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Justice Is...: A Guide for Young Truth Seekers

Justice Is...: A Guide for Young Truth Seekers

by Preet Bharara

Unabridged — 8 minutes

Preet Bharara
Justice Is...: A Guide for Young Truth Seekers

Justice Is...: A Guide for Young Truth Seekers

by Preet Bharara

Unabridged — 8 minutes

Preet Bharara

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Introduce the concept of justice to young people with this picture book by New York Times bestselling author of Doing Justice, Preet Bharara.

In clear and simple language, Preet Bharara, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, explains what justice is and what it takes to achieve it for even the youngest readers. Drawing on examples of historic justice seekers whose deeds best demonstrate those attributes by asking hard questions, keeping an open mind, defending the truth, and using their voices and their bodies to fight injustice-such as Ida B. Wells, John Lewis, Malala Yousafzai, and many others, this timely book is perfect for exploring the concept of justice. Inspire young readers to fight for justice in their world and to remain hopeful that by standing together, it can triumph.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly


Bharara, the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, personifies Justice in this picture book, simply and poetically describing the actions and goals that undergird it. In spare prose, Justice is defined and explicated: “Waiting for brave people to stand up together./ Because Justice can’t do it alone./ At times it needs an army at its back,” one spread reads, portraying protesters with signs on either side of the Washington, D.C., street painted with “Black Lives Matter” in giant yellow letters. Cornelison illustrates in painterly digital art, creating nearly photorealistic portraits of subjects including Frederick Douglass, Harvey Milk, and Malala Yousafzai, as well as people and situations, such as Japanese American internees and enslaved people, to whom justice has been “denied—for a time.” A heartening, if at points undercontextualized, introduction to justice-focused luminaries. Back matter includes information on the figures. Ages 4–8. (Jan.)

From the Publisher

"A beautiful, relevant picture book." —Kirkus Reviews

"A heartening...introduction to justice-focused luminaries."—Publishers Weekly

School Library Journal


K-Gr 3—Adult readers will understand that ideas of justice are inexorably tangled with complicated emotional and political legacies, so distilling the idea for very young readers is tricky. This book makes a valiant attempt to create an accessible and resonant introduction to Justice (with a capital J) as supported by the actions of historical figures. The difficulty here is that the historical figures, while immediately recognizable to adults, are provided without much context. Children won't have the context for connecting the very specific illustrated examples to the generalizations in the text. Adults will be able to identify Barack Obama or Nelson Mandela, but the accompanying text is completely abstract, not mentioning either by name or explaining the impact of their contributions. Journalist Ida B. Wells is identified as she makes notes about a scene of a Black man in ropes surrounded by other men. One passage says that "no one is above the law" next to an illustration of bystanders reading about Nixon's impeachment in the newspapers. Back matter provides a sentence or two about each individual and event, but it's unwieldy to flip back and forth. The book also pivots part way through from showing positive examples of individuals making progress toward equity to portraying examples of injustice, such as slavery and the Holocaust. VERDICT An admirable and progressive introduction to complex ideas that, without additional background, may have more resonance for adults than children.—Alyssa Annico, Youngstown State Univ., OH

Kirkus Reviews

Adults love to talk about justice, but what does the word actually mean?

In this picture book, author Bharara, former United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, defines justice through an early-childhood lens. According to Bharara, justice requires hard work, collaboration with diverse groups of people, curiosity, and courage. Each double-page spread features a different individual or moment from the history of justice in the U.S. People spotlighted in Cornelison’s admiring, soft-edged illustrations include contemporary leaders like Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor; historical heroes like Ida B. Wells and Sojourner Truth; and social justice collectives like the Movement for Black Lives. The book’s text is clear and fluid, and the simple, direct language makes this a good resource for young readers. The examples of injustice, which include the World War II–era internment of Japanese Americans, the Trail of Tears, and the Holocaust, are episodes in world history that are essential to remember, but their placement is confusing: Their abrupt juxtaposition with successful social justice movements and leaders makes them feel like non sequiturs. Adults reading this with children should be prepared to give them context. Additionally, the terse captions, set in white on gray, are very difficult to read. Brief notes in the backmatter provide a few sentences of context for most of the leaders and/or episodes depicted. These design issues are unfortunate flaws in an otherwise important, impassioned book. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A beautiful, relevant picture book with some design problems. (Informational picture book. 3-6)

Product Details

BN ID: 2940176100600
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Publication date: 03/12/2022
Edition description: Unabridged
Age Range: Up to 4 Years

Customer Reviews