How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon
This ripped from the headlines story details the shooting of the black, sixteen-year-old Tarik Johnson by a white man named Jack Franklin. The neighborhood is in an uproar, and even the eyewitness disagree about what they saw. When Franklin is released by the police about claiming self-defense, the community tries to make sense of what really happened, but the truth seems to get more distressing as new accounts of the event come to light.
Magoon discloses the story from varying perspectives: local teens and adults, police logs, a local bodega owner, 911 emergency response call log and more. Through the multiple points of view, readers are encouraged to draw their own conclusions about “How it went down.” This story echoes incidents going on across the country without pointing fingers of blame and striving to give real insight into racial relations in the country today. I commend Magoon for her good writing that makes readers feel that they are in the moment of the incident, while trying to show how urban violence can impact one young man and his community. I highly recommend this to all teens and fans of urban drama.