Wednesday, the 13th of January, and time again for Shelf Control! Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and celebrates the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles/mountains. To participate, simply pick a book from your TBR pile, and write a post about it–what its about, what makes you want to read it, where and when you got it, and such. If you participate, don’t forget link back to Lisa’s page, and do also leave your links in the comments below as I’d love to check out your picks as well!

After starting off Shelf Control this year with a non-fiction title, this week I’m back to fiction. Today my pick is one of my more recent acquisitions, The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed. Published in 2020, this is another of the young adult titles that I first came across through Booktube. I picked up a paperback (ordered online), just this past December.

Set in 1992 in Los Angeles, the book tells the story of Ashley Bennett, a teenager living a more or less perfect life her parents have created for their family. They live in a big house in an affluent neighbourhood; Ashley is in her senior year, and her parents have kept her and her sister protected against racism, creating the model black family image. But all of this changes one day. After brutally beating a black man named Rodney King half to death, four officers of the LAPD are acquitted. Violent protests break out and LA burns. Suddenly Ashley finds that she is not just an ordinary girl, but one of the ‘black kids’. While Ashley tries to carry on with life as usual, she must face the world splintering around them, the prejudices of her friends that are now rising to the surface, and question with the rest of the city, who is the ‘us’ and the ‘them’?

This is of course a book that deals with issues of race, class and identity and I felt both from the subjects dealt with and the real-life incident around which it is set, this is an important book to read, and one that becomes even more relevant in the current scenario. I’m expecting this one to be as hard-hitting and powerful as Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give and On the Come Up, and want to pick this one up very soon.

Have you read this one? How did you find it? Looking forward to your thoughts!

Cover image from Goodreads as always; book info from Goodreads (here) and the blurb on my copy.

Find Lisa’s pick this week, a book I enjoyed my recent revisit of, The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie here.

3 thoughts on “Shelf Control #122: The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed

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