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All Together Now by Hope Larson
The Ash Family by Molly Dektar
Batman: The Smile Killer by Jeff Lemire The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed
Cat Me If You Can by Miranda James
Death and Daisies by Amanda Flower
Displacement by Kiku Hughes
Dough or Die by Winnie Archer
Flowers and Foul Play by Amanda Flower
The Game Masters of Garden Place by Denis Markell
Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson
Halfbreed by Maria Campbell
How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers
Incendiary by Zoraida Córdova
The Invisible Boy by Alyssa Hollingsworth
Joker: Killer Smile by Jeff Lemire
Julia's House Moves On by Ben Hatke
Mighty Jack by Ben Hatke
Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune by Roselle Lim
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Saving Winslow by Sharon Creech
Something to Say by Lisa Moore Ramée
Steeple by John Allison
Teen Titans: Beast Boy by Kami Garcia
Ten Ways to Hear Snow by Cathy Camper and Kenard Pak
The Third Mushroom by Jennifer L. Holm
The Vanderbeekers Lost and Found by Karina Yan Glaser
The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert
Wayward Witch by Zoraida Córdova
A Wizard's Guide to Defensive Baking by T. Kingfisher

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The Black Kids: 10/10/20

The Black Kids

The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed is set just before, during, and just after the Rodney King verdict and resulting riots. The author knows the details of the time period and sets the stage so well that before King's name is even mentioned, it's clear when and where this novel is set.

Ashley Bennett is a wealthy black teenager, part of a family that owns a vacuum repair store. Her family has done well and her parents have managed to get her into an elite private school. Her older sister, though, has married young and now lives right in the heart of where the riots will be.

While the Rodney King riots are the setting, Ashley's story more nuanced. The best way to describe how she navigates her experience, her emotions, her reactions, is dreamlike. Many of the scenes have a freeform poetic feel to their segues. In the acknowledgements, the author thanks Aimee Bender (among others), which explains the almost surreal tone to this otherwise realistic historical fiction.

Five stars

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