Review of Promise Boys

Promise Boys Promise Boys
by Nick Brooks
High School    Holt    304 pp.
1/23    9781250866974    $19.99
e-book ed.  9781250866967    $10.99

Principal Kenneth Moore is dead, shot in his office during a basketball game. The influential Black founder of the all-male Urban Promise Prep School and a pillar of the community, he sought to give the boys at his school a shot at college—at the cost of a draconian code of conduct. Three students of color—a talented basketball player, a bright college hopeful, and a budding culinary star and entrepreneur—are instant suspects in the crime, each with a motive for their principal’s demise. Thrown together by their in-common circumstances, these three young men must become quick allies as they race to investigate the case and attempt to clear themselves of any wrongdoing. Will justice be served or will they fall victim to a flawed system? A riveting murder mystery wrapped in social commentary, the novel offers a fresh, contemporary take on an old-fashioned whodunit. It also shines a light on the plight of Black and Latino youth, who are often the targets of an inequitable and unequal justice system. Told from multiple perspectives with interspersed ephemera and extended flashbacks, the story builds to an exhilarating crescendo.

From the January/February 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Monique Harris

Monique Harris is a public educator, reading specialist and independent educational consultant. She holds a Master of Science degree in Education from Simmons University, and is enrolled in a PhD program at Florida State University.

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