Christina Hammonds Reed

FRIDAY 56: The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed

The Friday 56 is a weekly feature hosted by Freda’s Voice. The aim is to share a few sentences of a book (whether it’s one you’re currently reading or not) so other people might be enticed to pick it up.

Here’s the rules:
– Turn to page 56 or 56% in your ebook
– Find any sentence – or a few, just don’t spoil it
– Post it
– Add the URL of your post to the Linky on Freda’s most recent post

“Sometimes my parents got mistaken for their own assistants, or people think they’ve stumbled into the wrong meetings, or their assistants think they know better than my parents do and it becomes a whole thing, even though both of them are amazing at what they do, or they wouldn’t have gotten to where they are to begin with.”

That was from page 56 of the paperback edition of The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed which I am currently reading.

Wildest Dreams Book Box: Amplifying Black Voices

September’s Wildest Dreams Book Box arrived last week. Wildest Dreams is a UK based YA monthly subscription box, it usually contains a contemporary YA book, some tea, and some other bits and pieces. I do think the Wildest Dreams Box is a more affordable option compared to other subscription boxes, especially if you’re more interested in the book rather than all the extra items. This month’s theme was Amplifying Black Voices. I don’t purchase book boxes that often but I liked the sound of this theme, especially as all the items included came from Black-owned businesses.

The tea this month smells amazing. I’m not a tea drinker but I love the smell of this tea (it’s apricot and peach black flavoured) and I keep finding myself sniffing it like a weirdo. It’s inspired by The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo and is made by Rosie Lea Tea. To accompany the tea there’s a cookie from M&H Cake company which was the perfect level of sweet. Also included in the box is a bookmark with a quote from Martin Luther King made by Amanthis Stationary and a notebook inspired by The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.

The book in this month’s box was one I hadn’t heard of before (but to be honest, I rarely have heard of the books I get in subscription boxes which is half the fun of it): The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed.

Set in Los Angeles in 1992, Ashley Bennett’s life is perfect. Living in a big house on the “right” side of town, her parents have worked hard to create a model Black family image and ensure Ashley and her sister are protected and safe. Then four LAPD officers are acquitted after bearing a Black man, Rodney King, half to death. Suddenly Ashley’s not just one of the girls. She’s one of the “Black kids”. As violent protests engulf the city, Ashley’s own world starts to burn; the prejudices of her friends rise to the surface and her family splinters and cracks. Suddenly Ashley questions; Who is the “Us” and who is the “Them”?

Rodney King and the LA Riots are people and events I am aware of but it’s not something that a know a lot about. On a purely superficial level I love the cover for The Black Kids. but I am looking forward to reading it as I think historical fiction based around real events is always interesting. Plus, while the catalyst for The Black Kids is a real person, it seems like the themes it’ll cover – racism, class, violence, finding your voice – are all similar to The Hate U Give which I loved.

I’m always really pleased with the Wildest Dreams box. I think they do a good job at picking out different books that while are usually all contemporary, they cover a range of themes and I don’t think I’ve yet to be disappointed by a book I’ve received in this subscription box.