Cover Image: Come Home Safe

Come Home Safe

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

With so many stories like this happening around us. I see why the author wrote this novel. The book had me on edge sometimes but I love books that can get this out of me. The stories in this books are very realistic and give insight into parents who worry about their children when they go out into the world.

Was this review helpful?

Come Home Safe is a book that is much needed within our current society. It is real and heartbreaking but sadly right on track with what is going on in our country. As a white female in our society, I have never had to experience the "come home safe" talk with my parents. At least not in the way that those of a different race have and I recognize my privilege in this.

Come Home Safe is a book that is much needed within our current society. It is real and heartbreaking but sadly right on track with what is going on in our country. As a white female in our society, I have never had to experience the "come home safe" talk with my parents. At least not in the way that those of a different race have and I recognize my privilege in this.

Since they were little Olive and Reed have both had to understand the guidelines that would get them home without incident especially when involving the police. Reed even has a small index card that he carries with him at all times that was given to him by his father, a Black district attorney in NYC. That is the reality for them to be able to come home and not become another statistic. Or as is repeatedly brought up, another hash tag.

Both scenarios which Reed and Olive fight themselves in had me on the edge of my seat and my blood boiling. The author Brian Buckmire is a legal analyst and he does a fantastic job of bringing you into their world and the fights which they experience on a daily basis. This really is a "stop and make you think" type of book that is packed with important conversation pieces. The characters feel real as do the scenarios which they find themselves in.

There are no real apologies by the police when it is discovered that there was a mistake made by these accusations. They just go about their day not realizing the full impact which they have had on these children. Meanwhile Olive and Reed are the ones who have to process what happened to them and figure how to either put their anger into a more productive manner or simply move forward. Neither solution is as easy as it seems. I really enjoyed how the reader was brought into their thought processes and could feel their emotions.

I highly recommend Come Home Safe to all readers. It is a fast paced quick read but it really does hold a punch. So many thought provoking conversations can come from this book and honestly I hope that they do. It is important for all of us to gain an understanding of what others may be going through on a daily basis and perhaps work together to find a way to make it better. This book does not hold all the answers per say but, it does hold several lessons. *

Was this review helpful?

Come Home Safe will spark much needed conversation between younger readers and will make older readers realise nobody should ever have to say that to a child or anyone as they leave home for the day to go to school and work. It's a well plotted and cleverly nuanced read.

Was this review helpful?

Come Home Safe is such a powerful read for both teenagers and adults. It would be such a fantastic book to have in classrooms across the country to inspire conversations about race and social injustice.

Was this review helpful?

gave this book 4 stars because I feel it is very important in our society, whatever the country. The author wants to give keys to Black people as how to navigate a world where racism and police brutality are so prevalent. As a novel, it isn't a really captivating or groundbreaking but I still feel it is a read that every non-white person should have. White people too, of course, to really understand how pernacious racism is. I wish the book was better written and the dialogues were more realistic, especially for young teenagers, but it still gave a good idea of what can happen to any non white person in the public space.


Rep: Black people cast, mixed race kids
TW: police brutality, violence, gaslighting, racism

Was this review helpful?

This book was so timely and creates very important discussions around police brutality. I think this book could be very triggering for people and certainly make people uncomfortable but that's the beauty of this piece of work.

Was this review helpful?

14 year old Reed and his 12 year old sister Olive travel home from school together on the subway. Something as ordinary and everyday as this shouldn’t be a problem but when some black teenagers cause a problem and the police come looking for suspects, Reed is targeted simply for being black.

Reed’s dad is a lawyer so he’s taught his children about their rights. More importantly though, he’s taught them how to behave if questioned by the police in order to de-escalate the situation. Advice such as keeping your wallet in your front left pocket so officers don’t think you’re reaching for a weapon and explaining every move you’re making before you make it. As a white, British person, that this advice is needed, I found shocking.

The story is written as two novellas, the first centred around Reed, the second around Olive. In Olive’s story, racial bias is even more prevalent.

This is a great way to teach teenagers how to behave around the police. That this advice shouldn’t be needed is a different matter. I felt the book became a little preachy towards the end of Olive’s story, but it was still a great read which kept me hooked throughout.

I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

It was a very powerful but raw book, a little choppy at moments due to the lengthy explanations which did take away from the storyline. However at the same time it was very good that it was there, to give the insight. I'm very grateful to have been given the opportunity to read this arc.

Was this review helpful?

