**Finalist, Jane Addams Children’s Book Award
A Junior Library Guild Selection
A Chicago Public Library Best Informational Book for Older Readers
An Evanston Public Library 101 Great Books for Kids
In this key civil rights and social justice book for young readers, Scipio Africanus Jones—a self-taught attorney who was born enslaved—leads a momentous series of court cases to save twelve Black men who'd been unjustly sentenced to death.**
In October 1919, a group of Black sharecroppers met at a church in an Arkansas village to organize a union. Bullets rained down on the meeting from outside. Many were killed by a white mob, and others were rounded up and arrested. Twelve of the sharecroppers were hastily tried and sentenced to death. Up stepped Scipio Africanus Jones, a self-taught lawyer who'd been born enslaved. Could he save the men's lives and set them free? Through their in-depth research and consultation with legal experts, award-winning nonfiction authors Sandra and Rich Wallace examine the complex proceedings and an unsung African American early civil rights hero.