The Black Kids
“Infused with honesty, heart, and humor, The Black Kids is a true love letter to Los Angeles, highlighting the beauty and flaws of the city, and the people who call it home.” —Brandy Colbert, award-winning author of Little & Lion
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?
JLG Release: Nov 2020
Awards & Honors
2021 William C. Morris Award Finalist
8 3/10" x 5 1/2"
Level 5.3; Points: 14;
Scholastic Reading CountsN/A
Simon & Schuster BFYR
Potentially Sensitive Areas
Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism , Language: Strong Language , Sexual Content: Strong Sexual Content/Themes , Language: Racial or Ethnic Epithet/Slur , Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Underage Use , Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Marijuana Use , Violence: Suicide , Violence: General
Race relations, African Americans, Rodney King Riots (1992), Los Angeles, California, Family life, High schools, Twentieth-century US history,