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All American boys

Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9780571366750

Publication Date: 4 Mar 2021

Subject: Older teen novels

Suitable for: Secondary (Year 10, Year 11)

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Two friends and basketball team mates are forced to confront the endemic racism of their town when one of them is beaten and hospitalized by a policeman.
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Paperback 7 Oct 2021 £7.39

All American boys : the illustrated edition

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Summary

Two friends and basketball team mates are forced to confront the endemic racism of their town when one of them is beaten and hospitalized by a policeman.

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?

There were witnesses: Quinn - 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 saviour 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.

Book of the week

This was first published in the US in 2015, and  now has been published here in the UK, but the events of the book are shockingly as pertinent (or even more so?) six years later. It follows the build up to and aftermath of a truly horrific attack on a young black teenager, Rashan, who is falsely accused of shoplifting and resisting arrest and is then beaten to a bloody pulp by a police officer and hospitalised. We see events from Rashan's point of view and his classmate Quinn who happens to be passing by and is witness to the event.  It's an easily accessible read in style but that draws out the complicated relationships between characters and their motivations, and existing racial tensions in a really clever, subtle way that never feels cliched or heavy handed, and engages your sympathy for both characters. Definitely one to promote discussion or just a cracking story to get your teeth into and really think about.

Category
TF
Subject
Older teen novels
Reading age
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Interest level
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Illustrations
None
Publisher
Pub. date
4 Mar 2021
Edition
Original
ISBN
9780571366750
BIC code
Binding
Paperback
Pages
336
Width
130mm
Height
198mm
Weight
294g
VAT-able amount
0%
Product dimensions
A3
A4

130mm x 198mm

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