This article describes a unit implemented in a ninth-grade English classroom using the young adult novel, All American Boys (Reynolds & Keily, 2015) to explore issues of police brutality, privilege, and racism. Pedagogical activities are offered alongside a critical reflection of the unit as the author explores difficult moments while teaching. Implications for English educators and currently practicing ELA teachers are provided with suggestions on how to revise the unit to center on exploring the systematic oppression of people of color.

Author Biography

Arianna Banack

Arianna Banack is a doctoral candidate at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in the literacy studies program with a specialization in children’s and young adult literature. She is currently serving as one of the assistant editors of The ALAN Review. Her research interests focus on the connections between adolescent reading engagement and YAL. Prior to enrolling at UTK, Arianna was a ninth-grade English teacher in Connecticut. Arianna has been published in several peer-reviewed journals, including English Journal and The ALAN Review.

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