The Faraway Truth- Janae Marks

Written by Janae Marks, Cover by Rachael Dean
Published by Chicken House

Zoe has just celebrated her 12th birthday and arrives home to find a letter addressed to her from a nearby prison. This is a first and she is unsure how to react. The letter is from her biological father, a man convicted of murder, someone she has never heard from or met before.

Deciding to write back, Zoe begins to correspond with Marcus, getting to know him, asking questions and finding common ground. Keeping it a secret from her mum and step dad, she shares the letters with her grandma. Zoe, and best friend Trevor, decide to do some sleuthing about the case and learn a few hard truths about the justice system and how black men are sometimes regarded by the law.

Believing Marcus to be innocent, she allows herself to get too involved and it becomes troublesome for her and Trevor. If only she could get her mum to listen to her, to allow her to have a relationship with her Dad and to believe in his innocence. After a heartfelt conversation with her family , Zoe can only hope for change and a chance to meet her Dad.

I was completely hooked on Zoe’s story and impressed that she had the courage to look into her father’s case, contact those who wronged him and to stand up for what she believed in. Heart-felt moments brought tears to my eyes and the injustices forced me to think hard about prejudices in our world.

A true sense of family shines through this book alongside hope, friendship and courage. Incredibly well written, the pages almost flew out of my hand. I was reading so intently and quickly to learn more, to see the truth and to feel the love!

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