How it Went Down by Kekla Magoon

Courtesy of Amazon.com

“The known facts surrounding the shooting death of sixteen-year-old Tariq Johnson are few. On the evening of June 2, at approximately 5:30 P.M., Johnson sustained two nine-millimeter gunshot wounds to the torso. Police officers arrived at 5:37 P.M. Johnson was pronounced dead at 6:02 P.M. by EMTs at the scene. Police apprehended a person of interest, Jack Franklin, who was present when Johnson was shot but left the scene in a borrowed vehicle shortly afterward. Franklin was pulled over nearly four miles away from the site of the shooting, at 5:56 P.M. A nine-millimeter handgun, recently fired, was found in the back seat.

Magoon, Kekla. How it Went Down.  Henry Holt and Company, 2014. 325 pages. Hardcover. $20.50, ISBN 978-0-8050-9869-3

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—When 16-year-old Tariq, a black teen, is shot and killed by a white man, every witness has a slightly different perception of the chain of events leading up to the murder. Family, friends, gang members, neighbors, and a well-meaning but self-serving minster make up the broad cast of characters. The police bring their own personal biases to their investigation of the case. When all points of view are combined, the story of a young man emerges and with it, a narrative that plays out in communities across the country every day. Heartbreaking and unputdownable, this is an important book about perception and race. How It Went Down reads very much like Julius Lester’s Day of Tears (Hyperion, 2005) in a modern setting and for an older audience. With a great hook and relatable characters, this will be popular for fans of realistic fiction. The unique storytelling style and thematic relevance will make it a potentially intriguing pick for classroom discussion.—Kristin Anderson, Columbus Metropolitan Library System, OH –This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

 

Want to read a truly lovely interview of Kekla Magoon? Here it is 🙂

Awards

  • Junior Library Guild Selection

Courtesy of keklamagoon.com

Kekla Magoon’s Website

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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”

Link to Amazon.com
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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?

 

Awards

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

Courtesy of @JasonReynolds83

Jason Reynold’s Twitter

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HRS Brendan Kiely

Courtesy of brendankiely.com

 Brendan Kiely’s Website,
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The World Without Us by Robin Stevenson

HRS The World Without Us“The very first conversation I had with Jeremy was about death. It was back in September, the sky wide open and blue, the sun a hot white disk. I was sitting on the steps of the church across the street from the school, because there’s no smoking on school property – and I was reading Camus and rolling a cigarette when he sat down beside me.”

Stevenson, Robin. The World Without Us. Orca Book Publishers, 2015. 226 pages. Paperback. $12.95, ISBN 978-1-4598-0680-1

Mel, short for Melody, thought it was a joke, just for fun. Planning how they would die. Planning their suicide playlist. Deciding on their last meal. Mel didn’t realize what a dark place Jeremy was in until they were on the bridge. And then it was too late. She couldn’t stop him. Jeremy jumped. Mel wanted to live. She didn’t. Read this novel to find out the events that led up to the jump and what happened after? Can Mel live with the guilt that she should have, could have, done more?

 

Link to Amazon.com

Link to Worldcat.org

Available in:

Paperback

Kindle Edition

HRS Robin Stevenson

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© Chris Peeler 2013