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All American Boys

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  9,512 Ratings  ·  2,141 Reviews
Rashad is absent again today.

That’s the sidewalk graffiti that started it all…

Well, no, actually, a lady tripping over Rashad at the store, making him drop a bag of chips, was what started it all. Because it didn’t matter what Rashad said next—that it was an accident, that he wasn’t stealing—the cop just kept pounding him. Over and over, pummeling him into the pavement. So
Hardcover, First Edition, 316 pages
Published September 29th 2015 by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
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Books save lives. And they change hearts and minds. This will be one of those books.
Cait (Paper Fury)
This was so so powerful and basically amazing. I'm actually confused why I haven't heard of people talking about this?!? I know it's a slightly older book (2015) but it's like on par with The Hate U Give which has a ton of well-earned fame. This one about #blackLivesMatter is like just as powerful and super heartbreaking and the last scenes were ajdfksadlfsd.

It's dual narrated by Rashad and Quinn. And it was very interesting to get both perspectives. Rashad is the victim of police brutality wher
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:


I’m going to be perfectly honest here and say All American Boys is not the most well-written book you’ll ever find. However, it might be one of the most important and I encourage any parent of a middle-grader to force them to encourage them to read it.

I generally try to keep my non-book opinions off of Goodreads, but . . . .

I’m telling you right now, if you are a Trump supporter person who already knows yo
Joce (squibblesreads)
Oct 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I am not the same person that I was when I started this book. Thank you Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, for reminding me why I read and the propensity with which books can change us, make us alter our lenses we use to view the world and our privilege, and touch our souls.
Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
I feel bad that I had to kinda rush through this (it was overdue at the library)––but I can tell you, this is a great and important book that deserves attention.

All-American Boys is the story of Rashad, a black teen who is assaulted by a white cop, and Quinn, a white classmate of his who witnesses the crime (and who also happens to be friends with the cop). It's quite a painful story to read because it's all too familiar. It's impossible to even count the number of true stories about people of
Vitor Martins
Apr 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Esse é um livro muito forte e importante que aborda o racismo e a brutalidade policial de uma maneira única.

All American Boys é escrito por dois autores e narrado por dois protagonistas. Rashad, um adolescente negro que é espancado por um policial e Quinn, um menino branco que viu tudo acontecer. Assim como o comentadíssimo The Hate U Give, essa é uma história que explica muito bem a importância do protesto dentro do movimento negro.

É uma história que fala muito sobre justiça, sobre lealdade, s
Sarah (YA Love)
Review originally posted on YA Love

Typically for an audio review I break up my post into two parts: the audio review followed by the book review. Today I’ve decided to break away from that. Rashad’s and Quinn’s stories prompted a number of questions to form as I listened to All American Boys, so I decided to list my questions instead of writing a formal review. I think the questions I kept asking myself speak volumes about the story and about our society. All of the questions I’m listing stem fr
Feb 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Phew. This is a difficult one to rate, equally difficult to review. I wanted to give it one star and three stars and five stars simultaneously. I can't quite work out my own response.

Part of the problem is that All American Boys is preaching to the choir for me. This book did little to further my understanding of race relations or police power in the US. Then again, I've closely followed the stories of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, etc. etc. etc. I'd be curious to know the reaction o
Rashad is a pretty typical 17-year-old kid, going to high school, partying with his friends, working on the sketches he hopes to make a living at one day, and participating in ROTC because his dad makes him. But Rashad is also black -- and when a woman trips over him in a convenience store, a white cop jumps to conclusions about what Rashad was doing and beats him up, brutally enough to break ribs and put him in the hospital for a week.

Quinn, a white kid at the same school, misses what triggere
India Hill
Feb 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
EXCELLENT. This book talks about the problems that plague black boys in this society so eloquently, and looks at it from every aspect. Quinn's struggle was equally as important, as he decides whether or not to make a stand or ignore everything. I love the reliability of Rashad and his friends, it's something I haven't seen in a book in a very long time.
Hannah Greendale
Jul 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.

A powerful social commentary, relevant and deeply moving. This book has the power to open eyes, to invoke empathy, to initiate essential conversations, to aid with understanding, to encourage change. Rich with authenticity and narrative voice, All American Boys is a must read.
An important book, but unfortunately not a very well written one. The "message" overshadows absolutely everything in this novel. There is no room for the reader to come to any own conclusions. Still, a fair primer for kids unfamiliar with the "black lives matter" movement.
Jennifer Haight
Sep 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
If I had a million dollars I would buy cases of this book. Anytime that someone begins a discussion on the Black Lives Matter movement, police brutality in the United States, or the current American experience of race I'd hand them a copy. This is the most timely and deftly handled book (directed at teens), on the issues of the black and white American racial divide. The frightening thing is that it is set in current time.

