Most helpful positive review
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
An excellent book!
on May 2, 2001
I randomly came across this book in the library while looking up something else. I thumbed through it a bit and then ended up checking it out and taking it home, where I have proceeded to read it almost constantly over the last couple of days (with occasional breaks for comparatively less compelling things like eating, sleep, class, and hanging out with friends). I'm always a bookworm and am used to becoming absorbed in what I read. However, this is the first time in quite awhile that I've been so caught up in a book, particularly a non-fiction book.
I like this book so much because the authors worked hard at giving a thorough and unbiased look at the juvenile justice system and the kids stuck in that system. Of course, remaining completely unbiased is impossible; however, they tried to give a variety of points of view. They also tried to keep from vilifying any one group (parents, children, social workers, judges, police, the community, and so on), while still indicating the complexity of the problem. Case-studies were carefully chosen not to be sensational, but rather to exemplify the typical issues dealt with by kids in the justice system. Finally, they interspersed the information from the case studies with general information about the law, the way such cases are usually handled, and so on, then applied this new information that they had given back to the case study. This made it possible to learn a great deal about the system in general, while keeping it interesting because you could see the immediate application to one particular kid that you had learned about. This added to the book's general readability. All in all, this book is an excellent, well-written book that has the possibility of moving us a long way towards an understanding of these complex issues.