All American Boys

Jessica Butler Character Analysis

Jessica is Rashad and Spoony’s mother. She is a kind, caring person who Rashad describes as a peacekeeper within the family, always trying to settle disputes between others and keep everyone happy. She is religious and perhaps a little conservative––Rashad is shocked to hear her use the word “asshole” to describe Paul Galluzzo. Although she is initially nervous about participating in the protest, in the end she does so with pride.

Jessica Butler Quotes in All American Boys

The All American Boys quotes below are all either spoken by Jessica Butler or refer to Jessica Butler. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Racism, Stereotyping, and Police Brutality Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Atheneum edition of All American Boys published in 2015.
5. Sunday: Rashad Quotes

Honestly, I just wanted to take it easy for the rest of the day. I didn’t want to hear Spoony preach about how hard it is to be black, or my father preach about how young people lack pride and integrity, making us easy targets. I didn't even want to think about the preacher preaching about how God is in control of it all, or my mother, my sweet, sweet mother caught in the middle of it all. The referee who blows the whistle but is way too nice to call foul on anyone. That’s her. She just wants me to be okay. That's it and that’s all. So if football was going to be the thing that took our minds off the mess for at least a few hours, then fine with me.

Page Number: 101
Explanation and Analysis:
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Jessica Butler Character Timeline in All American Boys

The timeline below shows where the character Jessica Butler appears in All American Boys. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
3. Saturday: Rashad
Racism, Stereotyping, and Police Brutality Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
Maturity, Discipline, and Responsibility Theme Icon
In the morning, Rashad wakes up to see his mother, Jessica, sitting at his bedside. He feels terrible, but is grateful to at least be alive.... (full context)
Racism, Stereotyping, and Police Brutality Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
Maturity, Discipline, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Jessica tells Spoony to calm down, but this only angers him further. He recites statistics about... (full context)
5. Sunday: Rashad
Racism, Stereotyping, and Police Brutality Theme Icon
American Culture, Values, and Patriotism Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
Maturity, Discipline, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Heroes vs. Villains Theme Icon
...is embarrassed and insists on turning the TV off, but he also understands Spoony’s reasoning. Jessica gives Rashad some belongings he requested from home: his duffel bag containing his ROTC uniform... (full context)
10. Tuesday: Rashad
Racism, Stereotyping, and Police Brutality Theme Icon
American Culture, Values, and Patriotism Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
Heroes vs. Villains Theme Icon
Jessica enters Rashad’s room, and says that David couldn’t make it, as he has an upset... (full context)
Racism, Stereotyping, and Police Brutality Theme Icon
American Culture, Values, and Patriotism Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
Maturity, Discipline, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Heroes vs. Villains Theme Icon
Later, Jessica and Rashad are watching Family Feud when Spoony and Berry arrive. Berry is in law... (full context)
Racism, Stereotyping, and Police Brutality Theme Icon
American Culture, Values, and Patriotism Theme Icon
...begin talking about the protest. English explains that Mr. Fisher is helping them plan it. Jessica remains hesitant. The boys share stories of times they’ve been treated with aggression and suspicion... (full context)
12. Wednesday: Rashad
Racism, Stereotyping, and Police Brutality Theme Icon
American Culture, Values, and Patriotism Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
Maturity, Discipline, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Heroes vs. Villains Theme Icon
...Spoony aren’t criminals, but David warns that he doesn’t know everything. David then explains that Jessica wants to press charges. As David goes to leave, Rashad says that he’s going to... (full context)
14. Thursday: Rashad
Racism, Stereotyping, and Police Brutality Theme Icon
On Wednesday evening, Jessica brought a lawyer, Maya Whitmeyer, to the hospital. Rashad was exhausted, but still managed to... (full context)
Racism, Stereotyping, and Police Brutality Theme Icon
American Culture, Values, and Patriotism Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
Maturity, Discipline, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Heroes vs. Villains Theme Icon
...as much as himself. Later that night, English, Shannon, Carlos, and Spoony come over, and Jessica orders Mother’s Pizza. The boys explain what has been happening at school in Rashad’s absence.... (full context)
Racism, Stereotyping, and Police Brutality Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
...it’s unimportant. English notes that the protest has spread far beyond Springfield Central High, and Jessica adds that Pastor Johnson will be coming with a group of people. Rashad wonders if... (full context)
16. Friday: Rashad
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
Maturity, Discipline, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Heroes vs. Villains Theme Icon
...Rashad was unable to sleep. In the morning, he feels nauseous and has diarrhea. When Jessica notices him clutching his stomach, she points out that he feels his nerves in his... (full context)
Racism, Stereotyping, and Police Brutality Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
Heroes vs. Villains Theme Icon
Rashad and Jessica watch the news, which shows images of the cops in paramilitary gear preparing for the... (full context)
Racism, Stereotyping, and Police Brutality Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
Maturity, Discipline, and Responsibility Theme Icon
...wearing all black. Rashad dresses in all black too, and goes down to meet Spoony, Jessica, and Berry in the kitchen. Before leaving, Rashad goes into the bathroom and peels the... (full context)
Racism, Stereotyping, and Police Brutality Theme Icon
American Culture, Values, and Patriotism Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
Maturity, Discipline, and Responsibility Theme Icon
Heroes vs. Villains Theme Icon
...Rashad suddenly sees David. Both he and Spoony are in shock, and grin in unison. Jessica begins to cry. David joins them, locking arms as they keep walking and chanting. The... (full context)