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Selected as a 2011 University Press Book for Public and Secondary School Libraries
•Rated O - Outstanding
A veteran teacher gives an “inside” view of the lives of juveniles sentenced as adults
David Chura taught high school in a New York county penitentiary for ten years—five days a week, seven hours a day. In these pages, he gives a face to a population regularly demonized and reduced to statistics by the mainstream media. Through language marked by both the grit of the street and the expansiveness of poetry, the stories of these young people break down the divisions we so easily erect between us and them, the keepers and the kept—and call into question the increasing practice of sentencing juveniles as adults.
“Riveting . . . An indictment of the system.”—Sam Roberts, New York Times
“As U.S. courts send more than 250,000 minors each year into adult prisons (according to a 2008 Juvenile Justice report), Chura’s anguished, incisive depiction of one of those outposts is . . . a compelling call to repair our society’s brokenness.”—Cathi Dunn MacRae, Youth Today
“In its many twists and turns, the book discovers in the prison labyrinth a metaphor of the confinements and refuges of the human spirit. In the face of every person he so carefully depicts, the author shows us a mirror.”—David Kaczynski, Times Union
“[Chura] recalls the raw, gritty emotions of young men with little education and few options. . . . A compelling personal look at the failings of the juvenile justice system.”—Booklist