Teen Volunteer Book Reviews!

Our teens are reading and writing up a storm! Check out the following reviews, and sign up for the next volunteer training to add your thoughts to the mix!

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

Reviewed by Adharsha

This book is unlike any other I have read. In Just Mercy, a powerful tale of the struggles that a passionate man must undergo simply to persuade the US court system to do its job and bring just and fair trials to those who have been sentenced unjustly, Bryan Stevenson reveals the darkest natures of our country and brings to light both how current and serious the problems of racism and prejudice are. Stevenson relates his experiences as a young lawyer and how these experiences develop as he progresses through his career; with numerous statistics and solid information supporting his claims, he brings forth both the victories and the failures of what he has set out to do, and therefore shows the reader that there is much more to do and much more than can be done to preserve the rights of every citizen of our country, black or white, and bring them sentences that are fair and just, based not on the color of their skin but on their age and how severe of a crime they have actually committed – along with whether they even committed a crime at all.

As I read this book, I was hooked, but I didn’t want it to end. Stevenson pushed me to the brink of tears but also inspired me to hope that this country still has a chance of changing for the better. With this myriad of emotions, combined with amazing, inspirational, and lovable people, and a story that is real to the core, Just Mercy is a wonder of literature and a must-read for both young-adults and adults.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Reviewed by Samrah

I recently read The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas! This book is about a teenager named Starr who is a very outgoing and independent girl, who doesn’t care what others think. After leaving a party, she experiences her friend Khalil getting shot by the police when he was completely innocent. Ever since that tragic incident, Starr starts to realize how much racism there really is and views her life differently. She encounters many remarks of racism and stereotypes. At first no one knows Starr was a victim and she is scared of letting her side of the story be heard. She later realizes that she needs to speak up and address the situation on behalf of her and especially Khalil.

I absolutely love this book, mainly because it relates to what is happening today. A couple months ago we all know there were riots due to racism. The characters in this book experience pretty much the same things. This book has been one of my favorites and I definitely recommend it if you are looking for a great book to read!