Children’s Book Reviews

Children's Book Reviews: Real Justice: A Police Mr. Big Sting Goes Wrong

Publish May 19, 2015

One summer evening in 1990, nineteen-year-old Kyle Unger decided to attend a music festival near Roseisle, Manitoba. So did sixteen-year-old Brigitte Grenier, along with most of the teens from the surrounding area. By morning, Brigitte was dead and Kyle was under suspicion of murder. He insisted that he was innocent, but Kyle was a known liar and nobody, particularly the police, believed a word he said. Lorimer’s unusual Real Justice books are authentic whodunits, telling the true stories of young people wrongfully convicted by the justice system. In Police Mr. Big Sting Goes Wrong, Richard Brignall uses transcripts of legal proceedings and newspaper accounts to piece together Kyle Unger’s story. Even reluctant readers will keep turning the pages as Brignall moves step by step from the original investigation through to Kyle’s incarceration. The false confession elicited by a RCMP sting operation and imperfect forensic evidence lead eventually to his acquittal, but not before adding Kyle, Brigitte’s family and their entire community to the list of victims. This short, factual book includes photographs, a timeline, a glossary and an index, making it perfect for classroom use. In the prologue, Brignall admits, “When I first looked into the case, I thought Kyle Unger was guilty.”So did many others. The story will inspire provocative discussions on criminal justice, civics, guilt and innocence. Ultimately, Kyle’s case brought about changes in our justice system and serves as an example that “real”justice remains elusive.

Real Justice: A Police Mr. Big Sting Goes Wrong

Richard Brignall
James Lorimer & Company Ltd.
ISBN 13: 978-1-4594-0862-3

Penny Draper
Penny Draper Penny Draper lives in Victoria, British Columbia. She is the author of the award-winning “Disaster Strikes!” series, historical fiction that places young protagonists at the centre of real Canadian disasters.

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