All American Boys is told from the duel perspective of two boys. One black, the victim of the incident. The other is white, a bystander to what happened. Even though what really happened was a misunderstanding, it doesn’t change the fact that the officer went too far, and that Rashad is now in the hospital. The book details Rashad’s trouble in piecing together what happened to him and what this means for his future, because he will never be the same again. Quinn on the other hand, must decide whether he will walk away from all of this, pretend he never saw a thing, or stand up for the truth.
All American Boys details a struggle that has been like a distant pain in society’s back. Police brutality is nothing new to the United States, but this novel shows two perspectives of the situation. I enjoyed the inclusion of justifications that seemed racist from an outside perspective, but could ultimately be thought of by someone who was trying to look at the situation passively. The strong will and ultimate resolution sent a powerful message that is definitely necessary in our current state. We have to talk about these things, admit that it’s a problem, and try to fix it. No one should be absent because of police brutality.