Come Home Safe

A Novel

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Pub Date 07 Feb 2023 | Archive Date 14 Feb 2023

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Dad, I just want to know how to not become a hashtag. In this gripping read, biracial siblings Reed and Olive hadn’t planned on navigating racial inequality or being roughed up by police on the subway, but as they face the truths and pains of being a person of color, they also lean into knowing their rights and fostering conversations about change and acceptance.

“In Come Home Safe, Brian Buckmire has crafted a story that looks the reality of police brutality in the eye and still manages to come away with hope. It is a powerful book about the necessity of ‘the talk’ and what it means to be a teenager in our times.”New York Times bestselling author and ABC News anchor Linsey Davis

On the subway ride home, Reed just wants to watch videos of his soccer idol, but reality crashes in when police officers question him about a suspect who matches his description. With tact and poise, Reed defends himself, but ultimately knows there is no easy way out of this conflict.

At a café, a woman accuses Olive of stealing her phone and demands to see it. Startled and indignant, Olive watches as the crowd forms and does nothing to help, even as the woman attempts to weaponize the police against her.

This read will keep you on the edge of your seat as each teen asks themself: What should I do? What can I do? What’s going to get me home safe?

Come Home Safe is perfect for:

  • Fans of contemporary fiction and true-to-life stories
  • Youth and middle graders interested in social justice, societal change, and navigating police brutality
  • Parents, teachers, and school librarians looking to start a conversation about politics, racism, or have “the talk” with their teens and middle schoolers
  • Anyone looking to better understand the sociopolitical climate in America today
  • Young adult readers of Angie Thomas, Nic Stone, Ibi Zoboi, and Jason Reynolds
  • Black, brown, or marginalized families who wish to open a conversation about how to live in a world that only sees the color of their skin


From ABC News legal analyst and NYC Legal Aid Society public defender Brian Buckmire, this compelling story draws from real-life advice, lessons, and conversations with attorneys, law enforcement, and the wrongfully accused to help turn the whispers and family discussions about racial inequality and mistreatment into wider conversations, healing, and one day … change.

Dad, I just want to know how to not become a hashtag. In this gripping read, biracial siblings Reed and Olive hadn’t planned on navigating racial inequality or being roughed up by police on the...

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ISBN 9780310142188
PRICE $17.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 22 members

Featured Reviews

If you liked The Hate U Give, this book is 100% for you! The book follows two young black teenagers who face the police in two separate stand offs where police brutality is at the full force. Racism, police politics and discrimination are the biggest themes throughout. In parts it was incredibly difficult to read but it is extremely important for everyone to read. It is a really quick read, with a YA writing style so it's easy and fast paced just with difficult topics. I would happily pick up more from this author in the future!

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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%!!!!!

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A good book to spark conversation around being an African American teenager in today's society. Knowing what to do when confronted by the police is a critical skill for our youth - this supplements 'the talk' that we as African American parents must share with our black and brown children

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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!

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Come Home Safe tells a story all too familiar to many kids and adults across America. Oliva and her older brother Reed have always been taught the rules of how to interact with police should the occasion ever arise. Their parents' main goal has always been to know your rights and simply come home safe. Their knowledge is put to the test in Brian Buckmire's in-your-face real life drama when they are approached on the subway and questioned for a crime they did not commit. What happens during this interaction will forever change their lives.

This book is powerful in all the right ways. It points out important perspectives and also points out some hard truths. I think some very important conversations can be had across all color lines and ages if a lot of people read this book. I think a lot of eyes will be opened if this book if widely read and spoken about!

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