This Is My America

Random. Jul. 2020. 416p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593118764.
Gr 9 Up–Desperate to raise awareness for her father’s wrongful conviction case, Tracy Beaumont, 17, hijacks her track-star brother Jamal’s TV interview. With less than a year until their father is executed for a crime he didn’t commit, Tracy hopes the interview will gain the attention of Innocence X, an organization that helps overturn convictions. But the move puts her at odds with Jamal and their school newspaper’s editor, Angela. Before Tracy can make things right, Angela is murdered and Jamal is the number one suspect. Now this likable, dogged narrator has two battle fronts and is passionately seeking justice. The story hits the ground running with the TV interview but loses momentum as it moves into introducing the rest of the characters and setting. The awkward pacing is most notable at the beginning, but persists with several stops and starts throughout the story. Despite the pacing issues, there is excitement aplenty, with skeletons in closets, a love triangle, dynamic secondary characters, and a seamless blend of realistic fiction and murder mystery.
VERDICT The emotional descriptions are a bit perfunctory and consequently some of the events don’t land with the expected emotional weight, but overall this is a strong debut. Will appeal to readers of Angie Thomas and fans of criminal justice podcasts like Serial and In the Dark.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing