A Gripping, Poignant, Heart-Aching and Brilliant Debut | Review: This Is My America by Kim Johnson

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This Is My America is destined for beloved status. This is the young adult contemporary you need to be reaching for this year. Toss everything aside to boost it up on your TBR. It's time. But. How can I begin to describe its beauty?


This Is My America
by Kim Johnson 

Dear Martin meets Just Mercy in this unflinching yet uplifting YA novel that explores the racist injustices in the American justice system.

Every week, seventeen-year-old Tracy Beaumont writes letters to Innocence X, asking the organization to help her father, an innocent Black man on death row. After seven years, Tracy is running out of time—her dad has only 267 days left. Then the unthinkable happens. The police arrive in the night, and Tracy’s older brother, Jamal, goes from being a bright, promising track star to a “thug” on the run, accused of killing a white girl. Determined to save her brother, Tracy investigates what really happened between Jamal and Angela down at the Pike. But will Tracy and her family survive the uncovering of the skeletons of their Texas town’s racist history that still haunt the present?

Fans of Nic Stone and Jason Reynolds won’t want to miss this provocative and gripping debut.
 

This Is My America by Kim Johnson
Rating: ★★★
As always, a copy of this book was provided by the author or publisher in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.    

Well, well, well. Kim Johnson really just threw her heart and soul into the category of best debuts of the year, didn't she? You can genuinely feel everything she poured into This Is My American within a few minutes of reading. All I can say is get ready to feel your own heart beating. The world will melt away as you become acquainted with This Is My America--but you'll still feel the thud, thud, thud in your chest.

Words are powerful. Kim Johnson's are the very definition of such power. My own voice can only explain, briefly, the beauty and importance behind the story told in This Is My America. And nod to how gripping, and timely, it really is.

This Is My America is the very sort of novel that will engage young, new readers into the world of literature. Moreover, it will serve as a light at the end of the tunnel saying, "You're home. You're here. You're represented. You're not alone." Johnson is the voice of representation they've been waiting for.

All comparisons to remarkable voices like Nic Stone are warranted--but Kim Johnson is, frankly, already in a league of her own and a voice readers will certainly flock to. This Is My America is deeply moving, honest, unforgettable and beautifully crafted.

And Kim Johnson's prose is what sleepless nights spent glued to the pages of a novel are made of: you can't simply walk away from This Is My America. Then again, why would you want to?

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