Cover Image: This Is My America

This Is My America

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Member Reviews

“This is My America” by Kim Johnson was a powerful, emotional, gripping story and I couldn’t put it down. Just absolutely phenomenal. Highly recommend!
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This Is My America is a heart-wrenching portrayal of the injustice of the US "justice system". Tracy Beaumont is just trying to get through high school and clear her father's name when her brother also gets caught up in a crime. This is a "pulled from the headlines" title addressing race, class, and gender in a way that makes it extremely accessible for teenagers (and adults too!). This is a perfect read for a book club or classroom setting where conversations can happen surrounding these issues.
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This is two mysteries in one as a teen strives to save first her father and then her brother from injustice. Written in first person, readers will both admire and be afraid for Tracy as she stands up and stands out in her community and at school. The mostly even-paced story speeds up during scenes of danger and then slows down for reflection and family moments. There are plenty of positive adults in the story, so she is supported, but respected for her convictions. There is a love triangle that will keep readers guessing, but it is solved in a believable way. A great standalone for teens and young adults. 

Thanks to Random House Books for Young Readers and NetGalley for the       e-galley. I listened to the released audiobook for this review.  My ratings and reviews are my own. 

Content Warnings: racism, murder (not on page), racially-motivated acts including posting a burning cross and an attack on a home, police brutality mentioned, scene with a gun
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This novel would be a great book for any high school to take on as a school-wide read. Johnson's debut novel is fast-paced with memorable characters. Tracey's been fighting for her father's freedom for seven years and as the window is starting to close, her brother is accused of murder. This book shines a light on the systemic racism that is tearing apart communities all over the country. A must-read.
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This is My America was simply incredible. If you enjoyed The Hate U Give and Dear Martin, then this book needs to be added to your TBR right away.

I am amazed at this being the debut novel from Kim Johnson. With the way the story unravels, I would have thought she was a seasoned writer with multiple books out. She does such a beautiful job at creating the characters and bringing them to life while designing a story that is complex and intricate. Johnson uses her characters to show that racism is still prevalent today, as well as how unfair the justice system is for Black men

I loved how Johnson created and included Innocence X, a fictionalized version of The Innocence Project, into the story. It really helped readers to learn about racial injustice within the justice system. 

This Is My America was so powerful and I think it should be required reading in high schools. It brushes some intense and emotional topics, but in doing so, it raises much needed awareness.
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This is an incredibly emotional, heartbreaking and realistic novel about the systematic racism that is deeply embedded in the US justice system. The novel shines a light on how quickly a bright Black student can become a wanted man accused of killing a white girl. The story also unearths the very recent racist history that is still remembered by the current townsfolk, sometimes we forget how recent historic events are. This is a very relevant novel with a heavy but necessary story, but also with a hopeful message.
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Absolutely essential reading for everyone. This isn't an easy book to read/listen to, but it should be required reading for those especially in the US. It's a stark look into the US judicial system and the systemic racism that runs through it all. 

Tracy's dad is on death row and she is working tirelessly on his appeal. After her white classmate is found murdered and her brother is being blamed, Tracy finds herself in the same spot she was in when her dad was falsely accused of murder.
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This book was soo good. No disrespect to any other authors but this is the social justice book people should be recommending. I love that this book tackled  the subject of kids with incarcerated parents and how it affects them. There are not to many books that handle this subject. And I like the juxtaposition of Tracy's situation with her dad in prison vs her friend's whose father has been released from prison. Overall this was a really good read that I have recommended to many.
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I found this one to be very powerful. I read it almost in one sitting. Tracy has been writing letters to Innocence X, a fictional version of something like the Equal Justice Initiative, hoping that they will take her father's case to exonerate him. Otherwise, he will die in 275 days. She's balancing the normal problems and microaggressions in Galveston, Texas, but when her brother is accused of the murder of a white classmate, Tracy springs into action to find out what really happened.

