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All American Boys Novel By Brendan Kiely And Jason Reynolds PDF Free Download, Overview, Summary, Quotes, Characters, Get Book, Reviews, More By Author.
The Walter Dean Myers Award For Exceptional Children’s Literature Was Given To This 2016 Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book.
Two Teenagers, One Black And One White, Battle In This Coretta Scott King Honor Award-winning Book With The Fallout From A Single Violent Incident That Leaves Their School, Neighbourhood, And Eventually The Whole Nation Profoundly Divided By Racial Hostility.
Chips In A Bag. Rashad, A 16-year-old, Is Just Seeking For Something At The Local Bodega. Instead, He Encounters A Confrontational Officer Named Paul Galluzzo Who Mistook Rashad For A Shoplifter, Took Offence At His Protests That He Hadn’t Stolen Anything, Mistook His Refusal To Leave The Bodega For Resistance To Arrest, And Mistook Every Flinch Rashad Made In Response To The Officer’s Punches For Further Defiance And A Refusal To Stay Still As Instructed. Nevertheless, How Can You Remain Motionless If Someone Is Repeatedly Bashing Your Face Against The Concrete Sidewalk?
Quinn Collins, A Basketball Player For The Varsity Team And Rashad’s Classmate Who Has Been Raised By Paul After His Own Father Went Away In Afghanistan, And A Video Camera Were There As Witnesses. Paul Is Confronted With Charges Of Bias And Racial Cruelty As Soon As The Incident Becomes Headlines. Quinn Won’t Accept That The Guy Who Has Essentially Saved Him May Be Guilty. Rashad Then Disappears, However. And Again Missing. Once Again. The Basketball Team, Which Includes Half Of Rashad’s Closest Pals, Then Begins To Take Sides. Likewise, The School. The Town, Too. When Rashad And Quinn Are Forced To Make Choices And Deal With Implications They Had Never Thought About Before, Simmering Tensions Threaten To Blow Up.
This Four-starred Reviews Tour De Force, Co-written By Two Award-winning Writers, Alternates Between Rashad And Quinn’s Points Of View As The Ramifications Of That One Violent Incident—the Kind That Makes The News—unfold And Resonate To Expose An Unpalatable Fact.
The Number One New York Times Bestselling Author Jason Reynolds Has Won Several Awards, Including The Naacp Image Award, The Newbery Medal, The Printz Award, The Kirkus Award, The Walter Dean Myers Award Twice, The National Book Award, And Numerous Coretta Scott King Accolades. Moreover, He Is The National Ambassador For Young People’s Literature For 2020–2021. In Addition To Stamped, When I Was The Greatest, The Boy In The Black Suit, All American Boys (Cowritten With Brendan Kiely), As Brave As You, For Every One, The Track Series (Ghost, Patina, Sunny, And Lu), Look Both Ways, And Long Way Down, Which Won A Newbery Honor, A Printz Honor, And A Coretta Scott King Honor, Among Many Other Titles, Are Among His Many Works. You May Discover His Rants At Jasonwritesbooks.com, Where He Resides In Washington, Dc.
All American Boys (Co-written With Jason Reynolds), The Last True Love Story, The Gospel Of Winter, Tradition, And The Other Talk Are Among Brendan Kiely’s New York Times Bestselling Books. His Books Have Been Translated Into Eleven Different Languages; They Have Won The Walter Dean Myers, Amelia Elizabeth Walden, And Coretta Scott King Author Honor Awards; The American Library Association Twice Named Them Best Fiction For Young Adults; And Kirkus Reviews Named Them Best Books. He Presently Resides In New York City But Was Born And Raised In The Boston Region.
I Left. I Left. Because It Was Friday, Which To Me And Pretty Much Everyone Else On The Planet Meant It Was Time To Party, I Left That Wacky School And That Even Wackier Rc Drill Team. Maybe Not Everyone On Earth, Then. There Was Probably A Monk On A Mountain Somewhere Who Was Contemplating Something Else. Yet, I Wasn’t A Monk. Please God. Hence, Friday Was Just Another Word For A Party To Me And My Friends. Tuesday, Thursday, Hump Day (Because Who Can Resist The Term “Hump”? ), And Party. All I Was Thinking About As I Crammed Into A Bathroom Cubicle After School Was Partying, Or As My Brother Spoony Used To Say, “Poorty,” And How I Didn’t Want To Spend Any More Time In That Stiff-ass Uniform.
