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This Is My America

This Is My America

Book - 2020 | First edition
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While writing letters to Innocence X, a justice-seeking project, asking them to help her father, an innocent black man on death row, teenaged Tracy takes on another case when her brother is accused of killing his white girlfriend.
Every week 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 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. As Tracy investigates what really happened between Jamal and Angela down at the Pike, she uncovers their Texas town's racist history. Will she prove her brother's innocence-- or cause her world to explode? -- adapted from jacket
Publisher: New York : Random House, [2020]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2020
ISBN: 9780593118764
0593118766
9780593118771
0593118774
Call Number: y JOHNSON 2020
Characteristics: 406 pages ; 22 cm

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While writing letters to Innocence X, a justice-seeking project, asking them to help her father, an innocent black man on death row, teenaged Tracy takes on another case when her brother is accused of killing his white girlfriend.

While writing letters to Innocence X, a justice-seeking project, asking them to help her father, an innocent black man on death row, teenaged Tracy takes on another case when her brother is accused of killing his white girlfriend.

Grades 7-12. Question 1a. While writing letters to Innocence X, a justice-seeking project, asking them to help her father, an innocent black man on death row, teenaged Tracy takes on another case when her brother is accused of killing his white girlfriend.


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ArapahoeJulia Jan 25, 2021

This is a heart-wrenching and fast-paced read about racial injustice, the U.S. criminal justice system, and the power of family to stand firm amidst continued trials.

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Oct 01, 2020

The flap copy claims this is "The Hate U Give" meets "Just Mercy"...usually a laugh at these sorts of marketing claims, but it's just about right in this case. This fast paced mystery nestled within a look at the inequities of the US justice system is an engaging and timely read.

ArapahoeJennieB Sep 08, 2020

Kim Johnson deftly explores the (very and always) timely issues of racism as it exists in policing and in the criminal justice system. Tracy's dad has spent years on death row, arrested for a crime he did not commit. Every week Tracy writes a letter to the organization Innocence X (modeled after the Innocent Project & Equal Justice Initiative) in hopes that they will take on her father's case before its too late. Just as it appears that there might be some hope, Tracy's brother Jamal (a promising track star in their small Texas town) is accused of killing a white girl at their high school.

*This is a gripping novel that you won't be able to look away from until the very final page.

** Also make sure to read the author's note for further information and links about criminal justice reform and police brutality.

ChinesaR_KCMO Aug 31, 2020

Kim Johnson’s debut novel could not have been published at a more perfect time. This Is My America is an intense exploration of the racial injustices that plague American society, especially in the justice system. The book covers a lot of ground, but Johnson does a skillful job by weaving storytelling, legal maneuvering, social justice, and history all together as one without feeling preachy or boring. This is a Black Lives Matter story that is reminiscent of Dear Martin and The Hate U Give, while being breathtakingly original and beautiful.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It was beautiful and captivating and emotional and perfect. This is definitely one of the best books I have read this year, no question. This novel is one that will make an impression on you from the first page and will stick with you forever. There is no review I could write that would give it proper justice, so I would implore you to find the book and read it yourself, the sooner the better!

b
brangwinn
Aug 09, 2020

This book turned into much more of a page-turner than I had expected. 17-year old Tracy is a powerhouse. She’s active on her high school newspaper staff. She teaches other Black people about their rights and what to do if they are pulled over by a cop. In the first half of the book Tracy is focused on freeing her dad from Death Row. But when her brother, a high school track star headed to Baylor University is charged with murdering his friend, a white girl, there’s a lot more about the Klan. Angela, the girl Jamal is charged with murdering has stumbled upon an ugly truth. This truth is probably what got her murdered and Tracy is determined to free both her father and brother. It is a timely book and should lead to lots of discussion of Black Lives Matter. It’s not preachy. Tracy is sort of a black Nancy Drew. The book also shows strong family relationships, the need to speak up when things are wrong and friendship.

LPL_MaryW Aug 05, 2020

I can’t believe this is Kim Johnson’s debut novel! It has easily cemented a spot in the social justice YA canon, alongside The Hate U Give, Monster, and co. Written with an expert hand, This Is My America follows Tracy Beaumont as she fights to get her innocent father off of death row, while also trying to keep her community safe from police violence by teaching Know Your Rights workshops. But she’s soon forced to divert her attention to a murder case in which her brother is the main suspect. A compelling story of injustice and resistance—with a bit of a love triangle—This Is My America is required reading.

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