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The Black Kids: 10/10/20
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.