Fortunately, We Weren’t Required To Wear It Every Day. Just On Fridays, Which They Referred To As “Uniform Days.” Among All Days. Whose Stupid Notion Was That? Anyway, I’d Been Wearing It Since That Morning—the First Bell Is At 8:50—for Drill Practise, Which Consists Mainly Of Shouting And Marching And Is Always A Great Experience Before Sitting In Class With Thirty Other Students And A Teacher Who Is Either On The Verge Of Tears Or Who Is Yelling For Another Student To Go To The Principal’s Office. Fun.
Let Me Be Clear: I Didn’t Need Rotc. I Refused To Join Any Military Clubs. It Wasn’t Horrible Or Anything, Just Not Great. Actually, It Was Just Like Any Other Class, With The Exception That Chief Killabrew, Who Has The Craziest Last Name Ever, Was The One Teaching Us About Life Skills, Being A Good Person, And Other Such Things. Better Than Arithmetic, And Even Though I Know My Father Was Trying To Use It As A Stepping Stone Into The Military, It Really Would Have Just Been An Easy A To Offset Some Of My Cs If It Weren’t For The Drill Crap And The Uniform. Unlikely To Happen. I Wasn’t In Need Of Rotc. Yet I Managed To Do It Well Because My Father Was Essentially Forcing Me To. He Is One Of Those Guys Who Believes That The Army Is The Only Opportunity A Black Boy In This Country Has. That Is Exactly How He Would Phrase It. In Exact Words.
Dad Used To Say, “Let Me Tell You Something, Son,” While Leaning In My Room’s Doorway. I’d Be Curled Up On My Bed, Scribbling In My Sketchbook, Trying To Resist The Urge To Stop And Jam The Pencils Into My Ears. “The Only Persons Who Are Going To Live In This Home Are Those I’m Making Love To,” My Father Said To Me Two Weeks After I Graduated From High School, He Would Go On To Say. ”
I Would Groan, “I Know, Dad,” Well Aware Of What Was About To Happen Since He Said It At Least Once Every Month. My Father, Who Probably Learned This Lesson While Serving In The Military, Was The President Of Predictability. Perhaps A Policeman. The Old Man Switched From A Green Uniform, Which He Wore For Only Four Years (Despite The Fact That He Talks About Serving In The Military For Twenty), To A Blue Uniform, Which He Wore For A Similar Amount Of Time Before Leaving The Force To Work In An Office Where He Did What People Do In Offices: Got Paid To Be Bored.
Dad Would Drone, “And I Knew What He Was Attempting To Tell Me: To Go Away.” “But, I Was Unsure Of My Plans And Where I Was Going To Go. I Didn’t Really Do Well In School, And College Wasn’t Really An Option.
I Would Wrap Up The Narrative For Him By Saying, “And So You Enlisted In The Army, And That Saved Your Life,” While Attempting To Soften My Voice And Lessen Its Impact.
He Would Point An Angry Finger At Me And Say, “Don’t Be Smart.” I Was Never Able To Give My Tone Enough Bite. And Believe Me, I Knew Well Than To Overdo It. Simply Put, I Had Become Weary Of Hearing The Same Thing Again And Over.
I Would Respond, “I’m Not Trying To Be Wise,” To Calm Him Down. I’m Just Saying.
Just State What? You Are Not In Need Of Discipline? You’re Not Required To Go Across The World? ”
I Would Begin, “Dad—,” But He Would Stop Me And Continue Firing.
You Do Not Need A Free Education? You Can Resist Serving Your Country? Huh? ”
Dad, I—” He’d Cut Me Off Once Again.
