Publication date: July 1, 2014 by Amistad
Source: publisher via TLC Book Tours for an honest review
To save her son from a legal system bent on sending African American men to jail, a young mother agrees to an unprecedented, controversial defense offered up from a team of crack lawyers, in this debut novel that speaks to race, class, and justice in America.
Janae Williams, a never-missed-a-day-of-work single mother, has devoted her whole life to properly raising her son. From the time Malik could walk, Janae taught him that the best way to stay alive and out of trouble with the law was to cooperate. Terrified for his safety, she warned him to “raise your hands high, keep your mouth shut, and do whatever they say” if stopped by the police. But when a wave of murders hits Philadelphia and fifteen-year-old Malik is arrested, Janae’s terror is compounded by guilt and doubt: Would Malik be in jail if he had run?
Blocked at every turn from seeing her son, Janae is also unable to afford adequate legal representation. In steps the well-meaning Roger Whitford, a lawyer who wants to use Malik’s case to upend the entire criminal justice system. Janae simply wants her son free, but Roger, with the help of an ambitious private attorney, is determined to expose the system’s hostility toward black boys.
Offering a startling and unprecedented defense, the lawyers spark a national firestorm of debate over race, prison, and politics. As Janae battles to save her son, she begins to discover that she is also fighting for her own survival and that of the future of her community.
This book, Endangered, peaked my interest because of it's timely and important topic. I opened the book -- just to get a peek, since I was reading two other books at the time. I hadn't meant to be drawn in -- I just wanted to take a look at how it started. Well, the best laid plans and all that. . . I was hooked after the first page. The other books had to wait.
This is a compelling novel about a difficult and important problem. The novel tells the story of Malik, a young black boy who is arrested and charged with a murder that he didn't commit. His mother, Janae, is a young, single mom who has worked long and hard to provide for Malik and herself - and is just barely managing to do so. So, of course, she is unable to afford a lawyer and must use a public defender. This doesn't bode well for Malik. His story is so common, no one even seems to notice. . . until Roger Whitford steps in and makes an unexpected offer which could change Malik's and Janae's lives.
Endangered brings the very real problems of our legal system to light and examines many of the symptoms and causes of our social problems, particularly as they pertain to young black males.
I really enjoyed this book even though the subject matter is upsetting and unfair. I found myself completely immersed in the story. I found Janae to be a very sympathetic and dynamic character. Even though the love interest in the book may seem to distract from the main premise, I was happy to see Janae expand her horizons and start looking at her own well-being and happiness as well as her son's. I can happily recommend this book to anyone. In fact, I gave it to my daughter to read next.
Find out more about Jean at her website and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.
Jean’s Tour StopsTuesday, July 1st: Turn the Page
Wednesday, July 2nd: Chaotic Compendiums
Thursday, July 3rd: A Book Geek
Monday, July 7th: Joyfully Retired
Tuesday, July 8th: Literally Jen
Wednesday, July 9th: FictionZeal
Thursday, July 10th: Books on the Table
Monday, July 14th: Between the Covers
Tuesday, July 15th: A Tale of This Newlywed
Wednesday, July 16th: The Most Happy Reader
Thursday, July 17th: Veronica M.D.
Monday, July 21st: Priscilla and Her Books
Tuesday, July 22nd: Giraffe Days
Wednesday, July 23rd: The many thoughts of a reader
Thursday, July 24th: Queen of All She Reads
TBD: Back Porchervations