Fanna's Reviews > The Black Kids

The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed
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really liked it
bookshelves: 2020-releases

July 01, 2020: This took me around a month to finish reading, not because it was slow but also because it was...slow. I mean, it's an important read and largely character-based which I'm slightly anti-biased towards so the pacing is super slow and that took some time for me to make actual progress through this. Anyway, this was great!

The Black Kids is a teen girl's story set in the 1990s during a period of community uproar demanding justice after the inhumane police brutality seen by Rodney King—a young Black man. Ashley, the main character, is grateful for the life her parents have worked to built for her: a safe neighborhood, a reputed high school, and a sheltered lens to view the world through. But the perspective gradually changes when not only does her city burn up in protest but also her own sister is too close to the fire.

Despite being a historical-fiction, the events and sentiments depicted in the book are well relevant even today. The evident racism and microaggression that becomes clear enough to acknowledge only when a deeply moving, and often saddening, incident happens is an unfortunate yet timely exploration. As the riots get heated, the dynamics of a Black teen with her white friends, her family, her rebellious but self-assured sister, and herself changes.

A definitive recommendation. This story can grow empathy towards the Black community who have been—and still are—facing hurtful, and highly destructive, prejudice for their skin color. It's educational and emotionally impacting; it's complexity is wildly accurate and a must for everyone to increase their understanding of past (and current) scenarios.

June 4, 2020: A historical fiction coming-of-age debut that focuses on race, class and violence through a wealthy Black teenager during the riots in 1992? I'm SO excited to read this. Received a digital copy through Netgalley!
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Reading Progress

June 3, 2020 – Shelved
June 3, 2020 – Shelved as: definitive-tbr
June 3, 2020 – Shelved as: 2020-releases
June 5, 2020 – Started Reading
June 6, 2020 –
14.0% "[When yo go out there in the world, you're not just you, Ashley. You're all of us, your family, black folks. You have to be better than those white kids around you. It's not fair, but that's the way it is.]

Right off the bat, the distinct standards that white and black kids are judged on or subjected to is plainly put forward."
June 8, 2020 –
20.0% "The narration is slow but it sits well with the character-driven story."
June 12, 2020 –
July 1, 2020 – Finished Reading

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