The All American Boys

by Simone Gibson, PCHS ’19

Today, in the 21st century certain people in this country are still discriminated against because the color of their skin and the way they dress. Which is totally unfair. After all this country we have been through race somehow still manages to be a problem.

In the outstanding  book All American Boys the authors Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely tell a story about an African American boy who is wrongly accused of stealing and is beaten for no reason. This book is unique because it is told from a black’s and white’s perspective about prejudice and racism today in America.

Throughout the book a boy named Reshawd Butler struggles to stay alive because he was beaten by officer Paul Galluzzo. While in the hospital Reshawd must deal with his stern father who was also once a cop, his mother who only cares for him and wants him to heal and be safe, and his older  outspoken brother Spoony. While in the hospital Reshawd has learned how to deal with the situation by expressing himself through his drawings along with making friends with Clarissa and Mrs. Fitzergald.  Mrs. Fitzergald, an older lady that looks after Reshawd, helps him realize that he needs to stand up for what is right.

Another main character in the book is Quinn. He is a Caucasian boy who also struggles with this situation. Quinn finds himself torn between two sides. Since everyone in town sees him as the “all American boy”, Quinn feels that he should take the Officer Galluzzo’s  side or ignore the whole issue all together at first. Throughout the book Quinn realizes that standing up for Reshawd is the right thing to do. Quinn also realizes something about his father.

This book can teach a valuable lesson: standing up for what you believe in can help solve a problem. Without protesting and standing up for what is right we as the people will not be able to solve our problems. Unless we work together the situation could continue or get worse.

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