Read and Review (R&R) – “Prisoner 88” by Leah Pileggi

“Prisoner 88”
by Leah Pileggi

One of the authors at the Festival of Books in the Alleghenies that I talked to was Leah Pileggi. Leah is the author of “Prisoner 88,” a middle grade historical fiction novel.

It’s 1885. Ten-year-old Jake is sentenced to five years in the Idaho Territorial Penitentiary for shooting a man who had threatened his pa. From the very beginning, you can’t help but feel for and love Jake.

Although this book is primarily for young readers, adults will enjoy it as well. A quick read (142 pages), I found it hard to put down.

Inspired the by the real-life imprisonment of a minor in America’s Old West. This book is well-researched and detailed.

Leah does a wonderful job of conveying the prison system during this time period from the point of view of an uneducated, naïve, and impoverished little boy.

Strong characters, authentic dialogue, and well-developed setting make “Prisoner 88” a great read for you or the middle grade student in your life.

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