All American Boys Book Summary, by Jason Reynolds, Brendan Kiely

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1-Page Summary of All American Boys

Overall Summary

It is Friday, and Rashad (the main character of the story) is at ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) practice. He doesn’t enjoy it but does it because his dad believes that joining the army is the best thing for a black American boy to do. His father was in the army, then police force before getting a job in an office. His brother Spoony works for UPS and lives with his girlfriend Berry in their own apartment. As soon as practice ends, he runs to change out of his green uniform into more casual clothes so he can go to Jill’s party tonight with friends English Jones, Shannon Pushcart and Carlos Greene who are also standing around talking about going to this party tonight

Carlos is a senior in high school. He tries out for the basketball team every year, but he never makes it. Carlos also enjoys being a graffiti artist and has been doing so since he was younger. Rashad hopes to hook up with Tiffany Watts at the party they are going to later that night because she is one of his favorite girls in his grade. Before heading off to the party, Rashad needs money from Spoony so that he can get something to eat before meeting up with Tiffany at her house after picking her up from work (she works as a waitress). To get some money, Rashad decides to stop by Jerry’s convenience store on his way home from school and buys some snacks there instead of getting them at home where his parents might see him and ask why he didn’t buy anything earlier when he went shopping with them earlier in the day. However, when Rashad goes into Jerry’s, someone accidentally bumps into him and knocks over their beer bottle; it smashes all over the floor. The clerk immediately accuses Rashad of trying to steal it while another security guard comes over as well accusing him of stealing other items such as chips or candy bars which were also knocked down during this incident. They proceed to physically attack him even though Katie claims that she bumped into him by accident because she wasn’t looking where she was going due to having lost track of time while talking on her cell phone about how much fun last weekend’s party was; however, no one believes her story despite evidence showing otherwise (the spilled bottles) because they assume that anyone who would be caught dead wearing gang colors like red would have stolen everything anyway.

The next chapter is narrated by Quinn, who has to drop his youngest brother Willy at the Cambis’ house. Quinn’s father was killed in Afghanistan, and he feels pressure to live up to that reputation. His mother works 12-hour night shifts at Uline Warehouse. He loves their neighborhood on the West Side but it is said to be “on the decline.” He has a crush on Jill, who is Guzzo’s cousin.

Quinn and his friends always get alcohol from Jerry’s. They ask people on the street to buy it for them, or they steal it from Jerry’s sometimes. Quinn sees Paul Guzzo beat up Rashad when he goes to get alcohol at Jerry’s. He runs back to tell Guzzo and Dwyer that they need to run before the police come.

Rashad is in the hospital because he was attacked. He has a broken nose and will have to appear in court for several misdemeanors. When his parents arrive, they are skeptical of Rashad’s story, but Spoony, who arrived at the same time as Rashad’s parents does not doubt his claim. Dr Barnes tells them that it is very possible that some internal bleeding may occur and advise him to stay in hospital for several days so they can monitor him if this happens.

Meanwhile, Quinn is distracted at Jill’s party and doesn’t talk to her. He has a bad night sleep afterwards as he drinks his mother’s bourbon. The next day, Ma discovers the flask and scolds him for drinking while she was away on vacation. She tells him to go watch Willy play soccer later that day, which he does obediently. Later that day, Guzzo texts Quinn inviting him over for a barbeque at his house the next day with some of their friends. After taking Willy out for pizza with Jill (who mentions being invited to this barbeque), they notice four guys fighting in line there and call the police when it gets violent enough that they have to break it up themselves. They then agree about something strange going on with this barbeque before heading home together after eating dinner at Mother’s restaurant where they ran into each other earlier in the evening without realizing it until just now by coincidence since neither had realized who was sitting across from them or even noticed anyone else around them besides each other during their conversation all evening long while both were engaged in an intriguing conversation about life issues like marriage, divorce, family problems etc..

All American Boys Book Summary, by Jason Reynolds, Brendan Kiely
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