Lies & Alibis: Conviction by Kelly Loy Gilbert

After seeing Jennie's review, I couldn't resist picking this one up. Conviction is one of the more unique realistic fictions I've read in a long time and I highly recommend it. 

Conviction is a story of testing fate, testing families, and testing the teenage experience. Braden is in the impossible situation of being the sole witness to a murder his father is accused of committing. In a small community like the Central Valley, word travels fast and people pick sides. The environment becomes difficult, especially when you're a teenager trying to make it through life with your main support source in jail. Braden is put into an impossible situation, with his faith rocked. 

This story spoke to me for a lot of reasons. First off, I grew up in the community the story takes place in. I then came back to work with children of incarcerated parents and those re-entering after serving time in jail or prison. The community is plagued by poverty and criminal justice intervention, and the support is minimal. So Braden's story, and that of his family's, is dear to me in a way that speaks to my professional passions. 

If you're looking for a story with heart, you've found it. The narration is great, too!


by Kelly Loy Gilbert
Published: May 19th, 2015
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: Overdrive (love my library!)

Ten years ago, God gave Braden a sign, a promise that his family wouldn’t fall apart the way he feared.

But Braden got it wrong: his older brother, Trey, has been estranged from the family for almost as long, and his father, the only parent Braden has ever known, has been accused of murder. The arrest of Braden’s father, a well-known Christian radio host, has sparked national media attention. His fate lies in his son’s hands; Braden is the key witness in the upcoming trial.

Braden has always measured himself through baseball. He is the star pitcher in his small town of Ornette, and his ninety-four-mile-per-hour pitch already has minor league scouts buzzing in his junior year. Now the rules of the sport that has always been Braden’s saving grace are blurred in ways he never realized, and the prospect of playing against Alex Reyes, the nephew of the police officer his father is accused of killing, is haunting his every pitch.

Braden faces an impossible choice, one that will define him for the rest of his life, in this brutally honest debut novel about family, faith, and the ultimate test of conviction.


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