Thought provoking and powerful. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced copy of the book.

Was this review helpful?

This book was a very raw and real read. If you enjoyed the hate you give or even ace of spades this is the book for you! It was deep and covered heavy topics while still being an easy read.

Was this review helpful?

Fourteen-year-old Reed and twelve-year-old Olive’s dad taught them what to do during
encounters with police, but they didn’t think they would need to use his advice. The first half of
the book follows Reed’s encounter with the police. One day on the subway, the police stopped
Reed because he fit a suspect's description. He followed his father’s advice, but it wasn’t enough
because he was still put in handcuffs and couldn’t defend himself. The book's second part
follows Olive’s story of dealing with the police. A white woman accused her of stealing her
phone, and the police didn’t listen to her account of the situation. It was not until Reed and
Olive’s white mom showed up that the police listened to their story.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and liked how the author applied his law background and
included tips for dealing with the police, like always carrying a bright-colored wallet and
keeping it in your left pocket so that the police can quickly tell what it is. The plot is fast-paced,
and I finished the book in one sitting, which is unheard of because I get easily distracted and
bored.
The two siblings are brilliant and stick by each other no matter the situation; after Reed’s
experience, Olive read law textbooks to better understand the police and how to deal with them.
My siblings and I are like them because we would do anything for each other. It was
heartbreaking to read how they felt during and after the alarming situations. For example, the
police detained Reed because he did not narrate his actions when reaching for his soccer ball off
the subway seat.
This book is a must-read. I grew up thinking the police would do anything to help people,
regardless of skin color, but that is not the case. This book has relevant and needed themes in
today’s age. I would definitely read another book by Buckmire.

Was this review helpful?

Unfortunately, this book suffered from the purpose for which the author wrote it. He wanted to teach kids how to advocate for their rights, an absolutely admirable goal. However, to do so, he frequently interrupted the narrative to have the characters remember full length explanations from their public defender dad making the whole book read way more like a morality lesson than a story.

Was this review helpful?

“Dad, I just want to know how to not become a hashtag.”

Books like this really sadden me, but with today’s social climate I understand. This was a quick read, but not an easy one.

Was this review helpful?

The background to this book is fascinating, and it’s both informative and engaging. I’m grateful to NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read and review this, but deeply frustrated that it still seems so necessary.
No matter what happens, as a parent you want your child to come home safe. This is even more important (it seems) for parents of children of colour in the US who may be victims of profiling, or who may be subjected to unnecessary force simply because of someone else’s prejudices.
The story focuses on siblings Reed and Olivia. Their father is a lawyer who has had numerous conversations with them about how to interact with officers of the law in order to ensure they are treated appropriately. These kids know their rights and are well-versed in how to manage themselves. But when they are dealing with this in reality - when they are stopped on a subway because Reed fits the profile of some kids the police were looking for - fear takes over and they don’t remember every lesson.
From the moment they are stopped my heart sank. At fourteen and twelve they should not have to be remembering not to resist when the police are forcing them to the ground before handcuffing them. They should not have to be recording every moment of the interaction so that if they need the evidence later it is indisputable. They should not have to be victims of assault simply because someone assumes something because of their skin colour.
Sadly, this remains relevant. It is written in a way that has emotional impact while also educating readers. A book that really should be read.

Was this review helpful?

CW: Racism, Police Brutality, False Accusations

Summary:
Reed and Olive, two siblings that face racial encounters with the police and society when they least expect it. Reed is a freshman who loves soccer and cannot wait to get home and have his parents sign the permission slip for him to try out for the varsity team. Olive, Reed's younger sister attends a different school than him, but their parents tell them that all they want is for them to come home safe! On the way home, Reed is approached by a police officer and questioned because he "looks like" the suspect that the cops are looking for. As things escalate, Olive begins to film the encounter, to ensure that they have proof of what happened. Tension rises and the reader is taken through the events that unfold. The second part of the book follows Olive as she is falsely accused of stealing a white woman's phone.

Personal Opinion:
I found this book to be really powerful. While it did seem somewhat choppy shifting from part one to part two, I found the stories and scenarios to be really powerful. As a white woman, I HATE that these are things that Black Americans have to teach their children. I hate that they have to teach their children to keep their wallet in their front left pocket and to keep a bright colored wallet so that it is not mistaken for a weapon. This book hurt my heart to read because as far as I feel we have come as a country we still have so much, so much work to do. However, this book is definitely one that I would add to my middle school library as well as one that fans of books like The Hate U Give, This is My America, and Dear Martin would enjoy.

