The Sun Does Shine (Young Reader’s Edition): An Innocent Man, A Wrongful Conviction, and the Long Path to Justice

Feiwel & Friends. Jun. 2022. 288p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781250817365.
Gr 5 Up–In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton, a 29-year-old Black man, was arrested and incarcerated for nearly 30 years for murders he did not commit. While the criminal justice system made it nearly impossible for him to prove his innocence, he never lost hope that the truth would come to light. In this young reader’s edition, the critically acclaimed narrative becomes accessible to a new audience. This devastating and inspiring story invites readers to consider the racial injustice ingrained in the criminal justice system. Attorney Bryan Stevenson, director of the Equal Justice Initiative and author of Just Mercy, served as Hinton’s lawyer and provides the introduction to the text, reminding readers that everyone has the power to change the world while echoing the need to understand the unjust treatment of humans, in particular people of color. Hinton’s story begins with exploring his youth and promising future, which is taken away all too quickly with a case of mistaken identity and manipulated evidence. Throughout his ordeal, he remained a beacon of hope and represented quintessential human kindness, will, and perseverance. While adapted for a younger audience, the story does not shy away from harsh realities or speak down to readers. Legal proceedings are explained in a clear and non-patronizing way, while the events and dialogue are utterly engrossing.
VERDICT This is a must-have for any collection, and a necessary read to inspire the next generation to fight for social and racial justice.

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