In this young reader novel set at the beginning of the 19th century, Libby is placed in chains and transported to London’s notorious Newgate Prison after which, in a show trial, she is found guilty of helping her brother escape justice for attacking a Peer of the Realm after he beat her. Her punishment? Death by hanging. But while living in the horrific conditions of Newgate Prison, she is befriended by Elizabeth Fry, a woman who is famous for her work with English prisoners. For reasons Libby doesn’t understand she is spared the noose and is imprisoned in a rotten prison ship on the River Thames, where she waits to be transported to Australia. With the help of a new friend, Libby escapes the ship and makes her way to Elizabeth Fry. It is then Libby must make the hardest decision of her life. Does she escape from England or does she risk her life to testify in court about the horrific conditions that women endure in England’s prisons? Will Libby choose to flee to safety, or will she find the courage to seek justice for herself and the unfortunate victims locked in England’s grim prisons?
About the author
David Starr is a prize-winning author of five previous books. In The Nor’Wester, he told Duncan’s story of fleeing Scotland to Canada, where he joins Simon Fraser on his epic 1808 voyage by canoe down the Fraser. Bombs to Books chronicles the stories of refugee children and their families coming to B.C. Golden Goal and Golden Game are young adult soccer-themed books for reluctant readers. The Insider’s Guide to K–12 Education in B.C. is a resource guide for parents about the B.C. school system. David grew up in Fort St. James in northern British Columbia, and he now lives in Greater Vancouver with his wife, four children and a dog named Buster. He is one of the UBC Faculty of Education’s Top 100 Graduates and a school administrator in Metro Vancouver. For further information and readings availability, visit www.davidstarr.org.