All American Boys

All American Boys

Book - 2015
Average Rating:
Rate this:
When sixteen-year-old Rashad is mistakenly accused of stealing, classmate Quinn witnesses his brutal beating at the hands of a police officer who happens to be the older brother of his best friend. Told through Rashad and Quinn's alternating viewpoints.
Publisher: New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, [2015].
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781481463348
Characteristics: 316 pages ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Kiely, Brendan 1977-,- Author


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jan 22, 2019

I loved this book because the characters absolutely sweep you away. From the beginning you will fall in love with and root for these boys: two young men struggling with their respective journeys. Ultimately, both must find the inner strength to confront the challenges that life throws their way.

Jan 10, 2019

All American Boys was my introduction to YA fiction dealing with police brutality issues. I finished this book the day I started it, which should tell you almost everything you need to know about it. I was completely sucked in. I started it on audio and switched to the print edition because I had it available and it is faster to read. On quick note on the audio, there are a couple text conversations in the book, and the way they are handled is clunky.

All American Boys tells the story of two high school boys: Rashad, an African-American ROTC member that is also a talented artist, and Quinn, your average All-American white student athlete. Very early in the novel Rashad is a victim of police brutality. Quinn is a witness. He is also the best friend of the brother of the police officer involved. The novel deals with the aftermath and the two boys' attempts to come to terms with what happened.

I thought the subject matter was handled well. The incident itself is fairly straightforward, but the characters' attempts to reframe their understanding of themselves adds the right kind of complexity.

As for content and who is this appropriate for, the teenagers drink. There are references to teens shoplifting and marijuana use.

JCLHeatherM Nov 13, 2018

There are at least two sides to every story and with a two person interwoven narrative, readers are presented with two sides of a standard night that turned into something much more.

Jun 20, 2018

When I first picked up this book, I judged it by the title and cover. (In my defense, I don't know anyone that doesn't). After reading it, I think I got the true meaning behind it. The author wants "all american boys"... to see the truth of America and its racism problem for what it is, and to stand for justice. This made me tear up in so many places, and it was so hard to read knowing that it is happening in so many schools/states in the US, maybe even here in Canada. I hope more people can read this and feel the way I did - a sense of inspiration to rise and speak up against the barriers in our systems today. @Siri of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

samcmar Apr 14, 2018

Did you love The Hate U Give? Well, then you need to check out All American Boys. This a book that focuses on racial prejudice, unlikely friendship, societal discontent, and it will punch you in the feelings over and over again. Written from two different perspectives on the same event, there is such a fantastic and deep conflict in this story that is both powerful as it is enlightening. Highly recommended for those who love The Hate U Give, Poet X, and Tyler Johnson Was Here.

Feb 21, 2018

It was good but I was hoping it would dive deeper into the aftermath of what happened to the cop and how did Rashad continue on with his life after this event. I would have also liked to see how Quinn and Jill dealt with their friends and family who were on the cops side.

EvaELPL Jan 29, 2018

"All American Boys" is a timely, important, and evocative look at racism and police brutality, and how individual lives and whole communities can be affected when those issues collide. Told in alternating perspective between two boys, Rashad (an African American teenager who is assaulted by a white police officer) and his classmate Quinn (who witnesses it, and has ties to the police officer and his family), this story is reminiscent of too many current events, and is a gut-wrenching but crucial jumping off point for all of us to honestly and empathetically begin to tackle these issues head on.

Aug 18, 2017

A triumph. This is an IMPORTANT book. I was in the middle of this other awful book that I wasn't enjoying when the events in Charlottesville, VA happened. There wasn't much I could do but educate myself and speak out on social media, being far away. I couldn't believe I was reading fluffy; I needed to be further educating myself and not just with the news. I recently bought ALL AMERICAN BOYS and immediately knew it was the book I had to be reading.

When I finished, I held the book and cried. I cried for those Heather Heyer, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner to name only few of the many. I cried for my country. I am grateful this book and others like it (THE HATE U GIVE, MARCH, etc.) that continue to educate and inspire and tell of the real racism plaguing our country. Thank you to those authors for their courage to share their art and to tell these stories.

