Review: How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon


Title: How It Went Down
Author: Kekla Magoon
Published: Oct. 21, 2014
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Pages: 326
Genre: YA
Review: Library Book
Buy Links: Amazon, 

A 2015 Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book
When sixteen-year-old Tariq Johnson dies from two gunshot wounds, his community is thrown into an uproar. Tariq was black. The shooter, Jack Franklin, is white.
In the aftermath of Tariq's death, everyone has something to say, but no two accounts of the events line up. Day by day, new twists further obscure the truth.
Tariq's friends, family, and community struggle to make sense of the tragedy, and to cope with the hole left behind when a life is cut short. In their own words, they grapple for a way to say with certainty: This is how it went down.
This title has Common Core connections.

I saw the title of this book on the shelf at the library and picked it up. I started reading a bit and got about two chapters in when I decided I needed to read it. I wanted to see what it was truly going to be about. Before I left I read the blurb and said yep this is what I want to read. 
Tariq is shot twice by a white man who literally came out of nowhere and shot him, though we are never really told why. Though-out the story we are told something via different people it seems that Tariq had a gun but yet did he really? One person thought he was stealing from the store but did he? 
So many questions but yet no real answers. There are some of Tariq's friends who will be affected more than others though it seems he has touched people's lives. The reason I gave it four stars is because I felt there was no closure but yet again I guess there is never any closure when it comes to shootings especially to those that are African Americans. I wanted to know why Jack shot Tariq I wanted to hear his piece on it, WHAT WAS YOUR REASONING!
I have to say this story reminded me a lot like Trayvon and what happened to him, and to me this was scary. 
One of the characters that I hoped he wouldn't go down the gang path that seems to play a huge part in Underhill was Ty. He seems way to smart and now with his friend gone he has to make it until he can leave school and go onto college but yet it seems the Kings want him and Tariq isn't there to help protect him from them. 
Now this story is told from many different p.o.v's and it is pretty easy to get confused if you are not paying attention. I can honestly say it was an eye opening book for me to see the injustice that was done. There was no closure for the family, friends or community, there was conflicting truths on if there was a gun or not a gun. It made me mad that people in the story made Tariq out to be a bad kid because of who he knew and what he wore, and the fact that he could have been holding a gun! When did that make it okay to just shoot someone, especially a kid!  This is a book that I would recommend to have in schools for kids to pick up in the library. 


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