Rating: 4.5 / 5
THIS IS MY AMERICA follows Tracy, a teen with a big weight on her shoulders. Her father is in prison for a crime he did not commit and has only 9 months before his death sentence is carried out. She writes weekly letters to Innocence X, an organization that she hopes to have pick up her father’s case to help overturn his conviction. The case against her father was weak and circumstantial, but her pleas seem to be falling on deaf ears. When her older brother finds himself in a similar situation, accused of killing a white girl, history seems to be repeating itself.
I started this book early in the month, not sure how quickly I would be able to get through a book on such serious subjects, but I found it very easy to settle into in spite of the serious subject matter. Tracy was an impressive protagonist! Though she made some impetuous decisions which frustrated me at times, I did have to admire her persistence even as she seemed to be getting nowhere with her fight to help her father. She is still keeping hope alive even after seven years with her father on death row.
As Tracy is investigating first her father’s case and then the case against her brother, the author does a good job of slowly revealing new details to keep the reader hooked. This really kept me hooked to the book and needing to see what came next! The shoddy police work, the dangerous racists, the fear around being a suspect as a Black man… all of these sad realities came through strongly off the page.
This book did a fantastic job of portraying the problematic nature of our justice system and is a read that I would definitely recommend!