This Is My America

Listening Library. 2020. 935p. $63. ISBN 9780593207949.
Gr 7 Up–For the past seven years, 17-year-old Tracy Beaumont has been writing weekly letters to Innocence X in the hopes that a lawyer there will take her father’s case to help free him from a wrongful murder conviction that put him on death row. He and another Black man were accused of killing a white couple. Tracy is willing to do anything to get Innocence X’s attention, even hijack her brother Jamal’s interview with the local news station about his track and field prowess. Not long after that, one of Tracy’s classmates on the school paper, a white girl, is murdered, and Jamal is accused of the crime. Remembering how their father was treated, Jamal goes on the run, and Tracy is torn between clearing him and working to free her father. Little does she know that both cases intersect, connecting through a long-buried history in the town that is starting to come to light. Narrator Bahni Turpin brings this story to life in her typically brilliant fashion through Tracy’s voice and those of the people in her life. Each character’s voice is unique and fits well with their personality and portrayal. This book provides a vivid look into what families face when Black men are wrongly accused of crimes and the deep history racial tensions can have in communities.
VERDICT The struggle Tracy and her family are facing is raw and real; it’s a story that needs to be heard. This audiobook brings a powerful depth to the emotions and events.

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