Tuesday, December 1, 2009

No Choirboy by Susan Kuklin

Until 2005, it was legal in the US for children under the age of eighteen to be sentenced to death for their crimes, keeping us in company with seven countries notorious for human rights abuses. Susan Kuklin traveled to maximum-security prisons, bringing us the stories of men sentenced to death as teenagers in their own words. Also included are the stories of the surviving family members of a young man executed prior to 2005, the surviving family members of a victim murdered by teens, and the lawyer who asks, “Are you the sum total of your worst acts?” Many students are drawn into the first-person narratives, allowing them to make connections with the world around them. This resource is ripe for a unit of study on capital punishment and/or juvenile justice.

Kuklin, Susan. No choirboy: Murder, violence, and teenagers on death row. New York: Henry Holt Company, 2000.

1 comment:

Claudio said...

Imprisoned until death or simply death? Which would you choose? No Choirboy made me wonder the price someone pays for making a big mistake, or making a very wrong decision. The thought that constantly popped into my head as I read this book was, is it better to be sentenced to live in jail for the rest of your life? or is it better to be simply put to death? Both which remove you from society. Although the death sentence for minors no longer exists I can't help but wonder if life in jail is not just another death sentence.

Good for class discussions and engaging students to express their opinions about our justice system.