“Rashad, What Is It? You Don’t Want To Be Like Your Father, Do You? He Would Point To The Windows, Walls, And Pretty Much Everything Else In My Room While Raising His Voice Far Higher Than Was Necessary And Flailing His Arms In A Temper Tantrum Fashion. “I Don’t Believe I Performed That Poorly. You And Your Brother Have Never Been Concerned About Anything! Then He Said, “I Wouldn’t Have Been Surprised If He Had It Tattooed Over His Chest; That Was His Favourite Saying. “Hearing Me. In Our Country, There Is No Better Opportunity For A Black Boy Than To Enlist In The Military.
My Mother Would Call Out, “David,” With Just The Right Amount Of Spiciness To Alert The Elderly Man That He Had Pushed Too Hard Once Again. Keep Him To Yourself. He Keeps Himself Out Of Trouble And Is A Decent Student. If I Wasn’t Always So Busy Sketching And Doodling, I Could Have Had Straight As. Others Refer To It As A Distraction. I Refer To It As Dedication. Well, Decent Was, However. . . Decent.
Then, As A Result Of My Mother’s Tone, My Father’s Face Would Become Mush. “Look, Rashad, Could You Just Give It A Go For Me? I’m Just In High School. All I Want Is That. He Needed It More More Than You Do, So I Begged Your Brother To Do It. He Said It As If The Lack Of A Rotc Had A Direct Bearing On Why My Older Brother Worked At Ups, But He Wouldn’t Listen, And Now He’s Stuck Working Lower At Ups. As If Brown Uniforms Were Failure, Whereas Only Green And Blue Uniforms Were Acceptable.
“Excellent Work, That. The Boy Is Self-sufficient, And He And His Girlfriend Each Have A Separate Apartment. He Also Has His Volunteer Work With The Boys At The Recreation Centre. Thus, Spoony Is Okay, My Mother Argued. In Order To Share The Space In The Doorway With My Father, She Pushed Him Aside. To Allow Me To See Her. Dad Shook His Head And Walked Out Of The Room. “And Rashad Will Be Too.”
At Least Twenty Times, In A Row, That Exact Same Conversation Took Place. I Just Did It When I Got To High School. I Enrolled In Roc. It Stands For The Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, Although People Seldom Pronounce The J. I Joined To Get My Dad To Stop Bugging Me. To Make Him Joyful. Whatever.
The Point Is That It Was Friday, “Uniform Day,” And I Hurried To The Toilet To Change Out Of My Green Clothes As Soon As The Last Bell Rang.
The Restrooms At Springfield Central High School Were Never Empty. There Was Always Someone In The Room Studying Whatever Facial Hair Was Finally Starting To Grow In Or Checking Their Phone While Sitting At A Sink And Skipping Class. Also, Everyone Dropped By After School, Especially On Fridays, To Make Sure No Plans Had Been Made Without Their Knowledge. The Lavatory Was Essentially An Extension Of The Locker Room, Where Even Students Like Myself, Who Had No Athletic Ability Whatsoever, Could Come And Discuss The Same Topics That Athletes Discussed Without Any Ass-slapping, Making It An Even Better Place To Be In My Opinion.
“English Jones Said, Making An Overly Sentimental Face In The Mirror. Model’s Left-facing Face. Model’s Right-facing Profile. Using A Hand, Stroke The Hairline, Then Go Down The Face And Mark The Area Where, Ideally, A Moustache And Beard Will One Day Be. That Is The Proper Method. 101: Looking In A Mirror, And English Was A Master At It. English Was Essentially A Master In Every Pitch. He Had Fly Clothes And Tattoos Since He Was The Stereotypical Green-eyed, Pretty Boy With Spoilt Parents. Also, Because Of The Fact That His Name—his Real Name—was English, He Essentially Had A Choice Among The Girls. He Seemed To Have Been Born To Be The Man. Like His Parents Had That All Arranged. Yet, Contrary To Expectations, He Didn’t Act Arrogantly About It, Which Of Course Made The Ladies, Teachers, The Principal, The Parents, And Even The Basketball Coach Even More Smitten With Him. Indeed, English Played Basketball For The Team As Well. A Captain. The Top Athlete. Why The Heck Wouldn’t He Be, Then?
