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This Is My America By Kim Johnson {Blog Tour Review}


Every week, seventeen-year-old Tracy Beaumont writes letters to Innocence X, asking the organization to help her father, an innocent Black man on death row. After seven years, Tracy is running out of time—her dad has only 267 days left. Then the unthinkable happens. The police arrive in the night, and Tracy’s older brother, Jamal, goes from being a bright, promising track star to a “thug” on the run, accused of killing a white girl. Determined to save her brother, Tracy investigates what really happened between Jamal and Angela down at the Pike. But will Tracy and her family survive the uncovering of the skeletons of their Texas town’s racist history that still haunt the present?

Fans of Nic Stone and Jason Reynolds won’t want to miss this provocative and gripping debut.


This book is going on my top ten list for this year, no questions asked. I wish I would have gotten copies for my two boys so that we could have read this together as a family. In fact, I will still buy them each their own copy so they can read it and we can discuss as a family.

The Beaumont family has already been displaced from New Orleans because of Hurricane Katrina and now they must deal with the horrid racism in Texas. No matter how hard Jamal has worked to become a star athlete and not be the poster child for the “child of a convict” campaign, all his hard work is thrown out the moment he is considered a suspect in a crime. His sister Tracy is already doing everything that she can to try to bring their father home from a death row sentence. He received this sentence for a crime he did not commit. Time is running down for him and now she has to prove that her brother is innocent.

Mrs. Johnson is able to convey this subject matter in a way that young adults can ingest without difficulty and a way that adults can ingest and also know how to convey to their own children. Even thru the heavy subject matter, Tracy is still portrayed as a regular teenager dealing with feelings of love and lust, your normal teenage stubbornness, and her friendships as well.

The way the story is written and progresses keeps you engaged. You don’t want to put the book down because you fear you may miss out on what will happen next. There are plenty of twists throughout the story that keep out on your toes.

One of my favorite moments in the story is when Tracy is holding one of her workshops and they are discussing how a black person should act when encountering the police. I loved this scene and it broke my heart at the same time because this scene is one black parents know all too well. I want to thank Mrs. Johnson for writing this story. I want to thank her for showing that the fight against racism isn’t just about police brutality. It is something that is fought at every aspect of life. It is even a battle against the people who don’t even realize or want to realize that they are racist. This is the book that needs to be added to school curriculums.


5 Stars


Available now in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook

I want to say a special thank you to Underlined for my free copy in exchange for an honest review and for having me along on this tour.

book review · books · Family

Educated by Tara Westover {Review}

This story is not about  Mormonism.

I have to admit that I do not usually read the Author’s Note, but that one line captivated me. Probably because I was thinking that it was going to be about the religion and the effects of it. It turned out that that line was completely correct. Even without the line, I don’t think that I would have considered Tara Westover’s family devoted Mormons.

This memoir is my first non fiction feature on my blog. Definitely something different from what I usually read and review. I welcomed this story with open arms. This was an unexpected arrival and I chose to not read the synopsis before diving into the story.

The story follows Tara who is a native of Idaho and a member of a family who is living off the grid.

Goodreads Blurb:

Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills bag.” In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father’s junkyard.

That is just a piece of what this book entails.

My review:

I don’t usually read physical copies of memoirs, but I am glad that I read this one. Sitting down with this book was like stepping into a world that I have only been involved with thru media such as movies or news articles. Tara’s family lived in the mountains of Idaho and were basically living in their own universe and not concerned with the “corrupted” world. Tara grew up experiencing life with a parent who probably suffered from a mental illness, a mother who seemed to be complacent, and a life with a sibling who is physically and mentally abusive.

Tara may have started life in that unusual environment but she was strong enough to desire a different style of life for herself, although it was not an easy task. Tara stepped foot in school at the age of 17 and it was not a high school classroom but a college classroom. By stepping into this life outside of her mountain life, she realizes that she has been sheltered from a world that has gone on and she knows nothing of it. I believe that Tara was like a sponge and absorbed all the information that she could. There were times that she was discouraged or felt that she was being a traitor to her family. Tara ended up risking her spot in her family and became the “black sheep” because she wanted a different life for herself. She wanted to discontinue the lifestyle that she was raised in.

I loved the language that the author used in her story. The story was well written and read like a novel instead of a memoir which I enjoyed. I definitely would not have believed that Tara didn’t start going to school until she was 17 years old and that most of what she learned had to be self taught.

I gave this novel 4.5 stars

I received this novel from Random House. I am was very pleased to give an honest review.

This book is set to be released February 20, 2018 from Random House.