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Courtroom Reads

There are some newer books and some classics you can put on your summer reading lists. Let’s look at five good ones to add to your book stacks!

1. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. Once I started, I could NOT put it down. Published recently in 2018, this book jumps back and forth between a girl’s upbringing and a murder case. A young man, Chase Andrews, is found murdered in 1969 in the North Carolina Marshlands. If you love murder mysteries and coming-of-age stories, you should definitely put this book on your summer reading list.

2. Devil in the Grove by Gilbert King. This book follows Thurgood Marshall and Florida’s orange industry. We are set in the Jim Crow/Civil Rights Era, where we hear the story of the Groveland Boys, a rape, and racial injustice. With this book, you will see Thurgood Marshall take on the Jim Crow judicial system of the American South and you will not be disappointed with the tremendous and eye-opening story it tells.

3. To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee. You have to incorporate an unforgettable and classic novel into your summer reads, and this is the perfect one to do just that. When one of the town’s back residents is falsely accused of raping a white woman, Atticus Finch, a white lawyer, agrees to represent him despite threats from the community. It’s a young girl’s coming of age story, and a darker drama about the roots and consequences of racism and prejudice. This is a must-read.

4. Anatomy of a Murder by Robert Traver. Published in 1958, this is the classic murder trial story. The book goes through, in detail, all aspects of preparing a case, selecting a jury, and the differences between the approach of a prosecuting attorney versus a defense attorney. After you finish the book, be sure to catch the film version!

5. Defending Jacob by William Landay. Did Jacob do it? You will be wondering this throughout reading this book. An assistant district attorney’s 14-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student, and this page turner will definitely have you guessing and questioning everything. It was also turned into a show on Apple TV, which you can always check out!

Of course, there are plenty of courtroom dramas out there. You can read one of the many novels of John Grisham: A Time to Kill, The Client, The Firm, The Runaway Jury, The Last Juror, or The Pelican Brief. That list does not do the amount of courtroom books written by Grisham justice, but it’s a start. You can also pick up some books by Jodi Picoult, like House Rules or Nineteen Minutes.

Whichever book(s) you choose, make sure to relax this summer. It will be time to start class sooner than you know it, and these books can help you keep in touch with the law while relaxing in the sun this summer!

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