This Is My America -- #blacklivesmatter Novel Review


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

After George Floyd's murder there was a cry from white people to find resources to educate themselves about how the Black people in our country are feeling. That cry seems to have calmed down but now is the time that it is even more important to step up and keep the movement moving. And please note I am not saying the rioting, violence and looting is appropriate. That to me is not part of the movement but some other organizations or sick individuals who want to cause trouble more than awareness. I have no problem with the protests as long as they remain peaceful. I also support our police but not the ones who have stepped beyond the boundaries so they think they have the power to kill or be violent to someone because of their skin color. That said today I am going to share a young adult novel with you that is eye-opening to me, a white person. Now I have gone through many diversity trainings and advised diversity clubs, so I have some experience and views into life as a different race but today's novel takes me farther and really helps me understand the life many of the Black people in America are facing today. I will be completely honest, I have not finished the novel. I was going to wait to review it until I finished it but I honestly just can't wait to tell you about it. It is that good and that powerful! I am just past half way through the book. The novel is This Is My America by Kim Johnson.
Tracy Beaumont has a rough life. Her father will be put to death in nine months for a crime he didn't commit. Her family is struggling to get by but needs to find money or a lawyer to represent him and try to get him out. She is a junior in high school. Her older brother is a senior and a track star. But then his varsity jacket is found laying over the dead body of a white girl so he is on the run. Now Tracy has to figure out how to save both her father and brother. Tracy has to depend on her friends. She has Tasha whose father just got out of jail. She has Quincy whose father was killed by the police and Quincy was shot when the police came to arrest his father for the same murder that Tracy's father is convicted of and then there is Dean. Dean is the white boy whose parents own the store where her mother works. Dean stepped up during her father's trial and after to support her. Both Dean and Quincy seem to like Tracy more than just a friend but both have other issues as well. 

This book deals with so many thoughts a Black person faces each day. There is the added pressure of dealing with her father's situation as well as her brother's. Then there is trying to stay calm for her younger sister. Plus Dean drops a white privilege bomb of at first suspecting that her brother actually committed the murder even though Dean is good friends with her brother as well. Dean is looking to Tracy to help him with his white guilt but she won't have any of that. 

As I read this book I feel Tracy's pain and confusion. It draws you in and is amazing writing. The story is very good and it is hard to put down. I would love to hear a Black person's opinion on this novel. As a white person I find it so interesting and saddening. I feel Tracy's pain as well as many of the Black characters that they face every day. I can see the struggles they have that I don't think about. It is powerful. I honestly feel that anyone who wants to learn about the differences between Black and white should read this novel. It will open discussion of race as well as give awareness of what it is like to be Black. It is recommended for ages 12+. I hope you will check it out.