"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor."
-Jason Reynolds, All American Boys
Wrongly accused of shoplifting and assaulting a woman at a conveince story, Rashad is badly beaten by a police officer, all because of the color of his skin. Quinn observed the beating, from someone he thought was a friend, and knows that he can't stay silent about the injustice of it. As the situation takes their school by storm, everyone takes a side--Rashad and Quinn might have to risk everything in order to change the world.
This book has been on my to-read list for ages, because I've only heard good things about it. And it certainly didn't disappoint. Both of the narrators here were extremely well developed, and each of them had their own unique voices. The inclusion of two narrators also creates the opportunity for more teens to find themselves within the narrative, and see how they can create change (especially important in our current moment in history).
As we're beginning to see a rise in diversity in young adult literature (check out my article about it here!), books talking about social justice and social change are becoming more commonplace. Young people are often the ones that bring about social change (something that the series I'm currently reading is definitely showing me), and reading these narratives are inspirational and eye opening. These things happen in real life. Reading these narratives and speaking up about injustice are the only ways that we can instill change the way we want it.
My only wish for this book is that we could have seen some of the effects of the protest at the end of the novel. Was it effective? Including a bit at the end would show readers that they can affect the world around them, just like the characters within the novel.