All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

“‘Whaaaaa? What was going on? He was accusing me of things that hadn’t even happened! Like, he couldn’t have been talking to me. I wanted to turn around to check and make sure there wasn’t some other kid standing behind me, stuffing chips in his backpack or something, but I knew there wasn’t.

Reynolds,Jason and Kiely, Brendan. All American Boys.  Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2015. 336 pages. Paperback. $9.99, ISBN 978-1-4814-8990-4

From School Library Journal

“Gr 8 Up—Rashad Butler is a quiet, artistic teen who hates ROTC but dutifully attends because father insists “there’s no better opportunity for a black boy in this country than to join the army.” He heads to Jerry’s corner store on a Friday night to buy chips, and ends up the victim of unwarranted arrest and police brutality: an event his white schoolmate Quinn Collins witnesses in terrified disbelief. Quinn is even more shocked because the cop is Paul Galluzzo, older brother of his best friend and Quinn’s mentor since his father died in Afghanistan. As events unfold, both boys are forced to confront the knowledge that racism in America has not disappeared and that change will not come unless they step forward. Reynolds and Kiely’s collaborative effort deftly explores the aftermath of police brutality, addressing the fear, confusion, and anger that affects entire communities. Diverse perspectives are presented in a manner that feels organic to the narrative, further emphasizing the tension created when privilege and racism cannot be ignored. Timely and powerful, this novel promises to have an impact long after the pages stop turning. VERDICT Great for fostering discussions about current events among teenage audiences. A must-have for all collections.—Ashleigh Williams, School Library Journal”

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All American Boys is a One Maryland One Book for 2016. This is a program in which people all across the state of Maryland read and discuss the same book. For more information go to the Maryland Humanities website. You can also read more on their Facebook page.

Want to read an more about how the book came about – Read this article from NPR?



  • 2016 Coretta Scott King Author Honor book
  • Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature
Courtesy of @JasonReynolds83

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Jason Reynold’s Twitter




HRS Brendan Kiely

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 Brendan Kiely’s Website,
and Twitter

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

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Anderson, Laurie Halse. Speak.  Square Fish, 1999. 197 pages. Paperback. $9.99, ISBN 978-0-312-67439-7

What if something happened to you that was so horrible that you couldn’t talk about it? What if you just thought you could pretend it never happened? What if it just kept eating away at you?

That’s what happened to Melinda. Something horrible happened the summer before her freshman year of high school, something she could not tell anyone, not her best friends or her parents.

Speak  is the story of Melinda’s withdrawal from life throughout her freshman year. Her only solace is found in her art class. The only person who seems interested in helping her is her art teacher. Read for yourself to see if Melinda can speak out and move forward with her life.

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Poem written by Laurie Halse Anderson in response to letters written to her about Speak:

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Laurie Halse Anderson Courtesy of Press Kit


Laurie Halse Anderson’s Website 

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A National Book Award Finalist

A Michael L. Printz Honor Book

An Edgar Allan Poe Award Finalist

A Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist

Winner of the SCBWI Golden Kite Award

An ALA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults

An ALA Quick Pick

A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year

A Booklist Top Ten First Novel of the Year

A BCCB Blue Ribbon Book

A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year

A Horn Book Fanfare Title

Winner of eight state book awards, Finalist for eleven

© Chris Peeler 2013