Authors Visit FHS To Discuss Their New Book

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The book All American Boys by award-winning authors Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely tells the story of two high school boys of different ethnicities attending the same school, connected only through one dangerous event. The event, which leaves one of them injured, has different repercussions on both teens and forces them to question their decisions and morals.

The book was written with the intentions of inducing conversation over racial inequality. Kiely stated, “We want to talk about the multiperspective point of views about the people holding their hands up [in Ferguson].” Reynolds agreed and said, “After traveling all over the country we have found that the answers to those questions [about mentioning police brutality] is the same. Almost a 100 percent of you guys know what’s going on, but only 10 percent of you guys talk about it with your friends.” He continues on by mentioning that racial differences are a hard topic to bring up with your friends as your friends may be a different ethnicity. Reynolds ends with, “My goal will All American Boys is for you all to read it and then talk about it, with your friends, with your parents.”

Cover of Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely's new book, "All American Boys".

Cover of Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely’s new book, “All American Boys”.

This ideal is appropriate in dealing with the various racial controversies occurring nationwide including the Black Lives Matter movement and arguments over police brutality. “The insistence that Black lives matter accordingly is necessary only because, unlike “all lives,” in this society, black lives are too often taken not to matter. Black lives are presumed too readily in the U.S. not to inhabit the universal,” wrote David Theo Goldberg of the Huffington Post.

The authors were inspired to write the book after a police brutality case four years ago when Trayvon Martin was shot. Their two different upbringings helped give the book two different perspectives on the situations that happened in the book. This made the book have two parts, one in Jason Reynolds’ perspective and one in Brendan Kiely’s.

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