Real, Brave, and Raw: How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon | Book Review

“I have to make peace, somehow, with my place in all of this. Peach Street is still my home; I can’t keep thinking of it as a war zone, or a protest platform, or a deathbed. Put one foot in front of the other, go to work. Read the news, sprinkle liberally with salt. Ring up. Make change. Smile. Chitchat.”

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How It Went Down

Author: Kekla Magoon

Genre: Young Adult > Contemporary > Realistic Fiction

Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.

Published: October 21st 2014 

Format Read: Audiobook

Part of a Series: Yes, first.

POV: Multiple with Full Cast Audio

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I listened to an audiobook copy of this book via Scribd.

Get 60 Days Free Access To Scribd Using This Link! 

Full disclosure: If you click the link above & decide to sign up, I’ll get a month’s worth of subscription for free. This is such a great help for a struggling reader/blogger like me. Thanks!

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Book Blurb

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.

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.

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.

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About The Author

Website | Twitter | Goodreads

(c) Goodreads

Kekla Magoon is an American author, best known for her NAACP Image Award-nominated young adult novel The Rock and the River, How It Went Down, The Season of Styx Malone, and X. Her works also include middle grade novels, short stories, and historical, socio-political, and economy-related non-fiction.

Relevant Today & Every Day

I picked this book up in early May 2020, but the message, a few months after remains the same. Black Lives Matter and their voices need to be heard. Even while I’m on the other side of the world, I am eager to show my support to the Black community & learn more about them. I want to listen to their stories and use this platform to help people become better.

This book was, admittedly, a random pick from my Scribd list. I was looking for more audiobooks to listen to and it was a very good thing to stumble upon this one. My priority only was to get an audiobook with a full cast but this book blew me away.

All Sides of the Story, Except for the Most Important One

Content Warnings: Murder. Gun use. Racism.

How It Went Down is the story of the murder of Tariq Johnson. He was a black kid shot by a white man. This story is told in the eyes of the community through multiple accounts of those who witnessed the crime. For some people, Tariq was part of a gang and that he robbed a store. But there are also people who say otherwise.

This book was told in 15 to 17 points of view. We have that huge number of characters talking about how the perceive the event and their judgment of Tariq’s character. It can be overwhelming at an audiobook set-up, but this book captivated me and demanded my full attention.

From the teenagers, to the ladies, to the boy’s own family, and to random lurkers in the neighborhood, the reader gets to see how prejudice can cloud the mind and how that alone can change the way a case or an investigation would go.

We Need MORE Black Stories

This book represents all the other Black stories that the media keeps buried underground and the world deserves to know about. I loved how this book was brave enough to discuss everything about it. Not just on racism, this book even shows how your own people can look down on you and leave you to drown in times of trouble. Real, brave, and raw – this book is absolutely heartbreaking.

Final Thoughts: Required Reading Material

This book is the perfect required reading material. You may say that this book needs to be censored for YA readers to read, well, you’re wrong. They get it in all media they consume, and censoring won’t get you anywhere. Books like this deserved to be read – yes, even by young adults, and especially the privileged ones that are too sheltered to give a damn.

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My Book Rating Breakdown

 Blurb: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Characters:⭐⭐⭐
 Writing Style:⭐⭐⭐
 Character Development:⭐⭐⭐☆
 Thrill & Suspense ⭐⭐⭐
 Pacing: ⭐⭐⭐☆
 Ending: ⭐⭐☆
 Unputdownability: ⭐⭐⭐
 Book Cover:
⭐⭐⭐⭐

Final Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ | 4.44/5

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yna

♡ , Yna the Mood Reader

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