This is a believable and heartfelt family story about seeking justice despite great odds.
Trell is the fictionalized account of one of Boston’s most notorious murders: that of Tiffany Moore, “the girl on the blue mailbox.” Dick Lehr investigated the case and wrote about it in the Boston Globe before transforming the story into a heartfelt young adult novel that follows a girl and her wrongfully accused father.
Trell Taylor is a brassy young woman determined to prove her father’s innocence, no matter the consequences. She joins their lawyer and an investigative journalist as they gather evidence and fight for an appeal. At the same time, she must decide whether to continue on at a school where she doesn’t fit in, and whether she wants to be friends with a neighborhood boy.
Lehr’s background as a journalist results in a story full of details that might not otherwise be captured. Such details come through the lenses of the women whose lives surround the accused man, Romero Taylor. Peeks into the real-life case make for a captivating story, a learning experience that is authentic and dramatic. The sinister question of who got away with the crime makes for even more tension.
Romero’s relationship with his wife and daughter is shown to survive the strain of life in prison. Even though it’s not easy, they persist in trusting him, and they do everything they can to fight for justice. Despite many failures, and through ingenious wit and resolve, everyone involved works to clear Romero’s name. This is a believable and heartfelt family story, centered around Trell’s desire to see her father come home.
Despite its dark conflicts, Trell is an enjoyable book. The young heroine’s voice and determination to prove the truth are inspiring in this intriguing take on a 1980s crime.
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