Was this review helpful?

Perfect for the sociopolitical climate we’re in. A must read. Explains the struggle of being black in America when that’s the most dangerous thing to be.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you @netgalley for this E-ARC in exchange for an honest review. This book was so good. If you loved “The hate you give” you will love this book! This book made me so mad while reading because the way black people are treated in this world isnt fair. Just because you have a different skin color than another person, it makes you the bad guy. I loved that Olive and Reeds dad told them what to do when approached by a police officer so they would be ready in any situation. Olive’s personality reminded me so much of me in this book. She understood how her dad wanted her to talk to police but also knew what was wrong and what wasnt and she always stood up for herself! That lady that accused her of stealing her phone; i wouldve did exactly what Olive did in that situation.

This book would be great for young adults. Having them read this book would introduce them to how black people are treated based off of the color of their skin. The author breaks it down and also said some laws in the book that I never even knew existed in some places! One part in the book that made me sad was when Reed told his dad that he just wanted to know how not to become a hashtag 🥺 That really hit me hard because the kids in this story and all other kids in the world have to worry about things like this instead of just being a kid! I hope one day all this color of skin nonsense wont matter anymore!

Was this review helpful?

Special thanks to the author, publisher, & netgalley for my advanced readers copy!!!

This book was so compelling and thought-provoking it literally had me on EDGE with emotions. Not gone lie it had me a little angry and my heart racing for a minute. But I loved how the author tried delivering his message and let it be known he doesn’t have the right answers but can give us the knowledge he’s learned. Kudos to Brian for this.

The book follows two siblings 12 year old Olive and her 14 year old brother Reed and their encounters with police, false accusations, unlawful interrogations, and discrimination. We’re taught that the police are here to protect and serve yet not much protecting was done in either situation.

The book is broken down into two parts. We see firsthand what Reed experienced when dealing with the police and the whole ordeal left him traumatized. Imagine being on the way home from school with your younger sibling only to be stopped by police then accused of something you didn’t do. I felt so bad for Reed because not only was he afraid but he was a child and they treated him as if they were dealing with an adult.

The 2nd part shows Olive in a similar situation yet she is falsely accused by a frantic woman. Rather than the police hearing both sides they took what the woman said and ran with it. In this particular instance they only saw color. Once it was revealed the woman was wrong the police chalked it up to being a misunderstanding. Little did they know Olive and Reed’s mother was present. They were biracial and there mother just so happened to be a white woman. Once she was present that changed the trajectory of the entire situation. Crazy right? Not really.

I can’t say a lot without basically giving the whole book away. But you guys it’s a MUST-READ if not for you definitely for your children or teens. The author did an amazing job with giving us two different scenarios involving the law and what could be done in either situation. His law expertise was immaculate and I think something we should take into account when dealing with police.

Once I finished the book I understood the reasoning behind the title “Come Home Safe”. Nobody should have to say those words to their children everyday. But when we live in a world that has grown even more dangerous by the day it’s necessary.

There was something Olive mentioned in the story that really stuck with me. “I walk differently to be safe, I dress differently to be safe. How much of myself do I have to give up to be safe?” I felt that on so many levels. How much do we have to give before we can feel safe in this world. What more can we do not to be deemed as a threat that results in police brutality?

I loved how each chapter’s header was a famous quote. I loved both of the MC’s especially Olive she was very smart and wise for her age. Overall this was a quick and easy read that definitely packed a powerful punch. I recommend this book 100%!!!!!

Was this review helpful?

Olive and Reed have been prepped by their dad on what they should do if they're stopped by a cop. however, they never thought the day would come. This novel explores two separate incidents (one for each sibling) where they are accused of crimes they didn't commit by the police.

I wish this book had been a more cohesive story. The two siblings stories felt separate instead of one joint narrative. I also think the epilogue felt a bit rushed. I wish it had been more of a chapter rather than just an epilogue to see how they were trying to push past this trauma.

I received my copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

This is a very important book, about two young Black children encountering racist police officers. Written by an author with a thorough grounding in the law, this is a textbook (no pun intended) example of what to do when faced with this extremely dangerous threat. As difficult as this was to read, it must have been even harder to write.

My only grouse is that the narrative style and voice didn’t feel authentic as a middle-grade novel.

(Review copy from NetGalley)

Was this review helpful?