93 pages 3 hours read

Brendan Kiely, Jason Reynolds

All American Boys

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2015

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Chapters 9-12

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 9 Summary: “Quinn”

On Tuesday morning, Quinn arrives at school to find a huge neon-blue graffiti tag across the school’s front sidewalk that reads: “RASHAD IS ABSENT AGAIN TODAY” (165). The sight immediately causes “a ball of shredded nerves” to “unwind” in his stomach (166), and he only feels more uncomfortable when, at lunch, he realizes the black students are all sitting outside by the graffiti, while “the white half” (167) remains in the cafeteria.

At basketball practice, Quinn talks to English, saying that Guzzo is “pissed” about the graffiti (173). Quinn suggests that maybe Paul was just doing his job, and English counters, maintaining that “beating the shit out of somebody who hasn’t done a damn thing” (174) isn’t doing his job. As Quinn continues to come up with excuses for Paul, English finally says, “Shame on you, man” (175), and remarks that maybe Quinn wants to “forget all this,” but how English himself refuses to (175).

As English walks off, Quinn feels frustrated. He doesn’t agree with what Paul did, but he’s not sure about the graffiti, either. He thinks how he “could just walk away from it all like a ghost,” and as he reflects on this, he also asks himself, “What kind of a person did that make me, if I did?” (179).