All American Boys

All American Boys

For Ages: 12 and up
  • 12
A 2016 Coretta Scott King Author Honor book, and recipient of the Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature.

In this Coretta Scott King Honor Award–winning novel, two teens—one black, one white—grapple with the repercussions of a single violent act that leaves their school, their community, and, ultimately, the country bitterly divided by racial tension.

A bag of chips. That’s all sixteen-year-old Rashad is looking for at the corner bodega. What he finds instead is a fist-happy cop, Paul Galluzzo, who mistakes Rashad for a shoplifter, mistakes Rashad’s pleadings that he’s stolen nothing for belligerence, mistakes Rashad’s resistance to leave the bodega as resisting arrest, 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 concrete pavement?

There were witnesses: Quinn Collins—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 savior 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.

Written in tandem by two award-winning authors, this four-starred reviews tour de force shares the alternating perspectives of Rashad and Quinn as the complications from that single violent moment, the type taken from the headlines, unfold and reverberate to highlight an unwelcome truth.
  • Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books | 
  • 320 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781481463331 | 
  • September 2015 | 
  • Grades 7 and up
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Reading Group Guide

A Reading Group Guide to

All American Boys

By Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

About the Book

In an unforgettable novel from award-winning authors Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, two teens—one black, one white—grapple with the repercussions of a single violent act that leaves their school, their community, and, ultimately, the country, bitterly divided by racial tension.

A bag of chips. That’s all sixteen-year-old Rashad is looking for at the corner bodega. What he finds instead is a fist-happy cop, Paul Galluzzo, who mistakes Rashad for a shoplifter; mistakes Rashad’s pleadings that he’s stolen nothing for belligerence; mistakes Rashad’s resistance to leave the bodega as resisting arrest; mistakes Rashad’s flinching 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 concrete pavement?

But there were witnesses: Quinn Collins—a varsity basketball player and Rashad’s classmate, who regards Paul as an older brother since his own father died in Afghanistan—and cell phone video cameras. Soon the beating is all over the news and Paul is threatened with accusations of prejudice and racial brutality. Quinn refuses to believe that Paul could potentially be guilty. But then Rashad is absent. And absent again. And again. And the basketba see more

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About the Authors

Jason Reynolds
Photo (c) Kia Chenelle

Jason Reynolds

Jason Reynolds is crazy. About stories. 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 gets home. Jason is the author of critically acclaimed When I Was the Greatest, for which he was the recipient of the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent; the Coretta Scott King Honor books Boy in the Black Suit and All American Boys (cowritten with Brendan Kiely); and As Brave as You, his middle grade debut. You can find his ramblings at JasonWritesBooks.com.

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Brendan Kiely
Photo credit by Gary Joseph Cohen

Brendan Kiely

Brendan Kiely received his MFA from the City College of New York. He is the author, with Jason Reynolds, of the Coretta Scott King Author Honor book All American Boys. His debut novel, The Gospel of Winter, has been published in eight languages, was selected as one of the American Library Association’s Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults 2015, and was a Kirkus Reviews selection for the Best of 2014. He is also the author of The Last True Love Story. Originally from the Boston area, he now lives with his wife in Greenwich Village. Find out more at BrendanKiely.com.

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