Just Mercy: A True Story of the Fight for Justice

288p. Delacorte. Sept. 2018. Tr $21.99. ISBN 9780525580041.
RedReviewStarGr 7 Up—Adapted from the author's acclaimed book for adults, this title offers students awareness of and insights into the prosecution, conviction, and imprisonment practices of our federal and state governments over the last many decades. The author founded, and continues to work as a lawyer for, the Equal Justice Initiative which is located in Alabama but works across the United States to redress many injustices against people and youth of color who were tried for crimes they may not have committed. A sort of memoir, Stevenson follows a few specific cases while providing an overview of the big picture of how the judicial system has ignored basic civil rights when the accused are people of color and/or are poor. Readers will have their eyes opened to real cases and can then decide for themselves their opinion of the justice system. While some of the stories are upsetting, there is no overt violence included.
VERDICT Every high school should purchase the book; many middle schools will also want it.

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