Trell by Dick Lehr

My Rating: 5 Stars!

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Publish Date: September 12th, 2017

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc copy in exchange for an honest review

Purchase: Amazon


From the co-author of Black Mass comes a gripping YA novel inspired by the true story of a young man’s false imprisonment for murder—and those who fought to free him.

On a hot summer night in the late 1980s, in the Boston neighborhood of Roxbury, a twelve-year-old African-American girl was sitting on a mailbox talking with her friends when she became the innocent victim of gang-related gunfire. Amid public outcry, an immediate manhunt was on to catch the murderer, and a young African-American man was quickly apprehended, charged, and—wrongly—convicted of the crime. Dick Lehr, a former reporter for the Boston Globe’s famous Spotlight Team who worked on this story, brings the case to light once more with Trell, a page-turning novel about the daughter of an imprisoned man who persuades a reporter and a lawyer to help her prove her father’s innocence. What pieces of evidence might have been overlooked? Can they manage to get to the truth before a dangerous character from the neighborhood gets to them?


Trell is a little girl full of zest and a ferocity that allows her to get things done. I had so much fun reading her story and watching at she takes a journey to prove her father’s innocence and find some true justice.

When I finished this book and I realized that the writer of this book was a journalist and had written about a case that truly happened, but then decided to write from the perspective of the little girl, it made me pause in utter respect. So many of the details and the hard work that went along with chasing a story felt so real to me. I loved how the dots all came together in the end and that every piece of information mattered (whether I knew that at the time or not).

Most of all I enjoyed the story of Trell bringing in new life to Globe Reporter Clemens Bittner and helping him to realize that he could finally do some good again (and really, just live a full life again). They felt very much like true family by the end and all along the way they did everything they could to be there for each other. Then, by bringing Clemens out of his bitterness Trell began to give her mom and her daddy’s lawyer something to truly fight for and when they all banded together that was something to really fight for.

Trell is the beautiful story of a family broken apart by the murder of a little girl on a blue mailbox. Her fight to free her father from his false accusations and convoluted framing creates this beautiful story that I could not put down. An important story to read in light of today’s current events. This book will inspire hearts and make them feel while again.

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think of this book down in the comments!

-Till next time!


9 thoughts on “Trell by Dick Lehr: A Review

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