Oshiro, creator of the Mark Does Stuff website, takes readers on an emotional roller-coaster in this powerful and timely debut novel that conveys a community’s bitter experience living within a culture of white supremacy. Sixteen-year-old Moss Jeffries, a gay African-American student attending run-down West Oakland High School, has experienced panic attacks since police shot his father six years earlier. A warm, mutually respectful relationship with his mother, an extended network of friends of diverse genders, sexual orientations, and family makeup, and a budding romance with Javier, a cute Latino comic book artist, all indicate a hopeful future. Yet violent incidents continue to threaten the community’s well-being. In one improbable event that affects the story’s plausibility, a boy with metal pins in his knee suffers a severe injury as a result of being forced to walk through a school metal detector. This event and several police assaults on students lead to organizing, with the community’s fear building to a crescendo in a planned walkout gone awry. Oshiro deftly captures the simmering rage that ultimately transforms Moss from a quiet teenager to a committed activist against a brutal, menacing system. Ages 14–18. Agent: DongWon Song, Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/26/2018 Release date: 05/22/2018 Genre: Children's
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