By: Walter Dean Meyer

Main Characters:

  • Steve Harmon- 16 year old on trial for the murder of Alguinaldo Nesbit, owner of a convenient store that was being robbed
  • Sandra Petrocelli- Steve's procusecutor
  • Kathy O'Brien- Defense Attorney for Steve Harmon
  • James King- 23 year old who alleged to had pressure Steve to join the robbery; he is mostly blame for the murder of Alguinaldo Nesbit
  • Asa Briggs- defense attorney for James King
  • Richard "Bobo' Evans- 22 year old who planned the robbery testifies against Harmon and King for a shorter sentence
  • Osvaldo Cruz- 14 year old member of the gang Diablos, testifies he only joined the robbery because of his fear of Evans
  • Jose Delgado- first person to find Alguinaldo Nesbit
  • Salvatore Zinzi- a criminal who tells the stories spread around in jail to get a break; he is not apart of the crime

Theme & Format

The theme was peer pressure and truth

The format changed from a screen write and a diary


The story starts with Steve a teen who hopes to be a screenwriter and decides to record his experience. Its only stated at this point that King and Harmon are on trial because Cruz and Evans took a plea deal. Procelli calls Cruz to the stand and he says that Harmon's job was to be on look out for any cops and after King and Evans robbed Nesbit his job was to stop anybody from chasing them. All the sources confirms that Nesbit pulled out a gun and one of the robbers wrestled with him causing the gun to go off. Evans claims that he didn't know the signal and followed King's lead. King and Evans stole five pack cigarettes and sold them to Zinzi when they were in jail. Briggs says that King and Harmon were involved in the robert because the only eye witness there is was Lorelle, a old woman who says that she saw two men come in get in a argument with Nesbit and hurried out moment before he got shot. O'Brien, Harmon's attorney doubt his innocence puts I'm on the stand, he only says that he was look out and never set foot in the store. When the final day comes the attorneys and prosecutor give their final statements, the verdict come back saying King is guilty and sent to jail for 25 years and Harmon is innocent. Steve thank O'Brien and gives her a hug but she coldly gives him one not saying a word when she left leaving him to believe that she thought he did kill Nesbit.


I give this book five stars because e it had me hooked and the way it was written from being a playwright to being a diary really interested me.


The setting was mostly set in the court house and sometimes in the jail
Big image