“How Are You, E?
I Said, Nodding My Chin In His Direction As I Pushed My Way Into A Stall. Despite The Fact That He Was A Year Older Than Me, English And I Had Been Friends Since We Were Little. Two Of A Three-piece Meal, We Made Up The Meal. The Third Wing Was Shannon Pushcart, And Carlos Greene Was The Extra-salty Fries. In The Lavatory With Me, Carlos And Shannon Were Both Leaning Into The Urinals While Simultaneously Turning To Face Me, Which Is An Odd Thing To Do. Never Look At Anybody Else When Taking A Piss. No Matter How Well You Know Someone, Things Start To Become Weird.
Soldier-boy, Are You Partying Tonight At Jill’s?
Clowning Me About The Ridiculous Thing, Carlos Asked.
“I’m Going, Of Course. Who Are You? A Basketball Practise, Perhaps? I Questioned From Inside The Stall. I Quickly Responded, “Oh, That’s Right,” After That. The Team Won’t Include You. Again.”
Shannon Pumped Up The Joke As Usual Whenever It Wasn’t About Him. Shannon Was The Only One Who Had Ever Flushed The Urinals, So I Knew It Was Him Who Had Done It. With Laughter In His Voice, Shannon Said, “I Swear, That’s Never Going To Get Old.”
I Unbuttoned My Jacket, Which Was Decorated Like A Polyester Christmas Tree With Ornaments, And Threw It Over The Lavatory Door.
Anything,” Said Carlos.
So, Whatever, I Retaliated.
“Don’t You Guys Ever Get Sick Of Making The Same Jokes On Each Other Every Day?
The Voice Of English Came Across.
“English, Don’t You Ever Feel Sick Of Touching Your Own Face In The Mirror?
Carlos Reacted By Clapping.
Shannon Laughed Out Loud. “Got ‘im! ”
Shan, Shut Up, English Snapped. Also, “Stimulating The Follicles” Is What It Is Called, But You Wouldn’t Know Anything About It, I’m Sure.
But E, Really, It’s Not Working!
Indeed, Maybe Your Follicles Aren’t All That Interested In You!
Carlos Followed Close After Him. At This Point, I Was Giggling While Doubled Over In The Stall.
In Perfect Timing, English Said, “But Your Girlfriend Is.” A Direct Shot To The Gut With Snuff.
Of Naturally, Another Time From Shannon.
Carlos Said, “I Don’t Even Have A Girlfriend.” Yet It Made No Difference. Making A Joke About Someone’s Girlfriend, Whether Genuine Or Made Up, Is Always A Good Comeback. All The Time. It’s Just An Old Joke That References “Your Mother.” That’s Why We Have To Go To This Party So I Can See How These Ladies Look, Carlos Sucked His Teeth Before Shaking The Joke Off Like A Pro.
English Said, “I’m With You On That One.” The Cleverest Thing You’ve Said All Day Was.
The Short-sleeved, Button-up Greenish-blue Shirt, Which I Also Threw Over The Top Of The Door, Also Came Off.
“exactly. That’s What I’m Talking About,” A Far Too Eager Shannon Said. “? See What These Women Look Like, Perhaps? He Mimicked Carlos, Maintaining A Trace Of Sarcasm In His Voice. If I Saw It, Carlos Must Have As Well, I Knew.
I Am Unable To Predict What They Will Look Like, But I Can Predict Who They Will Not Be Glancing At. . . You! Carlos Razzed, Still Coming Off Of Shannon Being Smooth, And For Laughing At My Basketball Crack. He Was Still Clinging To The Joke Even Though It Had Been At Least Three Minutes Since I Made It. Really Petty.
“Stop Talking, Los. Everyone In This Room Is Aware That I Am More Skilled Than You. In Every Way,” Shannon Completely Serious Responded.
To Untie My Patent Leather Shoes, I Kicked My Foot Up Into The Toilet. Just So You Know, Guys Should Only Wear Patent Leather Shoes While Getting Married. There Is Nothing “War” About Patent Leather.