"People had told me that racism was a thing of the past, they'd told me no
Jillian Heise
I'm not sure my words will be able to adequately express the importance of this book and the urgency I feel to get it into hands of my urban teens. This is a book to start conversations, in our classrooms and with each other. It's a book to make you take a step back and look at bias in your own life. The power in this book lies in the stripped down simplicity-two boys, two views, one incident, which, through the honesty and realness of the characters who are dealing with complex issues of race, ...more
This was such a powerful book and I absolutely loved every second of it. I didn't realize that this book was about the topic that it covered and I'm so glad that I went into it blind. It was done beautifully and think that this book definitely doesn't get as much hype as it deserves. I really hope that more people get the opportunity to read it. I definitely will be doing a fully review on it.
David Schaafsma
Dec 19, 2015 rated it liked it
The rating for this YA book so far is very high I think primarily because it is timely, ripped out of the daily news about racism and police brutality: Rashad, a (black) teen in a convenience store to buy a bag of chips, reaches into his backpack while in line just as a (white) woman accidentally bumps into him, and he falls to the floor. The owner, much besieged by petty theft, sees Rashad with his hand in his bag, yells to a (white) cop in the store that the kid is shoplifting. The cop beats t ...more
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
The very timely and important topic of police brutality and race in America did not stop this book from being engaging and (in my opinion) pretty objective. I loved how the book surprised me about giving multiple sides to the story, not just the black boy Rashad but also the white policeman Paul, and then also the perspectives of black policemen. I also love the rare inclusion of female voices, leading the activism no less. When I read the part in Jason Reynolds' acknowledgements about the femal ...more
4 1/2 stars

"Look, if there are people who are scared of the police every day of their lives," Jill said, determined, "I'm going to live in fear of them for at least one day to say that I don't think that's right."

This book needs to be in libraries and schools everywhere. It's absolutely an "issue" book, but the authors do a great job of crafting each character (even the villain) in a way that is nuanced, flawed, and human. I think that young people will connect with these boys and will be inspir
Kelly Hager
Sep 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I'm a huge fan of Jason Reynolds and now I want to read Brendan Kiely's first book, too. This book is incredibly timely and hard to read.

The story is told in alternating chapters by Rashad (victim of police brutality) and Quinn (who saw the incident---which, if we're being honest, should really be called assault---but who is incredibly close to the officer who assault Rashad and who is conflicted about what to think and whom to believe, even though he actually DID see pretty much everything).

Franki Sibberson
Jan 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A powerful must-read book.
Denver Public Library
Jan 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: josh, teen
Recent events in our country have shown that despite the election of the country's first African-American President, the specter of race still has not disappeared. The police are an important and necessary public institution but perhaps some of the methods used to police poor and minority communities need to be reexamined. Here in Denver just this week the Chief of Police announced that the department were proposing changes to the use of force policy.

All-American Boys is told from the viewpoint
Powerful. Timely. Important.

There's no question this book is necessary. But the criticism I have is the message is so overpowering. Will readers care? No. And they shouldn't. But in terms of writing a story -- the actual conventions of story telling -- do get lost with the takeaway being so big.

And you know, that's okay.

Teens and adults need this book.
Abby Johnson
Jul 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A moving and necessary book. Should be required reading for everyone.
“Had our hearts really become so numb that we needed dead bodies in order to feel the beat of compassion in our chests? Who am I if I need to be shocked back into my best self?”

You know how authors' blurbs on books are always like "this book was spell-binding, dazzling, sparkling with literary magic and exquisiteness!!! This is a MUST READ you guys!!!!"?* I'm here to tell you that All American Boys really is a must read. Make it a staple. Make it a YA classic. Books like these are what we shou
Mel González
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"I don't think most people think they're racist. But every time something like this happens, you could, like you said, say, 'not my problem.' You could say, 'It's one time thing.' Every time it happened."

This was one of the most powerful, impactful and life altering books I've ever read. It's written with such compassion, knowledge and empathy. So beautifully but also with a type of rawness that I haven't seen in a lot of books before. A lot of times I needed to take a breath between scenes
Gary Anderson
Feb 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Although I found much to admire in All American Boys, I couldn't quite give it five stars. Yes, it deals with an important topic. Yes, I think many people would benefit from reading it. But as a novel, it has some problems. One of the alternating voices is much more compelling than the other. I found myself wishing that the sections with the weaker voice would go by more quickly.

This other issue is borderline-trivial. The "Family Circus" comic plays a role in All American Boys. Rashad tells how
Jun 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read this book a few months ago, and frankly, I can't stop thinking about how important this story is. We read so many books in our lifetimes, and some just take our breath away. This is one of those books. I can't recommend this book highly enough. I believe it belongs in every classroom. The strength of the two voices in this book is remarkable, and it makes for an excellent teaching tool---about heroism; about doing what is right and true; and about being a good, decent human being. The act ...more
Jan 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-read
I don't even have the words for this book, but I know that it has changed me.
Feb 14, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars maybe? I'm a little let down. I feel like it was good, it kept my interest throughout, and of course the subject matter is important, but where did it go in the end? I don't think this story will stick with me the way it was meaning to, that's all.
Mar 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: gmba-2016-17
3.5 stars. Parts of this book I loved. Like the scene when Spoony first comes to visit Rashad at the hospital after he's been attacked by the white police officer, and watching Spoony interact with their parents. Or the scene when Quinn & Will run into Paul on the street, and Quinn can't quite reconcile all that's happened with this guy in front of him. Or Quinn and English arguing at practice. And perhaps most of all, the scene where Rashad learns his father, a black cop, *spoiler!* once sh ...more
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main character 1 6 Mar 29, 2017 11:40AM  
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After earning a BA in English from The University of Maryland, College Park, he moved to Brooklyn, New York, where you can often find him walking the four blocks from the train to his apartment talking to himself. Well, not really talking to himself, but just repeating character names and plot lines he thought of on the train, over and over again, because he’s afraid he’ll forget it all before he ...more
More about Jason Reynolds...
“Because racism was alive and real as shit. It was everywhere and all mixed up in everything, and the only people who said it wasn’t, and the only people who said, “Don’t talk about it” were white. Well, stop lying. That’s what I wanted to tell those people. Stop lying. Stop denying. That’s why I was marching. Nothing was going to change unless we did something about it. We! White people!” 24 likes
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