Bound To Stay Bound

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 I am Alfonso Jones
 Author: Medina, Tony

 Publisher:  Tu Books (2017)

 Dewey: 741.5
 Classification: Nonfiction
 Physical Description: 167 p., ill., 23 cm

 BTSB No: 635037 ISBN: 9781620142639
 Ages: 12-18 Grades: 7-12

 Graphic novels
 Police shootings -- Fiction
 Death -- Fiction
 Ghosts -- Fiction
 Justice -- Fiction
 Black lives matter movement -- Fiction
 African Americans -- Fiction
 New York (N.Y.) -- Fiction

Price: $15.54

The ghost of fifteen-year-old Alfonso Jones travels in a New York subway car full of the living and the dead, watching his family and friends fight for justice after he is killed by an off-duty police officer while buying a suit in a Midtown department store.

 Illustrator: Robinson, Stacey
Jennings, John
Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: UG
   Reading Level: 4.20
   Points: 2.0   Quiz: 198184
Reading Counts Information:
   Interest Level: 9-12
   Reading Level: 4.70
   Points: 6.0   Quiz: 73056

Full Text Reviews:

Booklist - 09/15/2017 Alfonso—black teenager, gifted student, the son of a wrongfully imprisoned father—is shot dead by a police officer. His crime? Shopping for his first suit to celebrate his father’s release. Alfonso awakens on a purgatorial ghost subway. There “ancestors”—spirits of past victims of racial violence—guide him through his life, his parents’ lives, even the life of the officer who shot him, as well as showing him the consequences (and lack of consequences) that follow his death. Medina, likewise, guides readers through the world that contemporary African Americans live in, a world where justice does not seem to exist. Yet, he preserves a thoughtful perspective and a sense of balanced humanity through Alfonso’s loving family and his school cohort, and he staves off suffocating solemnity with a lyrical turn of phrase and insightful allusions to literary ghosts. The illustrators evoke honest emotion but allow figures to burst with an animated energy that offsets the high verbosity. Warning: there are no happy endings here. The book ends, but Alfonso’s purgatorial quest for justice does not. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 10/01/2017 Gr 9 Up—Alfonso Jones loves to play trumpet and is thinking of trying out for his class's hip hop—themed Hamlet. On a shopping trip with his crush Danetta, the African American teen, who is looking for his first suit to wear in celebration of his father's release from jail, is shot by a white off-duty cop who incorrectly assumes the suit hanger is a gun. The rest of the graphic novel jumps among Alfonso's past, the aftermath of the shooting, and his experience on a possibly never-ending train ride with other victims of police violence, including Amadou Diallo as his guide. Medina's juggling of the three threads isn't always graceful, but the variation of Robinson and Jennings's panels and design pushes the narrative forward. A teacher's dialogue with Alfonso's classmates is illuminating and realistic. The outrage and grief are palpable, and the black-and-white illustrations enforce the gut-punching pull of each character's journey. And as Alfonso meets the historical figures who preceded him, readers will understand the systemic racism that underlies these violent cases. VERDICT A brutally honest and bleak but necessary selection for all graphic novel collections.—Shelley M. Diaz, School Library Journal - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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