“Discuss This In-depth During The Party. Just Be Sure Everyone Is Present. English Said, His Footsteps Advancing Toward The Door, “It’s Supposed To Be Live.” Even Though There Was No Required Basketball Practise As Usual, He And Shannon Continued To Shoot About In The Gym Because, Well, That’s What They Did Every Day. Basketball Was Their Way Of Life, Especially For The English Guys. English Twice Knocked To My Door. “Man, Watch Out For Me When You Get There.”
Afterwards, “Shad,” Shannon Said.
When The Door Shut Behind Them, Carlos Yelled, “Aright,’shad, Hit Me When You On Your Way Over.” Carlos Grew Up Just Across The Street From Me, Was A Senior And Qualified Driver Like English, And Thus (Again) Was Always My Ride To The Party. He Would Try Out For The Basketball Team Every Year, But He Would Always Be Cut Since He Wasn’t Very Good, So We Would Always Smoke Him With Jokes. He Was, However, The Friendliest Person To Ever Touch A Ball, If You Asked Him. He Was Quite Good At Art, Which Is Also Why I Got Along With Him. At Least Not In The Conventional Sense, He Wasn’t Interested In Painting Or Drawing. Graffiti Was His Passion. His Tag Said “Writer,” And There Were Many Of Them Throughout The School, Our Neighbourhood, And Even The East Side. Every Time We Went To A Party, He Would Use It As An Excuse To Drive His Junker Around The City, The Backseat Filled With Paint Markers And Spray Cans While He Pointed Out Some Of His Masterpieces.
Although I Was The One Who Gave Him Some Of The Ideas For Where And How To Write His Tag, In Reality They Were More Like Our Masterworks. For Instance, I Advised Him To Use Money-green Block Letters To Bomb The Side Of The Neighbourhood Bank. Then I Suggested Using Gold Royal Letters On The Door Of The Homeless Shelter. Also, I Suggested That He Write It In Gang Script On The Backboard Of A Basketball Hoop At The West Side Court. I Never Had The Courage To Really Tag Anything. I Referred To How My Father Was, Am I Correct? Right. Carlos Was An Expert At It, Too. He Was Aware Of How To Manipulate The Nozzle And Reduce Drip In Order To Get Clean Tags. I’d Say, Perfect. Since It Wasn’t Something We Did, I Never Really Told Him That I Loved Them. They Are All.
A Few Minutes Later, I Was A Different Person When I Left The Stall. Although I Suppose Superman Might’ve Been More At Ease In The Cape And Tight-ass Red Underwear Than An Rotc Uniform, It Was Like The Reverse Of Clark Kent Running Into The Phone Booth And Becoming Superman, And Instead Was Like Superman Running Into The Booth And Becoming A Hopefully Much Cooler Clark Kent. Yet Not Me. Not A Cape (And For The Record, No Tight-ass Red Underwear). I Appeared As Usual As Rashad Butler, Wearing A T-shirt, Trainers That Needed A Quick Spit-clean, And Pulled-up Jeans That Sagged Just Low Enough To Complete The Look. I Threw On The Lovely Leather Jacket My Brother Had Given Me When He Outgrew It, And Presto! Whatever Friday Had In Store For Me, I Was Prepared. Hopefully, Tiffany Watts, The Baddest Girl In The Eleventh Grade, Gets A Little Rub-a-dub. To Me, At Least. She Seemed Like A Cartoon Character, According To Carlos. As If He Could Get Her. A Cartoon Figure? Really? Please. An Animated Figure From My Dreams.
But I Had A Few Stops To Make Before I Could Reach Jill’s And Go All Tiffany On Her. While It Was Still Early, I Decided To Get Some Chips And A Pack Of Gum To Help With Chip Breath. With The Dragon In Your Mouth, You Can’t Get Girls. But Apart From That, I Was Completely Broke, And It Was Never Cool To Go Out And Have A Good Time Without Any Money Since Everyone Always Went To The Mother’s Pizza Place After The Party Ended Or When It Ended Early, Which Happened Often. Also, You Had To Have Money To Contribute To The Petrol Fund Of The Person Who Would Be Driving You To And From The Party, For Example, Carlos. I Took A Bus To The West Side To Get My Snacks And Then Met Spoony At Ups, Which Is Just A Few Blocks From My House, So He Could See Me And Give Me A Twenty.
