The 100 Best YA Books of All Time
August 11, 2021 7:34 AM EDT

In this essential book for young readers, superstar YA author Jason Reynolds “remixes” Ibram X. Kendi’s National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. Kendi’s original book, which was published in 2016, chronicles history from circa 1400 to the present day. And while it serves as source material for Reynolds, whose adaptation doesn’t stray far from Kendi’s original premise, Reynolds lends the text the cool-kid flair he became known for in books like All American Boys and Long Way Down. Kendi’s original book sorted ideas regarding race into three categories: racist, assimilationist and anti-racist. But the adaptation recasts the categories for the younger set, calling racists “haters,” assimilationists “likers,” and anti-racists “lovers.” Through this lens, Reynolds traces the origins of anti-Black ideas and violence, and ties them back to the present day. From the outset, the text asserts that “this is not a history book”—and how could it be, when racism is still alive and well? The fresh, conversational tone belies the earnest subject matter, as well as the urgency of the authors’ mission to educate young readers about it. Published in March of 2020, Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You immediately became a go-to text for anyone working to educate themselves about the deep roots of racism. —Shay Maunz

Buy Now: Stamped on Bookshop | Amazon

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