Each Saturday like clockwork, Trell and her mother Shey head to Walpole to visit Trell’s father who is incarcerated for the murder of a young girl. He has no possibility of parole. He will live the rest of his life in prison. However, he says he didn’t do it and there were people who were with him at the time of the shooting. So why is he locked up in prison after being found guilty at a trial? Trell has grown up with the story of how her father didn’t do this horrible crime. But it seems hopeless because it can be so difficult to get a new trial.
Then Trell’s father hears about a young lawyer who might be willing to take a look at his case. Things start to
get moving after that point – or so Trell hopes. Yet each time they feel they are making steps in the right direction, something comes up to slow or stop everything. Finally, as a last ditch option, Trell’s family and the lawyer decide to try to get a reporter interested in the case. However, it has been almost 15 years since the murder and people who were involved at the time have moved on, or so it seems.
Trell by Dick Lehr is a fascinating look at a wrongful conviction and all the things that could happen to land an innocent person in prison. It is made even more powerful by the fact the author was a reporter involved in a similar case of a wrongfully accused and convicted man.
Highly recommended for 7th graders and up.