"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales." Albert Einstein

26 December 2014

How It Went Down

Magoon, Kekla. How It Went Down.Henry Holt & Co. BYR, 2014.

Tariq Johnson is shot outside a store in his neighborhood. He's shot by a white man who flees the scene. The aftermath of this story is told from multiple perspectives - Tariq's mother, his sister, the girl who tried using CPR to rescue him, a minister who fancies himself a voice of the people, the store owner, the owner of another nearby store, etc. This obviously is a very timely work that is a good representation of current events.

I don't feel qualified to speak on the topic of race or discrimination, so I will leave that subject for other reviewers and instead focus on the narrative itself. It was interesting to read a story from so many viewpoints. I have enjoyed books with multiple narrators before, but this one had so many narrators it became difficult to distinguish between all the voices. That being said, I think having that many viewpoints on an important event like this made sense for the story itself; I just wish I had gotten to know the various characters a bit better. I am also glad that Tariq's little sister, who has a disability, was given her own voice. She wasn't there to highlight her disability; she was just there as a kid whose brother had been shot.

Recommended for: teens
Red Flags: lots of language, lots of violence
Overall Rating: 4/5 stars

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