Friday, August 14, 2020

YA Review: This is My America by Kim Johnson

Title: This is My America
Author: Kim Johnson
Year Published: 2020

Genre: YA fiction
Pages: 416
Rating: 5 out of 5

Location (my 2020 Google Reading map)USA (TX)

FTC Disclosure: I bought this book with my own money

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): Every week, seventeen-year-old Tracy Beaumont writes letters to Innocence X, asking the organization to help her father, an innocent Black man on death row. After seven years, Tracy is running out of time--her dad has only 267 days left. Then the unthinkable happens. The police arrive in the night, and Tracy's older brother, Jamal, goes from being a bright, promising track star to a "thug" on the run, accused of killing a white girl. Determined to save her brother, Tracy investigates what really happened between Jamal and Angela down at the Pike. But will Tracy and her family survive the uncovering of the skeletons of their Texas town's racist history that still haunt the present?

Review: Wow. Just wow. I was looking forward to reading this book and am so glad I did. 

Johnson has written a book that captures what it is like to be Black in America, to know the police are after you, the justice system is against you, the KKK still exists in various forms, and you have to fight every day against the small and large racist comments and actions.

Tracy is an awesome character; she is smart, strong, brave, and doesn't give up when she knows what's right. She speaks up and speaks out, she is a good friend and family member. I would want her on my team.

I also like the portrayal of the fictitious Innocence X, which is modeled on the Innocence Project and Bryan Stephenson's work in Just Mercy. I love the cover and think this is one of the best titles I've seen in a long time; it truly capture the essence of the book. If you want to read a good story, with strong characters, this is a must read.

Challenges for which this counts: 
 

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