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Just Mercy (Adapted for Young Adults)
Cover of Just Mercy (Adapted for Young Adults)
Just Mercy (Adapted for Young Adults)
A True Story of the Fight for Justice
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In this young adult adaptation of the acclaimed bestseller 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...
In this young adult adaptation of the acclaimed bestseller 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...
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Description-

  • In this young adult adaptation of the acclaimed bestseller 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.
    AS SEEN ON CBS THIS MORNING!

    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 justice under 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 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:
    "Important and compelling." —Pulitzer Prize-winning author TRACY KIDDER
    "Gripping. . . . What hangs in the balance is nothing less than the soul of a great nation." —DESMOND TUTU, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
    "Inspiring and powerful." —#1 New York Times bestselling author JOHN GRISHAM

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    Chapter One

    Mockingbird Players

    T

    he temporary receptionist was an elegant African American woman wearing a dark, expensive business suit—a well-dressed exception to the usual crowd at the Southern Prisoners Defense Committee (SPDC) in Atlanta, where I had returned after graduation to work full time. On her first day, I'd rambled over to her in my regular uniform of jeans and sneakers and offered to answer any questions she might have to help her get acclimated. She looked at me coolly and waved me away after reminding me that she was, in fact, an experienced legal secretary. The next morning, when I arrived at work in another jeans and sneakers ensemble, she seemed startled, as if some strange vagrant had made a wrong turn into the office. She took a beat to compose herself, then summoned me over to confide that she was leaving in a week to work at a "real law office." I wished her luck. An hour later, she called my office to tell me that "Robert E. Lee" was on the phone. I smiled, pleased that I'd misjudged her; she clearly had a sense of humor.

    "That's really funny."

    "I'm not joking. That's what he said," she said, sounding bored, not playful. "Line two."

    I picked up the line.

    "Hello, this is Bryan Stevenson. May I help you?"

    "Bryan, this is Robert E. Lee Key. Why in the hell would you want to represent someone like Walter McMillian? Do you know he's reputed to be one of the biggest drug dealers in all of South Alabama? I got your notice entering an appearance, but you don't want anything to do with this case."

    "Sir?"

    "This is Judge Key, and you don't want to have anything to do with this McMillian case. No one really understands how depraved this situation truly is, including me, but I know it's ugly. These men might even be Dixie Mafia."

    The lecturing tone and bewildering phrases from a judge I'd never met left me completely confused. "Dixie Mafia"? I'd met Walter McMillian two weeks earlier, after spending a day on death row to begin work on five capital cases. I hadn't reviewed the trial transcript yet, but I did remember that the judge's last name was Key. No one had told me the Robert E. Lee part. I struggled for an image of "Dixie Mafia" that would fit Walter McMillian.

    " 'Dixie Mafia'?"

    "Yes, and there's no telling what else. Now, son, I'm just not going to appoint some out-of-state lawyer who's not a member of the Alabama bar to take on one of these death penalty cases, so you just go ahead and withdraw."

    "I'm a member of the Alabama bar."

    I lived in Atlanta, Georgia, but I had been admitted to the Alabama bar a year earlier after working on some cases in Alabama concerning jail and prison conditions.

    "Well, I'm now sitting in Mobile. I'm not up in Monroe­ville anymore. If we have a hearing on your motion, you're going to have to come all the way from Atlanta to Mobile. I'm not going to accommodate you no kind of way."

    "I understand, sir. I can come to Mobile, if necessary."

    "Well, I'm also not going to appoint you because I don't think he's indigent. He's reported to have money buried all over Monroe County."

    "Judge, I'm not seeking appointment. I've told Mr. McMillian that we would—" The dial tone interrupted my first affirmative statement of the phone call. I spent several minutes thinking we'd been accidentally disconnected before finally realizing that a judge had just hung up on me.

    I was in my late twenties and about to start my fourth...

About the Author-

  • 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.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    July 15, 2018
    "Each of us is more than the worst thing we've ever done," proclaims Stevenson's adaptation for younger audiences of his 2014 New York Times bestseller, a deeply moving collage of true stories dedicated to transforming the U.S. criminal justice system. The story begins in 1983, when 23-year-old Stevenson, a Harvard Law intern, found the moral resolve to join the pro bono defense team of a capital punishment case in Georgia. Throughout his journey, he highlights numerous cases that demonstrate unfair policies and practices throughout our criminal justice system. These examples form an incisive critique of mass incarceration resulting from state and federal policy changes in the late 20th century. He continues to lead the Alabama-headquartered Equal Justice Initiative, whose mission it is to protect basic human rights for the most vulnerable. Stevenson argues that, "The true measure of our character is how we treat the poor, the disfavored, the accused, the incarcerated, and the condemned." These important stories put a human face on statistics and trends and give us tested strategies to reverse the oppressive consequences of racial and economic injustice in our country. This inspiring book will ignite compassion in young readers and show connections between the history of slavery, Reconstruction, and the present day.This is required reading, embracing the ideals that "we all need mercy, we all need justice, and--perhaps--we all need some measure of unmerited grace." (notes, index) (Nonfiction. 12-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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    Random House Children's Books
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Just Mercy (Adapted for Young Adults)
Just Mercy (Adapted for Young Adults)
A True Story of the Fight for Justice
Bryan Stevenson
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