Kirkus Reviews QR Code
JUSTICE FOR EMILY by Susan Beth Pfeffer

JUSTICE FOR EMILY

By Susan Beth Pfeffer

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-385-32259-3
Publisher: Delacorte

 When this inferior sequel to Pfeffer's Nobody's Daughter (1995) opens, Emily, 11, has been taken in by kindly Aunt Bessie, the town telephone operator, and Bessie's daughter, Miss Alice, the town librarian. Bessie and Alice are the only ones who believe Emily's story of how three girls--daughters of rich and influential men--knocked Emily's friend Gracie down, accidentally killing her. At school Emily is persecuted by the principal, Miss Upshaw, for daring to cast aspersions on three such upright children; her life is miserable until she makes a new friend, Constance, and comes to know the girl's mother and father, the latter of whom is a lawyer who believes Emily's story about Gracie's death. With help, Emily is vindicated and the poor conditions at the orphanage are brought to light. Best of all, a kindly uncle (something of a black sheep among the generally disreputable Hasbrouck side of the family) shows up and offers Emily a home. All's well that ends well in a pat, unrealistic story that glibly defines all the characters in simplistic, black-and-white terms. (Fiction. 8-12)