This book shows the little things that beat down on Black people every day, the fear that violence will happen because you stepped a little out of line. One of the more powerful lines for me states that a white person with a gun has more rights than a Black kid with Skittles, which is sadly true in America.
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This book was really good. It's important for young readers to see the rampant racism that is still happening today. For the black community, this book is an accurate depiction of issues they face everyday. For white readers, it is an eye opening look at what they might not be aware of since it doesn't directly affect them. It's an important topic in today's society so that we can finally start to address some issues and make real change. For far too long, these issues have been swept under the rug or ignored. The characters felt real and genuine. The mystery of who killed Angela kept the plot moving. The family dynamic was great. We need more books like this for teens!
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What a beautiful book! Tracy's journey to get her father's case appealed with really poignant and moving. This is the kind of book that should be required reading for students! It's timely and relevant to what today's youth go through. I love that the author talked about racial injustice so candidly. Overall, I'd recommend this as a good read and an interesting journey.
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This book was amazing! I loved the characters and this story so much! I was so invested the entire time and wondering how it was going to turn out for everyone involved. I feel like the issues brought up in this book are so important and I learned a lot. I really recommend this book to anyone as it is super fast paced and gets you so involved in the story so fast.
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This is My America is such a necessary read, especially in today's political climate. While systemic racism might be a tough subject to discuss with our youth, I do believe characters like Tracy and her family delve into the topic in such a colorful, realistic way. I will definitely be sharing with my teens as well as other teens in my life. 

Major thanks to Netgalley and Random House Books for Young Readers for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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This is My America by Kim Johnson: Whoa. Pick up this book if you haven't. It would be a great companion to Just Mercy or a look at racial law enforcement brutality as well as modern segregation in the south.
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Phenomenal story and one of my top reads in 2020. I wanted this to win the Morris award.
Racism, white supremacy , mass incarceration, police, kkk, family, secrets, and PERSISTENCE- just fantastically done. Great to pair with Just Mercy.
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A stellar debut from Kim Johnson.

Tracy Beaumont's father is in jail for a crime he didn't commit. Every week she writes letters to Innocent X organization asking for help with her father's case. Then her brother is accused of killing a popular white girl, and Tracy can see that history will repeat itself if she doesn't do something.

This Is My America tackles really serious topics of racial inequity in a fast-paced, thriller-like plot. It shines a light on huge social problems and is really hard to put down!
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"Four hundred years, and we still ain't American to them, T. All that blood. We built America. Black labor built the greatest nation in the world for free. They ripped us from our family then, and they do it again with laws disguised as change. I'll be be in prison doing that labor for free."

High school Junior Tracy Beaumont knows the accuracy of that statement far too well. Wrongly convicted of a crime he didn't commit, her father now faces death row. With nothing less than sheer determination, Tracy repeatedly writes to Innocence X requesting their legal support for her father's appeal. When a white student is found murdered and her brother is the police's only suspect, Tracy doesn't falter, staying steadfast in her quest for justice.

Prior to starting my review, I took a moment to glance through a few already written, particularly those by Black Americans. My review cannot do THIS IS MY AMERICA justice, and I implore you to seek out some of their thoughts if you haven't already done so. I will say that I'm reading this book a year after it was published, and unfortunately, it is no less relevant. Johnson's writing is impactful and eye-opening, and I appreciate the fact that it's appropriate for a younger crowd, rather than just older teens or adults. The stunning cover drew me in, but the powerful narrative will stay with me indefinitely.
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An eye opening look into the justice system of the U.S. and how it so often fails minorities, especially black men. This story is about a family torn apart trying to fight for their loved one’s innocence as his countdown on death row grows closer each day.
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An extremely important novel for current America. I loved this book so much that I bought a copy for my classroom.
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Ugh I wish this book wasn't so closely relevant still in 2021. Very powerful book that conveys all to well the horrors many Black people have endured.
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