cover image All American Boys

All American Boys

Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely. S&S/Atheneum/Dlouhy, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4814-6333-1

In this painful and all-too-timely book, two authors%E2%80%94one black, one white%E2%80%94present a story of police brutality. Reynolds (The Boy in the Black Suit) voices Rashad, the innocent victim of a police beating; Kiely (The Gospel of Winter) writes Quinn, a horrified witness. The book moves quickly, starting on a Friday night with the boys%E2%80%94classmates who don't know each other%E2%80%94preparing for a party, and ending with a social-media-inspired protest march one week later. For Rashad, the week means facing the physical and mental effects of what has happened, including a father who initially assumes that Rashad is guilty. For fatherless Quinn, the struggle comes from the fact that the cop is not only the older brother of a close friend, but also a father figure. 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. Ages 12%E2%80%93up. Agent: (for Reynolds) Elena Giovinazzo, Pippin Properties; (for Kiely) Rob Weisbach, Rob Weisbach Creative Management. (Sept.)