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The Black Kids
“As someone who was just a little older than the novel's main character when the Rodney King riots happened, I'm impressed by the many layers here. Hammonds Reed gets the details of the time just right, and Ashley Bennett is a very well-drawn character. It was fascinating to consider her thoughts and feelings set against the present circumstances we find ourselves in. I think adults and teens alike will find this a stirring novel filled with lessons we can all learn from.”Erin,
Queen Anne Book Company
“"I know she resents me and resents being here. She thinks I don't care. But it's not that; it's that there's so very much to care about, so much to feel, and instead of trying to sort out what's in my head, sometimes I don't want to feel any of it."
Christina Hammonds Reed's writing is gorgeous and transporting as she tells the story of Ashley, a Black teen living in LA during the 1992 riots. As the novel progresses, Ashley tries to carry on life as normal in her predominantly white neighborhood and private school. But despite all the ways she is similar, her friends and classmates begin to see her as one of "the Black kids" and Ashley must learn what that means. As she struggles to understand her own identity so does Los Angeles. This is a powerful novel that belongs in the hand of every teen and those that love them. Content warnings for descriptions of violence and police brutality, discussions of past suicide.”Faith,
Page 158 Books
A New York Times bestseller
A William C. Morris Award Finalist
“Should be required reading in every classroom.” —Nic Stone, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin
“A true love letter to Los Angeles.” —Brandy Colbert, award-winning author of Little & Lion
“A brilliantly poetic take on one of the most defining moments in Black American history.” —Tiffany D. Jackson, author of Grown and Monday’s Not Coming
Perfect for fans of The Hate U Give, this unforgettable coming-of-age debut novel explores issues of race, class, and violence through the eyes of a wealthy black teenager whose family gets caught in the vortex of the 1992 Rodney King Riots.
Los Angeles, 1992
Ashley Bennett and her friends are living the charmed life. It’s the end of senior year and they’re spending more time at the beach than in the classroom. They can already feel the sunny days and endless possibilities of summer.
Everything changes one afternoon in April, when four LAPD officers are acquitted after beating a black man named Rodney King half to death. Suddenly, Ashley’s not just one of the girls. She’s one of the black kids.
As violent protests engulf LA and the city burns, Ashley tries to continue on as if life were normal. Even as her self-destructive sister gets dangerously involved in the riots. Even as the model black family façade her wealthy and prominent parents have built starts to crumble. Even as her best friends help spread a rumor that could completely derail the future of her classmate and fellow black kid, LaShawn Johnson.
With her world splintering around her, Ashley, along with the rest of LA, is left to question who is the us? And who is the them?