Jason Reynolds is not new to writing bestselling and influential novels that are both critically-acclaimed and loved by the fans. He's got a few of those behind his back, and now he's ready to deliver his best work to date - All American Boys. This is a story about two kids - one's white, and the other one's black - that are a part of a terrifying act of violence that breaks their neighborhood, community and nation into half by racial tensions.
Rashad is a regular 16-year-old kid who just wanted to buy a bag of chips. That's all. But when a violent cop mistakes him for a teenage shoplifter, the world comes crashing down on the poor boy. Even though he swears that he wasn't trying to steal anything, the cop takes his actions as resisting arrest and assaulting an officer of the law and treats him like someone with no rights whatsoever. However, there's a witness to this horror show.
His name is Quinn, he likes to play basketball and goes to the same class as Rashad. The cop who's beating on the black boy has been raising Quinn ever since his dad died in Afghanistan. And, there's a video camera involved. Pretty soon the recording hits the national television and Paul - the police officer - gets all kinds of threats. Quinn can't believe that the person who's practically been his father could do something like that.
But, when Rashad is nowhere to be found, the basketball team starts to worry. So does the school, and the town, and the whole country. They take sides, and thus begins a huge scandal over a white cop beating on a black kid. All American Boys is a breath-taking novel that reflects on a number of resonating problems of the modern-day American society, including racism, racial inequality and hate.