Similar To How It Always Did On Fridays, The Bus Took Forever. Forever. It’s Surprising How Early It Gets Dark In The Fall, So I Got Off At Fourth Street And Walked The Last Few Blocks To Jerry’s Corner Market As The Day Became Darker All Around Me. Jerry’s Was Essentially The One-stop Shop. They All Been Sold. Everything You Could Need, Including Incense, Bomber Jackets, Beanies, Snacks, Beer, And Umbrellas. Even Though No One By The Name Of Jerry Ever Worked There, It Was Named After Him. Jerry Was Most Likely A Wealthy, Old White Man Chillin’ On The East Side, Doing His Thing With A Young Supermodel Wearing Fake Everything While Lying On A Mattress Made Of Real Money. Lottery Ticket Cash. The Forty-ounce Cheap Money. Dvd Counterfeit Money. My Cash.
I Opened Jerry’s Door By Pushing It Open. It Chimed As It Always Did, And The Counter-top Employee Looked Up As He Always Did Before Stepping Out As He Always Did.
I Said “Wassup, Dude.” He Gave A Suspicious Nod. Just Like He Always Does. Just Two Other People Were Present In The Shop. A Police Officer And Another Patron, Back By The Beer Refrigerator. The Police Officer Was Not A Security Guard—the Kind With Iron-on Badges But No Weapons. The Ones That My Father Pushed My Brother To Apply For Since They Pay Well. Nah. There Was A Cop, This Cop. A True Cop. And It Wasn’t Strange Since Jerry’s Has A Reputation For Being A Popular Hangout For Many People. You In, Take What You Need, And Go. Nothing Was Spent. Nonetheless, I Have Never Taken Anything Illegally. Once Again, I Was Too Afraid Of What My Father Might Do To Me. Knowing Him, I Can Safely Assume That He Would Send Me Straight To Boot Camp Or A Military Academy. He Would Probably Tell My Mother That My Issue Is That I Need To Do More Push-ups. I’m Fortunately Not The Kind To Steal. Yet, I Am Aware Of Many Others Who Are, And Jerry’s Was The Best Playground For Thieves. I Suppose However That Jerry (Whatever He Is) Finally Chose To Keep A Cop On Deck After A String Of Victories.
I Hopped Down The Magazine Aisle And Made My Way To The Chips Section Towards The Back Of The Store. By The Drinks, Exactly. Grab Some Chips, Then Go Back And Get A Soda Or A Beer From The Refrigerator. Boom. I Had A Look At The Chip Options. Jerry’s Had Everything, Like I Said. Every Stank-breath Variety. I Tried A Variety Of Sauces—barbecue, Sour Cream And Onion, Salt And Vinegar, Cheddar Ranch, Flaming Hot—and Tried To Determine Which Might Be Most Easily Defeated By A Stick Of Gum. Simple, Though, Wasn’t An Option. Really, Who Consumes Plain Chips?
A White Woman Wearing A Navy-blue Skirt, A Matching Blazer, And White Trainers Seemed To Be Struggling With The Same Dilemma While The Beer Was Just Behind Me. As I Was Trying To Figure This Out, She Appeared To Have Left Her Office Job Early. And I Couldn’t Hold Her Responsible. Any Kind Of Beer You Could Imagine Was Available At Jerry’s. It Seemed That Way To Me, At Least. Nonetheless, I Didn’t Really Pay Her Any Attention. I Reasoned That She Probably Had A Long Work Week And Just Wanted To Start Her Weekend Off With A Cold Beverage. My Mother Sometimes Did It. As If There Were A Proper Way To Belch, She Would Pop The Cap Off A Beer And Pour It Into A Wineglass To Make Herself Feel Better About All The Burping. This Woman Seemed To Be The Kind Who Would Carry Out Such An Action. The Kind Of Woman Who Would Treat Herself To Beer And Nachos On The Weekend While Her Kids Were At Their Father’s.
