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...and justice for all

Rikers High

Paul Volponi


Young Adult

It started out as an innocent day for Martin, but it quickly turned into his worst nightmare – arrested for something he didn’t even mean to do. And five months later, he is still locked up in jail on Rikers Island. Just when things couldn’t get any rose, Martin gets caught in a fight between two prisoners, and his face is slashed. He’s scarred forever, but one good thing comes from the attack – Martin is transferred to a part of Rikers where inmates must attend high school. When he meets his caring and understanding teacher, will Martin open up and learn from his situation? Or will he be consumed by prison and getting revenge on his attackers?

About the Author

Paul Volponi is the award-winning author of 12 novels for young adults. He spent six years on New York City’s infamous Rikers island, the world's largest jail, teaching teens awaiting trial there to read and write. His novel Black and White, winner of the International Reading Association's Children's Book Award, explores the unbalanced scales of the criminal justice system. His novel, Rikers High, an American Library Association Quick Pick Top 10, takes the reader through the hallways and classrooms of the jail with very little fiction involved. Paul, who is the recipient of 11 ALA awards, believes the job of the author is to hold an accurate mirror up to the society and let the readers make their own judgments on what they see.

Paul Volponi

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