Do you think that crimes just are about solving the crime and putting the rightful person in jail. If you do then, you need to read All American Boys by Jason Reynolds because that will open you eyes to see that crimes go beyond just the people that were involved in the crime, it involves the community and and a lot of other people too. The the story revolves around two main characters Quinn and Rashad. Quinn is on his school’s varsity basketball team and is playing so he can get a scholarship, go to college and help his family out. Rashad is in the ROTC program at his school and he is really into drawing. One day Rashad goes the store and accidentally drops a bag of chips into his army duffel bag and trips over a lady behind him. The lady sees the chips in his bag and thinks he is stealing and the clerk calls the cops on him. Even though Rashad wasn't stealing the chips the cop still slams him on the ground and charges him with attempted robbery and resisting arrest while breaking three of his ribs and his nose(harsh right?).Anyway, this story becomes the talk of the town and is causing people to choose sides, the side of the cop or Rashad. Quinn was affected by it because the cop is a really good friend of his family and is like a big brother to him. The book switches perspectives between Quinn and Rashad as they talk about what happens in the time after the arrest.
One of the main things this book really shows is how outside influences impact people's decisions. Rashad had to make a really big decision on whether or not he wanted to go the protest about police brutality that his classmates were having because of his arrest. You would think that he would have to go, but his dad is a cop and he doesn't want to offend him by going. Quinn also had to chose whether he was going to side with Rashad or Paul the cop that arrested Rashad and injured him. Since he was on the basketball team at his school, a lot of kids were going to him to pressure him to pick a side because of his status of being on varsity. His best friend Guzzo, is Paul's brother and wants Quinn to side with Paul because of their history together. But the girl he likes and is really good friends with says he should take Rashad’s side because what Paul did was wrong and he should send a message out there to make a change. This is really important because it teaches a lesson about making decisions and not letting other people influence them and making the one that you think is best for you.
Another thing this book talks about is the power that simple events have on a community. Even though the arrest happened between Paul and Rashad, it sparked a giant movement in their community. It made Rashad’s friend English(I know English is a weird name) talk about times he has been unnecessarily searched by police because of the color of his skin and the way he looked. It also brought their school school together and they hosted a parade where, they marched down to the police station and started reading the names of the people who have been unrightfully shoot because of police brutality. All that happened because of one thing and that was Rashad's arrest.
This book has really helped me understand the how police brutality has affected people because it has been in the news lately. I used to think that the cop was the bad guy because he attacked the person when they clearly are not resisting arrest and didn't do anything wrong. But when Paul the cop who arrested Rashad explained why he did what he did, it made me realize that even though what he did was wrong and harsh, he didn't just do it because he was cold hearted or cruel, he did it because he was trying to do his job by helping that lady in the store because he thought she was in danger.
I really love this book and I give it a 15/10. I recommend it to anyone who wants to read about how events change communities and have an impact beyond the people directing involved in it. I hope this book helps you understand how criminal cases affect people and that simple events can really impact a community. So I leave all you reading this with one question. Which is, who side would have chosen if you were a character in this book. Read the book and comment who would chose. If you want to learn more about the book and authors click on this link:http://www.simonandschuster.com/books/All-American-Boys/Jason-Reyno...