‘Come Home Safe’ – Brian G. Buckmire

The background to this book is fascinating, and it’s both informative and engaging. I’m grateful to NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read and review this, but deeply frustrated that it still seems so necessary.

No matter what happens, as a parent you want your child to come home safe. This is even more important (it seems) for parents of children of colour in the US who may be victims of profiling, or who may be subjected to unnecessary force simply because of someone else’s prejudices.

The story focuses on siblings Reed and Olivia. Their father is a lawyer who has had numerous conversations with them about how to interact with officers of the law in order to ensure they are treated appropriately. These kids know their rights and are well-versed in how to manage themselves. But when they are dealing with this in reality – when they are stopped on a subway because Reed fits the profile of some kids the police were looking for – fear takes over and they don’t remember every lesson. 

From the moment they are stopped my heart sank. At fourteen and twelve they should not have to be remembering not to resist when the police are forcing them to the ground before handcuffing them. They should not have to be recording every moment of the interaction so that if they need the evidence later it is indisputable. They should not have to be victims of assault simply because someone assumes something because of their skin colour. 

Sadly, this remains relevant. It is written in a way that has emotional impact while also educating readers. A book that really should be read.