Originally, I was planning on reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower for the category “book set in high school” for my Reading Challenge. I kind of think that the reading gods knew that All American Boys was coming out in the fall of 2015 and had a different plan for me.
Every time Wallflower would come in at the library, I would be in the middle of a much larger book and couldn’t get to it. And that book is always on hold!
The chapters alternate between Rashad, an ROTC artsy African-American student, and Quinn, a white basketball varsity player who’s hoping for a college scholarship.
The book covers the week in their lives following Rashad’s beating by a white police officer. Quinn witnessed the beating and said nothing. He knew the officer and didn’t know how to react.
I still want to read Wallflower, but when I saw the article All American Boys: A Young Adult Book About a Police Beating and a Hard Choice on NPR's website, I knew that I had found another high school book that would treat serious themes in YA fiction with honesty, integrity, and dignity.