A New York Times best seller

Join Steven in the fight for his freedom...

Do you ever wonder what it's like to be locked up in the slammer for 20 years or possibly even for the rest of your life? Could someone even recover from that? Well, Steve
Harmon could answer all your questions about the hard time in the cell, and as a 16 year old black kid from Harlem, it's not easy. He's on trial for murder and armed robbery and he claims he's innocent. Though it seems no one believes him, he knows that in order to convince people he is not a monster he must believe in himself.

“We lie to ourselves here. Maybe we are here because we lie to ourselves.”

(Myers 203).


Michael L. Printz Award- 2000

  1. National Book Award for Young People's Literature

  2. Edgar Award for Best Young Adult

  3. Coretta Scott King Award for Authors

See what everyone has to say about this book! (according to

Brenda Morris: This is my most recent reading of a book I've already taught two or three times in ninth grade English classes. This is a great book for people who don't necessarily enjoy reading. The movie script format means the action moves quickly and may make it more appealing to people who enjoy movies a lot. Myers doesn't give too much away about the story either, which both builds suspense and leaves the reader with something to think about and to talk about. The 16 year old protagonist who is on trial for allegedly participating in a robbery that ended in murder is realistic, sympathetic, and interesting.

Calvin Lee: I really recommend this book if you like something that is unique. I couldn’t stop reading once I started. Mr. Myers has done an excellent job by getting into the mind set of an arrested man and writing this great book.