A girl walks home from school. She's tall for her age. She's wearing her winter coat. Her headphones are in. She's hurrying. She never makes it home.In the aftermath, while law enforcement tries to justify the response, one fact remains: a police officer has shot and killed an unarmed thirteen-year-old girl. The community is thrown into upheaval, leading to unrest, a growing movement to protest the senseless taking of black lives, and the arrival of white supremacist counter demonstrators.Told in a series of vignettes from multiple viewpoints, Light It Up is a powerful, layered story about injustice and strength perfect for fans of Jason Reynolds and Angie Thomas--as well as an incredible follow-up to the highly acclaimed 2014 novel How It Went Down.
"Magoon's latest novel houses an unapologetic, poignant narrative that forces readers to come face-to-face with the harsh realities of racial violence and racial profiling in America. Shae is a 13-year-old Black girl who leaves school one day and never makes it home. Rather, she is shot and killed by a police officer for doing nothing more than wearing headphones and simply existing, her body left lying in the street for hours. Her senseless death rocks her community and affects the lives of many around her. Following Shae's murder, unrest mounts in her community, and protesters bearing the message that Black Lives Matter clash with white-supremacist demonstrators. This tragic, timely story unfurls in vignettes told from various perspectives of those closest to Shae and her death, including an officer on the scene, Shae's friends, and her sister. Each voice tells of the personal impact wrought by Shae's death, while giving readers a gut-wrenching, viscerally true portrait of the light, hope, and promise that are snuffed out whenever another young Black life is taken by police violence. A powerful story of community bonds, injustice, and finding the strength to fight for what is right, this is less an echo of our times than a clarion call for action.--Enishia Davenport Copyright 2010 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"Coretta Scott King Honoree Magoon's stand-alone follow-up to How It Went Down catches up with the residents of the Underhill neighborhood after another incident: a white police officer shoots a 13-year-old black girl, Shae Tatum, in the back as she is heading home. Multiple points of view follow the killing's aftermath through the eyes of Shae's devastated friends and family, the daughter of the officer who shot the girl, the shooting's sole witness, the residents left grieving in the aftermath, and the black man whose PR job burdens him with ensuring the police department comes through the incident unscathed. When the grand jury verdict comes back, the residents of Underhill pull together, emerging stronger and more determined than ever. Not for the faint of heart, this fearless and realistic account of a police shooting challenges readers to think about these all-too-common events from every perspective. The novel doesn't shy away from the ugly and foundational role racism plays in American life, policing, and media coverage, nor does it neglect to examine black America's strength in the face of adversity. Like How It Went Down, this gritty, emotional tale will leave readers gutted and compelled to stand against flawed systems. Ages 14--up. Agent: Ginger Knowlton, Curtis Brown Ltd. (Oct.)"
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