Allegedly – book review

by Tiffany D. Jackson
Realistic Fiction
* * * * Stars (Great!)

Fifteen year old Mary Addison is in a halfway house after being released from “baby jail” where she’s been since she was convicted (at the age of nine) of killing a baby. Alyssa (the baby) was left in Mary’s mother’s care while her parents were out, and when neither Mary nor her mother could calm her (she wouldn’t stop crying), Mary “allegedly” took matters into her own hands and went way too far. The halfway house isn’t as bad as baby jail, but it’s not safe either. The other young women there have also committed crimes – many of them violent – and often inflict violence on their fellow housemates. The adult supervisors always seem to arrive AFTER it’s too late. Mary wants out. Mary wants to ace the SAT. Mary wants to go to college. Mary has a secret boyfriend. Mary is also pregnant by that secret boyfriend. Mary wants a better life for herself and her baby. Maybe they can all be a family. But there are so many obstacles. The major one being that no one is going to let her keep her baby because of her record. But did she really do it? Mary now wants to come clean about what actually happened that night, and she’s going to need a really good lawyer to help her make her dreams come true. This is a real page-turner with a lot of plot twists and shocking content. You’ll find yourself rooting for Mary, but also wondering what truly happened that fateful night. For high school teens.

Reviewed by YA Librarian

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