This Is What Happened Right Now. Take Notice.
I Finally Chose My Bag Of Chips, Which Were Barbecue-flavored, Delectable, And Easily Beaten By Mint. After I Was At Ease, I Reached In My Back Pocket For My Phone To Call Spoony And Inform Her That I Was On My Way. Damn. In My Rotc Outfit I Left It. So, With The Bag Of Chips Tucked Under My Arm, I Set My Duffel Bag On The Ground And Knelt Down To Unzip It. The Lady Carrying The Beer Stepped Backward As The Duffel Was Opening, Accidentally Bumping Me And Throwing Me Off Balance. She Didn’t Really Bump Me, In Fact. She Stumbled Upon Me. She Fell Slowly, Trying To Regain Her Balance But Failing, Landing Half On Me And Half On The Floor, While I Thrust One Hand Down On The Floor To Prevent A Nasty Face-plant And Sent The Bag Of Chips Across The Aisle. She Dropped The Bottle She Was Holding, Sending Sudsy Beer Flying Everywhere.
I’m So Sorry, Oh My Goodness!
The Woman Wept.
The Employee At Jerry’s Who Everyone Knew Wasn’t Jerry Shouted, “Hey!” Before I Could Gather My Composure And Tell Her That Everything Was Okay, That I Was Okay, And To Make Sure She Was Okay.
Making It Obvious That Something Was Wrong. I Was About To Tell Him To Calm Down Since I First Believed He Was Yelling At The Woman On Some You-broke-it-you-bought-it Mess When I Realised Instead That He Was Staring At My Open Bag And The Bag Of Chips That Was Lying In The Aisle. What Are You Doing, Hi? ”
I Place My Finger On My Chest In Perplexity.
The Officer Sprung To Attention And Slid In Between The Clerk And Myself To Get A Better Look. Yet He Wasn’t Even Glancing My Way. Not Initially. He Was Watching The Woman As She Dusted Her Hands While Down On One Knee.
Are You Ok, Ma’am?
Worried, The Officer Questioned.
“Yeah, I Am, I Am,”
The Officer Interrupted Her Before She Could Finish Her Sentence, Which Would Have Explained How She Had Tripped And Fallen Over Me. “Has He Done Anything To You? ”
Once Again, “Me?
Just What Was He Talking About? As I Would Soon Have To Leave The Store, I Only Zipped My Duffel Bag Halfway.
The Lady Was Now Standing And Sounded Clearly Perplexed By The Question. “No, No, I—”
He Was Attempting To Steal Those Chips, Yes!
Over The Cop’s Shoulder, The Clerk Interrupted, Shouting. Isn’t That Right? He Said, Turning His Scowl Back On Me. That’s What You Were Attempting To Do, Right? That’s What You Put In Your Bag, Isn’t It? ”
Whaaaaa? What Was Happening? He Accused Me Of Events That Never Even Occurred! He Couldn’t Have Been Speaking To Me, For Example. I Wanted To Look Back To Make Sure No Other Child Was Standing Behind Me And Stuffing Chips Into His Rucksack Or Doing Anything Similar, But I Knew There Wasn’t. I Knew With Whom This Asshole Was Speaking. . . At . . . About . . . Me. It Had The Impression Of Being A Bad Prank.
Inside My Bag? I Said, “Dude, Ain’t Nobody Taking Nothing,” And Then I Began To Get Up. My Hands Were Already Up As A Reaction To Seeing A Police Officer Approaching Me. I Cast A Quick Glance Across At The Lady As She Made A Slow Exit Towards The Aisle With Cookies And Snack Cakes. I Tried To Explain, “I Was Only Trying To Get My Phone Out Of My Bag When She Fell Over Me—,” But The Policeman Quickly Cut Me Off.
He Shouted, “Shut Up,” As He Drew Nearer.
“Wait, I’ll Wait,”
“Shut Up! I Said.
He Roared And Then Rushed Me, Grabbing My Arm. Did You Miss What I Said? You Hard Of Hearing? He Pointed Me In The Direction Of The Door While Requesting Assistance Over A Walkie-talkie. Backup? To What End? To Whom?
