Published by Katherine Tegen Books
Summary: When Zoe gets a letter from her father on her 12th birthday, she is stunned. Marcus has been in prison all her life, and she has never had any contact with him. She begins to secretly correspond with him, and learns that he has written her many letters that she’s never received. When he tells her he didn’t commit the crime he’s imprisoned for, Zoe wonders if she can find the alibi witness from so many years ago who might be able to verify Marcus’s story. With the help of her friend Trevor and her grandmother, Zoe sets out to discover the truth about her family and learns that even a 12-year-old can make a difference in the world. 304 pages; grades 4-7.
Pros: Readers will be happy to get to know Zoe, an aspiring baker who hopes to win a spot on a Food Network show for kids. The messages about racism in the justice system come through but are woven into a story full of love and friendship that would be perfect for starting some interesting discussions.
Cons: I wished Zoe’s Froot Loops cupcake recipe had been included somewhere.