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Just mercy : adapted for young adults : a true story of the fight for justice
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2018
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Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Stevenson brought the topic of mass incarceration to the forefront in his critically acclaimed, Carnegie Award–winning Just Mercy? (2014). In this adaptation for young people, Stevenson once again describes the difficult work he's faced as a lawyer and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, based in Mobile, Alabama. As he focuses on the case of Walter McMillian, a poor African American man wrongfully convicted of capital murder, he brings to light alarming racial and socioeconomic disparities in the criminal-justice system, particularly the overwhelming number of poor and black prisoners without adequate legal representation and on death row. The author also weaves in stories of mistreated prisoners with mental illness, female prisoners abused by male guards, and other atrocities. The stories that will resonate most with adolescent readers, however, are those of teens, even as young as 13 and 14, sentenced to life in prison in adult facilities. While calling out needs for prison reform, Stevenson asks readers to consider a just mercy for the prisoners mentioned in the book and those like them. A just mercy would see prisoners as human beings, taking into consideration their often trauma-filled backgrounds, realistic sentences for young teens, and rehabilitative services upon release, among other changes. Classrooms and book groups will find plenty to discuss and debate. Compassionate and compelling, Stevenson's narrative is also unforgettable. Grades 9-12. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 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.—Dorcas Hand, formerly at Annunciation Orthodox School, Houston

Copyright 2018 School Library Journal.

Author Biography

BRYAN STEVENSON is the Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative. Since graduating from Harvard Law School and the Harvard School of Government, he has secured relief for dozens of condemned prisoners, argued five times before the Supreme Court, and won national acclaim for his work challenging bias against the poor and people of color. He has won numerous awards, including the MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Grant. - (Random House, Inc.)

Annotations

Details the author's personal experience, challenges, and efforts as a lawyer and social advocate to find justice for America's most marginalized people. - (Baker & Taylor)

A young adult adaptation of the best-selling Just Mercy shares stories from the author's work as a lawyer and social advocate to reveal how racial and class biases in America are leading to false convictions and mass incarcerations. Simultaneous eBook. - (Baker & Taylor)

"Bryan Stevenson details from his personal experience his many challenges and efforts as a lawyer and social advocate, especially on behalf of America's most marginalized people"-- - (Baker & Taylor)

"In this young adult adaptation of the acclaimed bestselling Just Mercy, which the New York Times calls "as compelling as To Kill a Mockingbird, and in some ways more so," Bryan Stevenson delves deep into the broken U.S. justice system, detailing from his personal experience his many challenges and efforts as a lawyer and social advocate, especially on behalf of America's most rejected and marginalized people. In this very personal work--proceeds of which will go to charity--Bryan Stevenson recounts many and varied stories of his work as a lawyer in the U.S. criminal justice system on behalf of those in society who have experienced some type of discrimination and/or have been wrongly accused of a crime and who deserve a powerful advocate and due justiceunder the law. Through the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), an organization Stevenson founded as a young lawyer and for which he currently serves as Executive Director, this important work continues. EJI strives to end mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, working to protect basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society. Praise for Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption: "Important and compelling." --TRACY KIDDER, author of Mountains Beyond Mountains "Gripping. What hangs in the balance is nothing less than the soul of a great nation." --DESMOND TUTU, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate "An inspiring and powerful story." --JOHN GRISHAM, author of A Time to Kill"-- - (Baker & Taylor)

The young adult adaptation of the acclaimed, #1 New York Times bestseller Just Mercy--now a major motion picture starring Michael B. Jordan, Jaime Foxx, and Brie Larson and the subject of an HBO documentary feature!

In this very personal work--adapted from the original #1 bestseller, which the New York Times calls "as compelling as To Kill a Mockingbird, and in some ways more so"--acclaimed lawyer and social justice advocate Bryan Stevenson offers a glimpse into the lives of the wrongfully imprisoned and his efforts to fight for their freedom.

Stevenson's story is one of working to protect basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society--the poor, the wrongly convicted, and those whose lives have been marked by discrimination and marginalization. Through this adaptation, young people of today will find themselves called to action and compassion in the pursuit of justice.

A portion of the proceeds of this book will go to charity to help in Stevenson's important work to benefit the voiceless and the vulnerable as they attempt to navigate the broken U.S. justice system.

A KIRKUS REVIEWS BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
A BOOKLIST EDITORS' CHOICE
FEATURED ON CBS THIS MORNING
A NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR

PRAISE FOR JUST MERCY: A TRUE STORY OF THE FIGHT FOR JUSTICE:
"It's really exciting that young people are getting a version tailored for them." --Salon

"A deeply moving collage of true stories. . . . This is required reading." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Compassionate and compelling, Stevenson's narrative is also unforgettable." --Booklist, starred review

PRAISE FOR JUST MERCY: A STORY OF JUSTICE AND REDEMPTION:

"Gripping. . . . What hangs in the balance is nothing less than the soul of a great nation." --DESMOND TUTU, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

"Important and compelling." --Pulitzer Prize-winning author TRACY KIDDER

"Inspiring and powerful." --#1 New York Times bestselling author JOHN GRISHAM - (Random House, Inc.)

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