I Pleaded, “No, You Don’t Understand,” Unsure Of What Was Going On. “I’ve Got Money Here! I Reached Into My Pocket With My Free Hand To Get The Dollar I Had Set Aside To Pay For Those Stupid Chips. But, The Cop Had Me In A Submission Hold With My Arms Twisted Behind Me And Pain Shooting Up To My Shoulders Before I Could Even Get My Hands On The Money. He Pushed Me Through The Door And Then Dropped Me. Face-first. White Was The Colour Of The Pain, And There Was A Crunching Sound In My Ear As The Bones In My Nose Broke. After Slapping My Wrists With The Metal Handcuffs, Which Cut Into My Wrists, He Tugged At My Shirt And Trousers While Searching Me. I Let Out A Wail That I Believe Came From Deep Inside. One That I Had Never Made Before And That Was Inspired By A Feeling I Had Never Experienced.
My First Response To The Excruciating Pain Was To Move. Not To Flee, Or Fight Back, But Just. . . Move. That Is Like To Stubbing Your Toe. The First Thing You Do Is Jump About Or Throw Yourself On The Bed. That Same Reflex Was Used. I Just Had To Move In Order To Perhaps Relieve The Pain. Moving, However, Wasn’t A Good Idea Since Every Time I Flipped And Flapped On The Pavement, The Cuffs Seemed To Become Tighter With Every Natural Jerk, And Worse, I Received Another Blow. In The Kidney With A Fist. An Elbow To The Back. To The Back Of The Neck With A Forearm.
Well, You Want To Fight Back? You Intend To Fight? The Policeman Kept Repeating, “Punching Me. He Asked As Though He Was Anticipating My Response. But I Was Unable. And I Would Have Told Him That I Didn’t Want To Resist If I Could Have. I Was Already Handcuffed, Too. I Already Was. . . Stuck. They Knew I Didn’t Want To Resist As They Watched From The Sidewalk, Their Faint Murmurs Of “Leave Him Alone” Becoming Into White Noise. Seriously, Really, I Didn’t. All I Wanted Was For Him To Stop Hitting Me. I Only Wanted To Survive. Each Blow Caused An Inward Earthquake In Me, Crushing Aspects Of Me That I Was Unaware Existed. Thugs Can’t Simply Do What They Are Taught, ” We Must Develop Our Respect For Authority. He Taunted Me While Almost Whispering In My Ear, “And I’m Going Teach You.
My Mouth Was Filled With Blood That Tasted Like Metal. My Eyes Were Filled With Tears. Someone Was Staring At Me And Quickly Fading Into A Watery Blur, Which I Could See. Everything Was Turned Around. Wrong. The Pressure Had Plugged And Blocked My Ears. All I Could Hear Were The Man’s Washed-out Groans As He Leaned Over Me, Hurt Me, And Ordered Me To Stop Fighting Even Though I Wasn’t, Followed By The Piercing Sound Of Sirens Approaching.
My Brain Burst Into A Million Thoughts At Once, Yet Only One Thought Persisted—
“ALL AMERICAN BOYS is a terrific story that will compel readers to consider who they are, what they stand for, and what they should stand for. It’s that good.” –Richie’s Picks
*”With Reynolds writing Rashad’s first-person narrative and Kiely Quinn’s, this hard-edged, ripped-from-the-headlines
book is more than a problem novel; it’s a carefully plotted, psychologically acute, character-driven work of
fiction that dramatizes an all-too-frequent occurrence. Police brutality and race relations in America are
issues that demand debate and discussion, which his superb book powerfully enables.” – Booklist, starred review
*”Timely and powerful, this novel promises to have an impactlong after the pages stop turning. ” – School Library Journal, starred review
“The scenario that Reynolds and Kiely depict has become a recurrent feature of news reports, and a book that lets readers think it through outside of the roiling emotions of a real-life event is both welcome and necessary.” – Publishers Weekly
“…[The authors’] passion elevates the novel beyond aneeded call to action to a deeply moving experience.” –Kirkus Reviews
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