Black Authors, Book Reviews

Book Review : The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed

Title : The Black Kids
Author : Christina Hammonds Reed
Publisher : Simon and Schuster
Pages : 368
Genre : Young Adult Fiction

Story :

This coming-of-age debut novel explores issues of race, class, and violence through the eyes of a wealthy black teenager whose family gets caught in the vortex of the 1992 Rodney King Riots. Ashley Bennett and her friends are living the charmed life. It’s the end of senior year. Everything changes one afternoon in April, when four LAPD 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. 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?

Instagram : @thegirlonthego_reads

Review :

The Black Kids explores the brutal truth of racism, classism, and ethnocentrism. When one is forced to confront the truth hidden behind privilege and supremacy, it feels like a hard slap across the face.

Ashley is a gray character, which makes her perspective all the more real and original. The narrative is on point and it picks up pace gradually. We are again reminded of the Police brutality against Black Citizens and it can be pictured quite well given the current circumstances. It is scary how things are still the same, no matter which year you look into.

This is a story that portrays a very unique Black perspective which is why I believe everyone should read this at least once. It is educational yet profoundly vivid, fictional yet starkly relatable. I was sucked into the premise the minute I started reading. I wasn’t aware of the Rodney King Riots, so a background on the real incidents only made this story more intense and emblematic.

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