The Black Kids - Christina Hammonds Reed | Spoiler Free Book Review

- This post contains a Netgalley arc - 

I have been making a huge effort to educate myself more recently and The Black Kids is one of my favorite recent reads. Every year my new year's resolution is to learn more and I can't recommend it enough. This is a hyped new release with a gorgeous cover and spoiler alert, I highly recommend. 
The Black Kids - Christina Hammonds Reed | Spoiler Free Book Review

Los Angeles, 1992

Ashley Bennett and her friends are living the charmed life. It’s the end of high school 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.

But everything changes one afternoon in April, when four police 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 rumour 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?

My Review

This book is set in the 90s around the riots in LA when Rodney King was murdered. I’m going to be completely honest until recently I didn’t know anything about these riots but I have been educating myself a lot in the last month and a half and this book was extremely impactful, emotional and should be required reading if you ask me. And as I’m not the target audience for this book (this is a Young Adult book), I know that this will be even more impactful on that target audience. 

This book really hit me where it hurts. I started reading this about a week or so after George Floyd was murdered and a lot of the content of The Black Kids applies to almost exactly what has been happening recently which is crushing as it’s over twenty years later. This book is really well written and even though it was a slower read, it made sense. You also flip between the past and present in this book and it was easy to follow. 

This book is all about racism and is a very character-driven book. There are a lot of microaggressions shown in this book and it really displays just how hurtful they are as Ashley's friends are awful. I really hope when teens read this book they get that message loud and clear. Something I found to be extremely important in reading this is that it displays that racism affects all Black people, even the wealthily. I know from people around me that white people can assume that wealthily people don’t experience it.

The Black Kids is out on the 4th of August 2020 and you can preorder your copy - HERE



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