Book Review - This Is My America by Kim Johnson

Good Morning! Here's the Monday Morning Blog!


Did you have a relaxing 4th of July weekend with your family? Did you touch base with that teen or young adult in your life? Our young adults spent the weekend with friends and family up at the cabin. Jim and I spent the weekend working and getting things done around the house, but did get out for a picnic with family here in town.


This month's subject is America

My blog subject this month is America. We just celebrated the 4th of July which commemorates America gaining her independence from England by signing the Declaration of Independence in 1776.


When people came to America, it was supposed to be a gathering of many people with different backgrounds. A melting pot as it was referred to. Looking at what has been happening lately, we brought a lot of people together, but we chose not to treat everyone the same way. Because of this, there have been many protests, riots and deaths over people wanting to be heard and treated fairly. The book I chose to review this month, not only has America in the title, but also focuses on a Black American family and their battle with the justice system, because of their race.



Selma’s Book Review


Book Title

This Is My America


Author

Kim Johnson


Type of Book

Young Adult Novel


Author Background

Kim Johnson held leadership positions in social justice organizations as a teen. And is now a college administrator who maintains civic engagement throughout her community while mentoring Black student activists and leaders. This Is My America is her debut novel.


Summary of the book

The novel is the story about a teenage girl, Tracy Beaumont, and her fight to free her dad from death row. She has dug in and done her research about what needs to be done and knows some things about her dad's case. She writes a letter a week to get the attention of InnocenceX, a law firm who will take on cases like her dad's for people who can't afford a lawyer and have been falsely accused. As the story continues, her brother, Jamal, tumbles into a situation that also puts him in trouble with the law.


Reaction to the book

I really liked this book. The chracters are very relateable and the story is very engaging. The struggles that the Beaumonts had to face because of their race, opened my eyes wider to the racial issues that are at the front of our national discussions today. After reading a little bit about the author, Kim Johnson, I would guess that the main chacrater, Tracy Beaumont, is probably a lot like her. I would recommend this book for teen and young adult readers.


In the author's notes, this book seeks to expand the now very public conversation on police brutality that the Black Lives Matter movement made possible through activism. I belive this novel would be a good discussion starter with teens and young adults about not only about police brutality, but also about what happens when we treat people differently because of their race or culture.


Link to the author

If you want to learn more about Kim Johnson, here is a link to his website Kim Johnson


Link to the book

If you want to purchase This Is My America, here is a link to Amazon, This Is My America. Or you can pick it up from your local bookstore or shop Bookshop.org and have the purchase credited to them.


The Way Series

Looking for a couple of good teen summer reads? The Way Series has two novels which focus on teen challenges. Book one, The Hard Way, focuses on peer pressure and book two, Shawn's Way, focuses on bullying. Head over to the books tab on my website to pick up your copies today!



Have a great week!