The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed

Review of the Novel and a #OwnVoices Reflection

Own Voices Reflection

The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

β€œπš†πšŽ πš‘πšŠπšŸπšŽ 𝚝𝚘 πš πšŠπš•πš” πšŠπš›πš˜πšžπš—πš πš‹πšŽπš’πš—πš πš™πšŽπš›πšπšŽπšŒπš πšŠπš•πš• πšπš‘πšŽ πšπš’πš–πšŽ πš“πšžπšœπš 𝚝𝚘 πš‹πšŽ πšœπšŽπšŽπš— 𝚊𝚜 πš‘πšžπš–πšŠπš—. π™³πš˜πš—β€™πš 𝚒𝚘𝚞 πšŽπšŸπšŽπš› 𝚐𝚎𝚝 πšπš’πš›πšŽπš 𝚘𝚏 πš‹πšŽπš’πš—πš 𝚊 πšœπš’πš–πš‹πš˜πš•? π™³πš˜πš—β€™πš 𝚒𝚘𝚞 πšŽπšŸπšŽπš› πš“πšžπšœπš πš πšŠπš—πš 𝚝𝚘 πš‹πšŽ πš‘πšžπš–πšŠπš—?” -Christina Hammonds Reed,
π™π™π™š π˜½π™‘π™–π™˜π™  π™†π™žπ™™π™¨

Thank you to @simonteen & @hearourvoicestours for a copy of this ARC. Pub date 8/04/2020

#OwnVoices Reflection: As a teen, I remember feeling like Ashley, the lead character in this novel, π™π™π™š π˜½π™‘π™–π™˜π™  π™†π™žπ™™π™¨. I was that black kid that was in the AP classes that was predominately a white space. I felt like an alien at times, while also feeling at home. This novel spoke to me and I got it. I understood how she felt and the struggles she dealt with personally, socially, and culturally. The Rodney King verdict was huge and quite disappointing. In the present, we are still dealing with the issue of justice in the policing of black lives. As a person that identities as African-American, this story could have been written in the present and I would still feel the same. I am glad this book was written and it is timely and coincidental that π™π™π™š π˜½π™‘π™–π™˜π™  π™†π™žπ™™π™¨ is being released at this time. I feel like my story is being told through the lens of Ashley and her family and friends.

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Information about the Book with Author’s Links.

The Black Kids

by Christina Hammonds Reed

Publisher: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers

Release Date: August 4, 2020

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

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Perfect for fans of The Hate U Give, this unforgettable 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.

Los Angeles, 1992

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

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. 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 rumor 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?

Author Information

Christina Hammonds Reed an MFA in Film and Television Production from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. Her short fiction has previously appeared in the Santa Monica Review. She lives in Hermosa Beach, CA.