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Allegedly
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4 starred reviews!Orange Is the New Black meets Walter Dean Myer's Monster in this gritty, twisty, and haunting debut by Tiffany D. Jackson about a girl convicted of murder seeking the truth while...
4 starred reviews!Orange Is the New Black meets Walter Dean Myer's Monster in this gritty, twisty, and haunting debut by Tiffany D. Jackson about a girl convicted of murder seeking the truth while...
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  • 4 starred reviews!

    Orange Is the New Black meets Walter Dean Myer's Monster in this gritty, twisty, and haunting debut by Tiffany D. Jackson about a girl convicted of murder seeking the truth while surviving life in a group home.

    Mary B. Addison killed a baby.

    Allegedly. She didn't say much in that first interview with detectives, and the media filled in the only blanks that mattered: a white baby had died while under the care of a churchgoing black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public convicted Mary and the jury made it official. But did she do it?

    There wasn't a point to setting the record straight before, but now she's got Ted—and their unborn child—to think about. When the state threatens to take her baby, Mary's fate now lies in the hands of the one person she distrusts the most: her Momma. No one knows the real Momma. But does anyone know the real Mary?

About the Author-

  • Tiffany D. Jackson is the critically acclaimed author of Allegedly, Monday's Not Coming, and Let Me Hear a Rhyme. A Walter Dean Myers Honor Book and Coretta Scott King–John Steptoe New Talent Award winner, she received her bachelor of arts in film from Howard University, earned her master of arts in media studies from the New School, and has over a decade in TV and film experience. The Brooklyn native still resides in the borough she loves. You can visit her at www.writeinbk.com.


Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from November 14, 2016
    Mary Addison, a black 15-year-old from Brooklyn, has been locked up in “baby jail” for six years, after allegedly killing a three-month-old white child. Now living in a group home, Mary is bright, quiet, and well behaved, which makes her the target of the more aggressive girls in the home. Her one escape is volunteering at a nursing home and having secret assignations with Ted, a fellow volunteer also living in a group home. When Mary becomes pregnant and faces losing custody of the baby, she comes forward with a startling confession: she didn’t kill Alyssa. Threaded with media accounts of Alyssa’s killing and police interviews with the nine-year-old Mary, Jackson’s debut is reminiscent of the popular true crime podcasts Serial and Criminal: the characters are complex, the situation unsettling, and the line between right and wrong hopelessly blurred. It’s also intensely relevant, addressing race, age, and mental illness within the criminal justice system. Well conceived and executed, this is an absorbing and exceptional first novel. Ages 14–up. Agent: Natalie Lakosil, Bradford Literary.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from November 15, 2016
    With a black mother suffering from multiple mental conditions and a possibly white father who's "N/A"--at least according to her birth certificate--15-year-old Mary B. Addison finds herself navigating the prison-industrial complex alone for allegedly killing a 3-month-old white baby. She was placed in "baby jail" at 9 under a cloud of national notoriety spawned by her case. Now she endures unremitting bullying from the staff and the other girls at the all-female group home in Brooklyn, where she lives under house arrest; the attentions of the do-gooder white female writing coach who tries to give the young women hope through words yet "knows [their] future is grim"; and the bureaucratic obstacles to get a state ID simply to take the SAT. While in this gritty environment, Mary becomes pregnant by her boyfriend, Ted, an 18-year-old black man who is also confined in the labyrinth of the penal system but later must turn to "survival sex" to maintain his shelter. The author presents all of this as a matter of fact in Mary's voice, not sensationally or, worse, exploitatively. Because of this, her novel effectively joins Ava DuVernay's documentary 13th and Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow (2010) to become another indictment of the penal system's decimating power beyond its bars and, more subtly and refreshingly, a pro-reproductive-justice novel. Searing and true. (Fiction. 14 & up)

