Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson | SLJ Review

redstarJACKSON, Tiffany D. Allegedly. 400p. ebook available. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Bks. Jan. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062422644.

YA-HS-SP-Jackson-AllegedlyGr 9 Up –Jackson delivers a requiem about systemic issues of injustice in this debut novel that portrays the juvenile justice system, meant to rehabilitate youth who have gone astray, and the social service system, which is intended to defend those whose rights have been infringed upon. Interwoven with case study excerpts, depositions, and inmate interviews, this gripping thriller centers on 16-year-old Mary Beth Addison, who was incarcerated for the alleged murder of a three-month-old infant. Not all of the clues point to then nine-year-old Mary’s guilt, though. Now Mary is in a group home with hopes of moving into the world and maybe even to college. But she’s been unable to get her birth certificate from her mother, and she needs the document to take her SATs. She’s also just learned that she’s pregnant, which threatens to turn her macabre existence into a permanent nightmare. Because Mary is underage and her 18-year-old boyfriend, Ted, is also in a group facility, their child will be put up for adoption after Mary gives birth, but Mary will go to any length to prevent that from happening. With remarkable skill, Jackson offers an unflinching portrayal of the raw social outcomes when youth are entrapped in a vicious cycle of nonparenting and are sent spiraling down the prison-for-profit pipeline. VERDICT This dark, suspenseful exploration of justice and perception raises important questions teens will want to discuss. An excellent selection for YA shelves.–Sabrina Carnesi, ­Crittenden Middle School, Newport News, VA

This review was published in the School Library Journal February 2017 issue.

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mad parent

I agree with above parent posts. I would question the morals of a school librarian that thinks this book is "an excellent selection for YA shelves". She needs to get fired. Don't want her in my middle school.

Posted : Apr 21, 2017 12:37

kelsey foligno

Use of words on virtually every page like c*nt, p*ssy, f*ck and nigga. Talks about getting fu**ed by her daddy and "cumming", fu**ed by her boyfriend every night, grandpa dick in the nursing home. Highly inappropriate for under 17 or 18 at best. Was found in our public library in youth section. There is nothing about this content in the jacket. My 14 yr old thought it was a mystery. Brought it to me after reading first few pages. It may be about a teen but it is not for a younger teen. Sadly I am not seeing much of this content in the reviews and I think it is important for parents to be aware of. Shocked this is considered YA material. Our public libraries (Plano, Texas) refuse to put a "mature" label on it. The librarian stated it is the director's position that this book is appropriate for ages 11 through 18 (acknowledging that 5th graders read the YA section)

Posted : Apr 18, 2017 10:22


I'm sorry, but I think it's crazy this book would be recommended for youth. While I have no issue with some of the issues the book looks at, teen pregnancy, murder, incarceration, etc., I was shocked by the language. If in movie form, this would be without question rated R. Usess the C word. Girl talking about F'ing her BF every night. Comment about sex with father. Comment about working in a nursing home and getting old D***. These are just a few examples of many. I mean, come on. I understand we can not hide our heads in the sand and our children should learn about and understand uncomfortable issues, but the language alone and the graphic discussions are simply not written for youth IMHO. Again, there is just no question this would be rated R if it were a movie using the language it does, so why is it ok for a 14 year old to read?

Posted : Apr 18, 2017 12:32



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