As this is a book review my thoughts on the book itself as as follows: The multiple POVs was excellent for telling two sides of the situation. It was all about perspective and Seeing others which I fall for in a story every time. I thought Quinn's journey from silence to activism was well told; it was also relatable to me as a white woman. Rashad's journey was also well-explored and eye opening for me. Both sides were powerful in their own way, but the act of uniting them was brilliant.

I had two small negatives with the book. As the protagonists are male, it was very heavy with subjects that are popular with a majority of men like basketball; I honestly couldn't care less about those parts of the book. Also, it barely passed the Betchel test and I wish there would have been more of a female presence than just the minor, supporting roles.

Overall, this book was amazing and I recommend it to anyone and everyone. It appeals to many and should be required reading in schools and for adults. It's a great tool to educate oneself and examine what has, unfortunately, become a part of our country's history. I commend Reyolds and Kiely on this beautiful, true, passionate, engaging, and honest work of art.

Jul 18, 2017

"All American Boys" is a good book on a very difficult subject - racism. This book is told through the perspective of two high school boys - the victim being black and the witness being white. Rashad, the victim, is brutally beaten by a white cop and this beating is witness by Quinn, a white classmate. That night, both their lives changed. Through those changes, their classmates, teachers, and even town, sees how torn racism can change people. If everyone could see how a peaceful protest is so much better than the violence we have seen on TV. Stand up peacefully for the things you believe in. It was great to read how, in the end, everyone of all races, came together to help stand up for Rashad and many others that were "absent again today". Will be recommending this book to our high school readers.

JCLEmilyD Apr 25, 2017

This book was a tough one because of the topic: police brutality. It gives viewpoints from both the victim, Rashed, and a a close friend of the police officer, Quinn. As Rashed struggles with why this happened and wanting things just to get back to normal, Quinn is struggling with loyalty and doing what is right. This book is so in-credibly well written and gives voices to a very important topic.

View All Comments


Add a Quote
Aug 02, 2017

"[Maybe he did] Meth?"
"Only white people do that" (pg.175)

JCLEmilyD Apr 18, 2017

He wasn't strong because he wasn't afraid. No, he was strong because he kept doing it even though he was afraid. (p. 289)

JCLEmilyD Apr 18, 2017

Say what? To hold your head up? That everything would be okay? Baby, I could tell by the look on your face that you ain't need none of that. Sometimes, when people get treated as less than human, the best way to help them feel better is to simply treat them as human. Not as victims. Just you as you. Rashad Butler, before all this. (p. 243)

JCLEmilyD Apr 17, 2017

They were probably afraid, too. Afraid of people like Paul. Afraid of cops in general. Hell, they were probably afraid of people like me. I didn't blame them. I'd be afraid too, even if I was a frigging house like Tooms. But I didn't have to be because my shield was that I was white. (p. 180)

JCLEmilyD Apr 17, 2017

I felt like I'd been doing the same damn thing the last couple of days--trying to stare so hard at my own two feet so I wouldn't have to look up and see what was really going on. And while I'd been doing that, I'd been walking in the wrong directions.
I didn't want to walk away anymore. (p. 185)

JCLEmilyD Apr 17, 2017

But here are the words that kept ricocheting around me all day: Nobody says the words anymore, but some how the violence still remains. If I didn't want the violence to remain, I had to do a hell of a lot more than just say the right things and not say the wrong things. (p. 218)

Apr 13, 2017

“Because racism was alive and real as shit. It was everywhere and all mixed up in everything, and the only people who said it wasn’t, and the only people who said, “Don’t talk about it” were white. Well, stop lying. That’s what I wanted to tell those people. Stop lying. Stop denying. That’s why I was marching. Nothing was going to change unless we did something about it. We! White people!”

Apr 13, 2017



Add Notices
Aug 02, 2017

Violence: Beating of a minor.

mvkramer Mar 30, 2016

Violence: Police brutality.

mvkramer Mar 30, 2016

Other: Underage drinking.


Add Age Suitability
Aug 02, 2017

blue_dog_31717 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Apr 13, 2017

KaseyNB thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at BPL

To Top