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from February 1, 2017

    Gr 9 Up-Jackson delivers a requiem about systemic issues of injustice in this debut novel that portrays the juvenile justice system, meant to rehabilitate youth who have gone astray, and the social service system, which is intended to defend those whose rights have been infringed upon. Interwoven with case study excerpts, depositions, and inmate interviews, this gripping thriller centers on 16-year-old Mary Beth Addison, who was incarcerated for the alleged murder of a three-month-old infant. Not all of the clues point to then nine-year-old Mary's guilt, though. Now Mary is in a group home with hopes of moving into the world and maybe even to college. But she's been unable to get her birth certificate from her mother, and she needs the document to take her SATs. She's also just learned that she's pregnant, which threatens to turn her macabre existence into a permanent nightmare. Because Mary is underage and her 18-year-old boyfriend, Ted, is also in a group facility, their child will be put up for adoption after Mary gives birth, but Mary will go to any length to prevent that from happening. With remarkable skill, Jackson offers an unflinching portrayal of the raw social outcomes when youth are entrapped in a vicious cycle of nonparenting and are sent spiraling down the prison-for-profit pipeline.

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from December 15, 2016
    Grades 9-12 *Starred Review* Mary B. Addison was nine when a jury quickly convicted her of a crime the public was already convinced she'd committed: the murder of Alyssa Richardson, a white infant that African American Mary and her mother were babysitting. Back then, Mary kept quiet about the incident. Now almost 16, she has spent the better part of her life under lock and key, first in baby jail and then in a group home. But Mary has a boyfriend now, and they're expecting a baby, and there's no way the state will let a convicted baby-killer keep her child. For the first time since her trial, Mary may actually have to speak about her childhood, her tumultuous relationship with her mother, and what happenedallegedlythat night. Interspersed with psychiatric evaluations and newspaper clippings, this slowly unfolds in two directions: elements of Mary's past are revealed even as the story rolls toward its unsettling conclusion. Suspenseful without being emotionally manipulative, compelling without resorting to shock value, this is a tightly spun debut that wrestles with many intense ideas and ends with a knife twist that will send readers racing back to the beginning again. Complicated family loyalties, the lasting effects of media sensationalism, and the privileges inherent with whiteness all come into play here, and Mary herself is a carefully crafted character, unreliable at times and sympathetic at others, who will not be forgotten.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2016, American Library Association.)

  • School Library Journal (starred review) ★ "With remarkable skill, Jackson offers an unflinching portrayal of the raw social outcomes when youth are entrapped in a vicious cycle of nonparenting and are sent spiraling down the prison-for-profit pipeline. This dark, suspenseful exploration of justice and perception raises important questions teens will want to discuss."
  • Kirkus Reviews (starred review) ★ "Searing and true. Effectively joins Ava DuVernay's documentary 13th and Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow (2010) to become another indictment of the penal system's decimating power beyond its bars and, more subtly and refreshingly, a pro-reproductive-justice novel."
  • Publishers Weekly (starred review) ★ "The characters are complex, the situation unsettling, and the line between right and wrong hopelessly blurred. It's also intensely relevant, addressing race, age, and mental illness within the criminal justice system. Well conceived and executed, this is an absorbing and exceptional first novel."
  • Booklist (starred review) ★ "Suspenseful without being emotionally manipulative, compelling without resorting to shock value, this is a tightly spun debut that wrestles with many intense ideas and ends with a knife twist that will send readers racing back to the beginning again."
  • Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books "Seen through Jackson's dark portrait of the legal system and the failures of parents and social workers, Mary's environments are as grim as the stories that play out in them; readers fascinated by procedural dramas will be thoroughly hooked."
  • Jason Reynolds, award-winning author of All American Boys and The Boy in the Black Suit "I have to admit, it's been a while since I've been this rattled by a story. Tiffany D. Jackson chips at the world, then cracks it, then shatters it into shards of discomfort and complexity for the reader to grapple with it. Allegedly, undoubtedly, will linger long after it's over."
  • Mindy McGinnis, Edgar Award-winning author of A Madness So Discreet "A well-executed, powerful journey into the claustrophobic life of a young girl trying to navigate what little is left after the world has judged her, and what she will do to escape it."
  • Daniel José Older, New York Times bestselling author of Shadowshaper "A riveting, gut-wrenching thriller and a stunning debut."
  • Justine Larbalestier, author of Liar and My Sister Rosa "Tiffany Jackson's timely and chilling debut will haunt you for a long time. An extraordinary new voice."

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