by Feldman, Ellen

When nine black youths are falsely accused of sexual assault and other crimes in 1931 Alabama, a young journalist struggles to save them from being sentenced to death, an effort that is complicated by the shifting testimony of a key witness and the journalist's own past demons.

Feldman, author of Lucy (2003) and The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank (2005), has a talent for reimagining history. In Scottsboro, she reworks one of the most notorious court cases of the twentieth century into a page-turner with a plausible fictional twist. Two distinctly different women frame the heart of the story of the nine young black men accused of raping two white women on a freight train in 1931 Alabama. Recounting this travesty of justice through the eyes of ambitious journalist Alice Whittier and Ruby Bates, the alleged victim who later recants her accusations, Feldman methodically draws the reader deep into the emotional territory of the Jim Crow South. The outsider-insider points of view provide a new fictional perspective on a shameful episode in American legal and racial history. Copyright 2008 Booklist Reviews.

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