A young reader novel about Libby, who is thrown into Newgate Prison in the early years of the 19th century and is sentenced to hang. In this young reader novel set at the beginning of the 19th century, Libby is placed in chains and transported to London's notorious Newgate Prison after which, in a show trial, she is found guilty of helping her brother escape justice for attacking a Peer of the Realm after he beat her. Her punishment? Death by hanging. But while living in the horrific conditions of Newgate Prison, she is befriended by Elizabeth Fry, a woman who is famous for her work with English prisoners. For reasons Libby doesn't understand she is spared the noose and is imprisoned in a rotten prison ship on the River Thames, where she waits to be transported to Australia. With the help of a new friend, Libby escapes the ship and makes her way to Elizabeth Fry. It is then Libby must make the hardest decision of her life. Does she escape from England or does she risk her life to testify in court about the horrific conditions that women endure in England's prisons? Will Libby choose to flee to safety, or will she find the courage to seek justice for herself and the unfortunate victims locked in England's grim prisons?
DAVID STARR is the prize-winning author of six previous books, including Ronsdale's The Nor'Wester (2017) and The King's Shilling (2018). He is the past winner of the Province's "Serial Thriller" writing competition, and was an education columnist for the Chinese language paper WC Weekly. David Starr is a high school principal, who lives in Coquitlam, B.C. Visit him at www.davidstarr.org.