This is My America

Winter 2020 Common Reading Selection: Focus on Learning


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This is My America cover
This is My America

Written by Kim Johnson

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?

Kimberly Johnson's debut novel explores racial injustice against innocent Black men who are criminally sentenced and the families left behind to pick up the pieces.


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About the Author

Kimberly Johnson grew up in Eugene. She developed an interest in social justice early on and got involved with the NAACP youth chapter. We are fortunate in the UO community to know Assistant Vice Provost Kimberly Johnson through her work in (UESS) overseeing the development of a cohesive and unified advising system campus wide in and as Director for the Center for Multicultural Academic Excellence (DEI). Kimberly will serve as the Interim Vice Provost in UESS starting February 15, 2021.

According to her author's website, she "held leadership positions in social justice organizations as a teen and in college. She’s now a college administrator who in her personal time continues involvement in service organizations and mentoring Black students. She is also the graduate advisor and member of an historically Black sorority [Alpha Kappa Alpha]. This Is My America is her debut novel and explores racial injustice against innocent Black men who are criminally sentenced and the families left behind to pick up the pieces. She holds degrees from the University of Oregon and the University of Maryland, College Park.

This is My America has received much praise: NPR’s Book Concierge Best Books of 2020; Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2020; Cosmopolitan Best YA Books of 2020; The 2021 Spirit of Texas; 2020 YALSA Nominee; July 2020 Amazon pick, Shortlist for the 2021 Pacific Northwest Book Award, and a Goodreads Choice Awards Semifinalist.