Lots of historical fiction books for kids have been written, but Prisoner 88 is unique. It's the story of a boy in the 1880s who is arrested and put in a penitentiary.
Jake was trying to protect his father when he shot a man, but is convicted anyway, and sent off to a life without freedom that is full of hard labor and bullying. Sounds depressing, doesn't it?
But this book isn't depressing at all.
Jake manages to establish some positive relationships, face his fears, and endure his life in prison and his character develops as a result.
I don't want to give away any more about the plot, but I will say Prisoner 88 is well written, believable, and we really care about the characters.
While everything in the plot is wrapped up at the conclusion of the book, I'd like to know what happens to Jake after this story is over and hope Leah Pileggi will write a sequel.