Walter McMillian (age) has been convicted of murdering Ronda Morrison and now sits on death row. He is clearly innocent, and it is up to his lawyer Bryan Stevenson (author) to prove it. Bryan Stevenson gets McMillian’s sentence overturned. This case propelled Stevenson to take on other cases to defend teenagers as young as 13 and 14 who have been sentences to life in prison. This book details the true story of Stevenson’s work and shows what he has to do to persevere perseveres through today’s court system.
BTSYA / Teen Reader (14):
The book is amazing. Kids my age are being sentenced with life in prison, and mothers are charged with murder because their child died at birth. This book teaches people how unfair our court system is, showing how minors, blacks, and women are still treated unfairly in the court system.
The plot is very good, even though it is a true story. The book is a must-read, and because it is written by a real lawyer, anyone pursuing a career in law will find this a great book.
Although readers younger than 7th grade may know about child abuse, murder, rape, racism, the KKK, the Confederacy, and prejudice, the manner in which they are described in this book are complex. Also, though these are real-life events, some parts of the book are pretty dark. There are no profanity or explicit scenes.
This is an excellent choice for readers who want to learn more about the criminal justice system and how it works for and against "we the people."
This is a biography that also serves as a primer on the youth justice system.
The book and cases that Stevenson talks about are sure to spark interesting discussions about the criminal justice system. Nudge your readers to take that next step - what would they change and how would they change it? Push them to think critically, as well (i.e., play the devil's advocate role).
13 and Up
13 and Up
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer age: 14
Borrow. The cases will give readers insight into the social justice system, but it is a biography and there are other books out there.