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Orca SEL (Social-Emotional Learning)--FRIENDSHIP through December 2020

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The Justice Project
By (author): Michael Betcherman
9781459822504 Paperback, Trade, Flaps English Young Adult : Age (years) from 12, Grade (CAN) from 8 - 12, Grade (US) from 8 - 12, Reading age from 12 YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Careers, Occupations, Internships Oct 01, 2019
$14.95 CAD
Active 5.5 x 8.25 x 0.63 in | 340 gr 256 pages FSC certified – mixed sources C016245 Orca Book Publishers
Bank Street College of Education Best Books 2020, Commended SYCRA Snow Willow 2020, Short-listed CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens 2020, Commended
Just because you're innocent doesn't mean you're safe.

High-school football star Matt Barnes was on the top of the world until a freak snowboarding accident ended his promising sports career and left him with a permanent limp. As he struggles to accept his changed body, Matt becomes depressed and isolated. Instead of college football camp, he faces a summer job at the local golf club. Then by chance Matt lands an internship at the Justice Project, an organization that defends the wrongly convicted. The other intern is his high-school nemesis, Sonya Livingstone, a quick-witted social activist with little time for jock culture. The two slowly develop a friendship as they investigate the case of Ray Richardson, who was convicted of murdering his parents twenty-one years ago. Matt and Sonya are soon convinced that Ray is innocent—but how will they prove it? Unraveling the cold case takes them on a journey filled with twists, turns, deception and danger. It will take dedication, perseverance and courage to unmask the real murderer. Can those same qualities help Matt move on to a life not defined by football?

Michael Betcherman is an award-winning author and screenwriter. He is the author of the young adult mystery novels Breakaway and Face-Off, both published by Penguin Canada. Breakaway was a finalist for the John Spray Mystery Award. Face-Off was a finalist for the Arthur Ellis Mystery Award. Michael has numerous writing credits in both dramatic and documentary television. He is also the author/creator of The Daughters of Freya and Suzanne, two groundbreaking online novels that were highly praised by numerous publications, including the Globe and Mail and the UK Guardian. Michael lives in Toronto with his wife, Claudette Jaiko.

Key Selling Points
The story conveys the devastation felt by a young athlete dealing with a traumatic injury.
Wrongful convictions are inherently dramatic. As the success of Netflix’s The Making of a Murderer and The Staircase show, there is enormous interest in justice and innocence. The topic is timely.
The central narrative is a compelling mystery with numerous twists and turns that will keep the reader glued to the page.
The tension between the characters—a male jock and a quick-witted female activist—quickly develops into a true friendship through the pursuit of a common goal.

Marketing and Promo Plans

Print and online advertising campaigns
Promotion at national and regional school, library and trade conferences
Extensive ARC distribution, including LibraryThing and NetGalley
Social media promotion
Planned appearance at local writers festival

"A gripping, multi-dimensional work, deserving of a place in senior high school library fiction collections." - CM: Canadian Review of Materials

“Thought-provoking...Matt's halting steps toward self-acceptance are believable...His overview of wrongful conviction...may compel readers to seek further information.” - Kirkus Reviews

“Issues are successfully blended into a well-rounded novel that, in tandem with interesting characters and a thrilling murder mystery, will grip readers’ attention until the very end.” - Booklist

“Explores the subject of wrongful convictions in a way for younger audiences to understand. A great way to teach young people about issues in our criminal justice system and how to become part of the solution.” - Witness to Innocence

“Strong in both dialogue and plotting. Sonya and Matt are interesting teens, at pivotal points in their lives. This book will check the boxes for many different readers.” - Resource Links

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