Kid’s Book Review: All American Boys

Kid’s Book Review: All American Boys

About the Book and Author

All American Boys is a YA novel based on the racial injustices that many people of colour face. It features a perspective of two teenagers, one white, one black. It has been written by the award-winning author and poet Jason Reynolds and is published in the UK by Faber & Faber.

A bag of chips. That’s all sixteen-year-old Rashad is looking for. What he finds instead is a fist-happy cop, Paul, who mistakes Rashad for a shoplifter, mistakes Rashad’s pleadings that he’s stolen nothing for belligerence, 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 pavement?

 

All American Boys cover
Jason Reynolds

Jason Reynolds is a critically acclaimed American writer and poet and winner of the Kirkus Prize for Young Readers.
From Jason: ‘Here’s what I know: I know there are a lot – A LOT – of young people who hate reading. I know that many of these book haters are boys. I know that many of these book-hating boys, don’t actually hate books, they hate boredom. So here’s what I plan to do: NOT WRITE BORING BOOKS.’
Check out his website to find out more about this talented dude and his other books.

Here is our review of the graphic edition of his poem Long Way Down.

 

Book Review

I really think that everyone should read this because of the inequality it addresses and how insightful it proves to be

Personally, I found this book enthralling and captivating from the moment I picked it up. It highlights the racial discrimination that millions of people face regularly as well as providing a realistic storyline to go along with it. It was very eye-opening as it is hard, certainly for me, to imagine myself in a position like Rashad’s.

I love that the writer included the perspective of two teenagers, who are seemingly opposites, but clearly feel the same way about police brutality and inequality. I liked that fact that whilst the writer suggested that not all police are bad, there definitely can be a sense of prejudice and power imbalance.

The use of Desmond Tutu’s quote: ‘If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor’, is a highly effective summary of the message the author is conveying throughout the book. To me, it shows us how we can learn to be better, to not stay silent in times of discrimination and to be educated enough to understand and empathise with situations like this. This is so important as sadly this is still a deep-rooted problem in the world.

I really think that everyone should read this, not only for interest, but also because of the inequality it addresses and how insightful it proves to be.

 

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Reviewer Profile

Young Reviewer Millie
  • Name: Millie
  • Age: 15 years
  • Likes: Dog-walking, English and cooking
  • Dislikes: Physics and getting out of bed!
  • Favourite Book: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
  • Favourite Film: Brooklyn
  • Favourite Song: Lovely by Billie Eilish