No Choirboy takes readers inside America’s prisons and allows inmates sentenced to death as teenagers to speak for themselves. In their own voices—raw and uncensored—they talk about their lives in prison and share their thoughts and feelings about how they ended up there. Susan Kuklin also gets inside the system, exploring capital punishment itself and the intricacies and inequities of criminal justice in the United States.
This is a searing, unforgettable read, and one that could change the way we think about crime and punishment.
No Choirboy: Murder, Violence, and Teenagers on Death Row is a 2009 Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year.
August 12, 1993
Kevin Gardner was not home, even though it was way past his eleven-o’clock curfew. Kevin was a good kid, and it was unusual for him to stay out late without calling to let his parents know where he was. When he didn’t show up the next morning, his father called the police.
That same night a police officer had received a dispatch to meet some individuals at Cedar Lake. They had discovered a body. It was Kevin’s.
Before long, the focus of the investigation turned to Kevin’s friend Roy Burgess Jr. Like Kevin,
* “This powerful book should be explored and discussed in high schools all across our country.” —School Library Journal, starred review
“A searing and provocative account that will touch teens’ most fundamental beliefs and questions about violence, punishment, our legal and prison systems, and human rights.” —Booklist