YA legal thriller about civics and the US judicial system

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9 Responses to “YA legal thriller about civics and the US judicial system”

  1. OldBrownSquirrel says:

    “Gideon Wainwright” is quite possibly the most transparently symbolic protagonist name since “Hiro Protagonist.”

  2. Daemonworks says:

    The government really hates it when people know their rights.

  3. Jardine says:

    Did they just compare their partially-written book to To Kill A Mockingbird? That’s…ambitious. It sounds like an interesting concept, but still.

    • Joel Rothman says:

      We are ambitious, Jardine, but we absolutely not  suggesting our book will be a classic like TKAM.  We are just using Harper Lee’s book as an example of how  literature, especially at the middle school level, can be about more than just a great read.  It can teach important lessons too.   

  4. millie fink says:

    Great project! 

    I gather that Gideon is white, since as far as I can tell, you never identify his race? I hope your book deals with his relative privilege if he is white, in a criminal justice system that’s in effect white supremacist in its harshly disproportionate treatment of non-white suspects, especially young black men. 

    Aside from the laudable goal of educating about young readers about basic laws and the system, I hope you’ll also help them see its racist inequities. If Gideon is white, it’s not just that TKAM is about race, and yours is about justice; yours is about white justice, that is, relatively lighter treatment of white suspects and convicts. Race would still matter. 

    If Gideon is white, I hope you won’t encourage readers to ignore the significance of that status to how such a story for such a person is more likely to go. If you do that, the young people who might benefit most from your efforts (urban youth) could instead become alienated, because it’d be obvious that your implied audience is not so much them nor even young Americans in general, as it is the usual implied white reader.

    • Joel Rothman says:

      Millie, thank you for your kind words.  We are totally on the same wavelength! Let me answer your queries by suggesting a wonderful article in the Winter 2012 issue of the ALAN Quarterly entitled “From Awareness to Action” that suggests the use of YA literature to stimulate critical thinking about issues of social justice.  ALAN is the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents.  
      http://community.alan-ya.org/Home/  After reading the article, you might be able to guess what are plans are regarding race in the book.

      • millie fink says:

        Thanks, I think I can find that.

        Here’s hoping!

        I look forward to the finished book, and I hope BB does a follow-up post when it comes out.

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