Book Review: How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon


Book:  How It Went Down

Author:  Kekla Magoon

Rating: 5/ 5 , So reflective of life for so many people

Goodreads Summary:

“When sixteen-year-old Tariq Johnson dies from two gunshot wounds, his community is thrown into an uproar. Tariq was black. The shooter, Jack Franklin, is white.

In the aftermath of Tariq’s death, everyone has something to say, but no two accounts of the events line up. Day by day, new twists further obscure the truth.
Tariq’s friends, family, and community struggle to make sense of the tragedy, and to cope with the hole left behind when a life is cut short. In their own words, they grapple for a way to say with certainty: This is how it went down.”

Quotes I liked from the book…I have more but these are only a few:

“I see something powerful in her eyes, powerful, but contained. Even her wildest dreams are limited.”

“Maybe my whole life has been spent pissing into the ocean, trying to turn it yellow.”

“It’s natural, in the end, to get nostalgic about the beginning. Isn’t it?”

“The spilled milk seems wronger than the blood, somehow. I keep thinking that.”


My thoughts:

This story is told through many vantage points, from the onlookers, the family (including the learning disabled young sister of the victim), the perpetrator, the journalist, and so many more.  It shows how A shot can send ripples in areas that aren’t given much thought too. I really enjoyed this read.  However, just viewing the cover, makes me sigh from a heaviness that words can’t possibly contain, only bring the reader closer to understanding.

Life isn’t always easy with a fairy tale ending.
What stories are we writing?  We are the author of our own lives, but there are times when other’s write on our page.

Our vantage point can make a story truth for us, but a falsehood for someone else.
This book reinforces the darkness, and sunshine associated with decisions, actions, perspectives, intentions, and expectations.

And when you finish “reading” life, the problem isn’t always solved according to your expectations.

What effect do you have on those around you? Ripple Ripple. Food for thought.

6 thoughts on “Book Review: How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon

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