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Trell
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From the co-author of Black Mass comes a gripping YA novel based on the true story of a teenage girl's murder — and a young father's false imprisonment for the crime.On a hot summer night in the...
From the co-author of Black Mass comes a gripping YA novel based on the true story of a teenage girl's murder — and a young father's false imprisonment for the crime.On a hot summer night in the...
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  • From the co-author of Black Mass comes a gripping YA novel based on the true story of a teenage girl's murder — and a young father's false imprisonment for the crime.

    On a hot summer night in the late 1980s, in the Boston neighborhood of Roxbury, a fourteen-year-old African-American girl was sitting on a mailbox talking with her friends when she became the innocent victim of gang-related gunfire. Amid public outcry, an immediate manhunt was on to catch the murderer, and a young African-American man was quickly apprehended, charged, and — wrongly — convicted of the crime. Dick Lehr, a former reporter for the Boston Globe's famous Spotlight Team who worked on this story three decades ago, brings the case to light once more with Trell, a page-turning novel about the daughter of the imprisoned man, who persuades a reporter and a lawyer to help her prove her father's innocence. What pieces of evidence might have been overlooked? Can they manage to get to the truth before a dangerous character from the neighborhood gets to them?

About the Author-

  • Dick Lehr is the author of Black Mass, a New York Times bestseller about mafia crime boss Whitey Bulger co-authored with Gerard O'Neill and made into a film starring Johnny Depp. His most recent book is The Birth of a Nation, which Booklist deemed in a starred review "a remarkable look at the power of mass media and the nascent civil rights movement at a pivotal time in American history." Dick Lehr is a former reporter for the Boston Globe and now teaches journalism at Boston University. He lives near Boston, Massachusetts.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    July 10, 2017
    In precise, economical prose, former reporter Lehr (Black Mass) recounts a suspenseful story inspired by a case he investigated in the 1980s. Fourteen-year-old Trell Taylor was just a baby when her father, Romero, was wrongly convicted of murdering a 13-year-old girl. Since then, things have been difficult for Trell and her mother, but two important adults—Nora, a rookie attorney, and Clemens, a seasoned reporter for the Boston Globe—believe that there’s a chance for Romero’s release if they can gather evidence that his trial was unfair. Trell is determined to help, but finding proof of her father’s innocence isn’t easy when witnesses have disappeared over the years or are reluctant to speak out. Set in Boston’s Roxbury district, the novel traces Trell’s quest to find information, an arduous and dangerous search that uncovers some harsh truths about her father’s criminal past and some disturbing facts about gang lords and police corruption. Without sugarcoating city violence, Lehr presents facts about the case in terms readers will understand while providing enough exciting discoveries and triumphs to offset Trell’s disappointments. Ages 12–up. Agent: Richard Abate, 3 Arts Entertainment.

  • School Library Journal

    July 1, 2017

    Gr 6-10-In 1990s Boston, 13-year-old Trell has spent every Sunday of her life traveling by bus to visit her father in prison. Though her father dealt drugs, he did not commit the murder for which he was convicted: in the late 1980s, a young girl was accidentally killed during a gang shooting. Only investigative journalism is able to cut through the layers of political expediency and police bias that led to the wrongful conviction. In the end, justice prevails, Trell's father is freed, and the real shooter is uncovered. Based on events involving the accidental shooting death of an African American girl, the crack-fueled gang culture of 1980s Boston, and the ensuing outrage, this book will resonate with today's teens. Trell is an appealingly gutsy heroine whose belief in her father is strong enough to drag an attorney and a down-on-his-luck journalist into her orbit. Ultimately, this title reads more like a middle grade novel than a teen one, with the heroine far more interested in her family relationships than in her friendships. Without hand-selling, this selection might get lost on YA shelves. VERDICT Younger YA readers will enjoy this fast-paced thriller.-Kristin Anderson, Columbus Metropolitan Library System, OH

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    July 15, 2017
    In a Boston swirling with racial tensions and public corruption, a story of false imprisonment based in fact, from a longtime investigative journalist.The case at hand: the murder of 13-year-old Ruby Graham, a casualty of gang warfare in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston. "I know he didn't do it," says Van Trell Taylor, Romero Taylor's 14-year-old daughter. She cherishes the connection she is able to maintain with her father, imprisoned when she was just a baby, despite the overwhelming constraints placed by the prison system and a local media incentivized to paint him as a monster. The family reaches out to Nora Walsh, a white woman from the projects and an upstart criminal defense lawyer with a growing reputation for toughness. They must scrutinize the details and fight against public opinion in order to free an innocent man. Lehr covered the inspiring true story behind this one as a journalist and brings to light many of the important details not only of the case, but of the public conversation that surrounded Boston at the time--and does to this day; this important dialogue is still ongoing. Yet the seemingly omniscient perspective of this veteran white male journalist squeezed through the voice of young, black Van Trell Taylor leaves readers questioning who's really telling the story here. This tale of the fallout from the war on drugs recognizes one family's resolve as it hammers home the failures of public policy and the court system to uphold justice for all. (Historical fiction. 12-16)

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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