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March 16, 2017

She was convicted of murder at age nine. Now she is pregnant and in state custody at age sixteen. If Mary can't trust her mother, her social worker, or her own memory, how will she survive and make a better life for her and her baby?

Did teenager Mary B. Addison really kill a baby during a blackout when she was nine years old or was it her super-religious, churchgoing, and mentally ill mother? Tiffany D. Jackson’s debut novel, Allegedly, pulls the reader through narrative twists and turns in this fictional account of convicted baby killer, Mary. We meet Mary after she is convicted and serves jail time for the death of three month old baby Alyssa. On the night of Alyssa's death, Mary was helping her mother babysit until things took a turn for the worse and Alyssa died. Mary's silence was her only defense, which led to a conviction in a court of law and the eyes of the public. She is currently residing in a highly dysfunctional group home for teen girls...and she just found out that she’s pregnant and the state is threatening to take her baby. But, that is not Mary’s only problem, some of the girls in the group home are plotting to kill her and her baby too.

This young adult novel deftly addresses the concepts of social justice and juvenile offenders while teasing the reader with elements of a traditional “who done it?” mystery. Allegedly reads like a crime drama with first-person accounts from Mary’s psychiatrists, teachers, and cellmates. I highly recommend this book for readers looking for a mix of urban fiction, thriller, and suspense.