did these issues became racial? Why do they decide to lean that way and who decided to lean it in that direction? As I read this novel, I felt I knew the answers to a few of these questions but I still wondered why, why did he decide to lean that way?