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In this illustrated children’s book, former U.S. attorney Preet Bharara introduces the important and complex concept of justice to young people. Each statement is accompanied by examples of historic events and justice seekers. For example, the book begins by showing Frederick Douglass conversing with Abraham Lincoln, and the statement reads like a narrator’s voice: “Justice is important. It takes hard work … and an open mind.”

Children will learn about the unique contributions of these historic justice seekers. For example, an illustration of Ida B. Wells, anti-lynching advocate and journalist, and a Black man in shackles, is accompanied by this sentence: “Justice asks questions, lots of them.” The book also teaches that justice can take a lot of time. A depiction of how an imprisoned young Nelson Mandela became a president with gray hair is paired with the statement, “Justice can be slow.”

Naming tragic events such as the Holocaust, the Trail of Tears, and the Tenement Slums, the author also laments, “Sometimes people worry that there is no Justice in the world.” This makes the theme of hope shine brighter: “Justice is always there—waiting for good people to find their voices.” This book evokes a strong sense of responsibility because “one clear voice can shine through the darkness and say, ‘This is not right!’” At last, the complex history of human injustice can hopefully lead to action by legislation, advocacy, and accountability. (Crown Books for Young Readers).


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