Read Endangered by Jean Love Cush Online


An innocent black teenager is accused of murder in this provocative and compassionate thriller that skillfully probes issues of race, class, crime, and injustice and offers a searing portrait of modern America.From the time her son, Malik, could walk, Janae taught him that the best way to stay alive and out of trouble with the law was to cooperate. Terrified for his safetyAn innocent black teenager is accused of murder in this provocative and compassionate thriller that skillfully probes issues of race, class, crime, and injustice and offers a searing portrait of modern America.From the time her son, Malik, could walk, Janae taught him that the best way to stay alive and out of trouble with the law was to cooperate. Terrified for his safety, she warned him, "raise your hands high, keep your mouth shut, and do whatever they say," if the police ever stopped him. But when a wave of murders hits Philadelphia and fifteen-year-old Malik is arrested, Janae's terror is compounded by guilt and doubt: Would Malik have escaped jail if he'd run?Unable to see her son or pay for his defense, Janae, a cafeteria worker, reluctantly allows Roger Whitford, a white human rights attorney, to represent Malik. With the help of an ambitious private attorney named Calvin Moore, Roger is determined to challenge the entire criminal justice system and expose its inherent racism--racism that threatens the very existence of America's young black men.Offering a startling and unprecedented defense, the lawyers spark a national firestorm of debate over race, prison, and politics that burns to the very core of Janae herself. As she battles to save her son, she begins to discover that she is also fighting for her own survival and that of her community....

Title : Endangered
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780062316233
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 272 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Endangered Reviews

  • Shannon (Giraffe Days)
    2019-04-17 03:56

    'I believe we can make a solid argument that African-American boys ought to be deemed legally endangered. Their very lives are threatened with extinction, or at least any meaningful existence, and thereby ought to be afforded certain protections based on their classification as such.'Roger Whitford, an attorney for the Centre for the Protection of Human Rights, has a plan to put a stop to the prejudiced treatment of black men in the United States, men - and boys - who make up a third of prison inmates. When Janae Williams' fifteen-year-old son Malik is arrested for the murder of his friend Troy - the twenty-ninth murder in Philadelphia in the twenty days since the start of the year - Roger decides to take on the case, not just to free Malik, but to launch his big campaign to get black males in America extra support and protection.Janae is a classic statistic: pregnant as a teen, she put her education on hold to have the baby and raise it on her own. Now she works as a cashier in a hospital cafeteria, striving to make ends meet and give Malik a chance to make something of his life. But now, he's not just been accused of murder, the prosecution wants to try him as an adult - the standard response to murder cases. Keeping him in the juvenile court is just the first step in Roger's plan, but first he needs to get Janae on side - not an easy task when you're comparing her son to an animal. Roger plans to use the Endangered Animals Act and have it extended to include African-American males, but it's a hard pill to swallow for the community and Janae in particular. Even more so for young, ambitious Calvin Moore, a hotshot lawyer at a big firm with grand plans who studied his way out of the community Janae is stuck in. Roger wants Calvin on the case, but it's a tough sell. Not until Calvin stops seeing his origins as something to turn his back on and instead as something he should try and use his skills and position to help, do the pieces start to fall into place.But will Roger sacrifice Malik for the sake of the bigger picture? Can Janae truly trust an old white man to keep her son out of jail?Cush's debut novel has a clear aim and agenda, and tackles it well. With a tight focus, a neatly delivered storyline and believable characters, she brings the human angle to a serious issue of race, discrimination, prejudice and poverty. It's a fairly short book that makes the wise decision to keep the spotlight on Janae and her son, rather than a long, drawn-out legal and political battlefield that could end who knows where. As much as you can't help but want to follow through and see where Roger's plan ends up, it would detract from the story without adding anything - especially considering that the situation Malik finds himself in is pretty much unchanged today. The point, I would think, is to get people thinking in a different way about the issues, to open a debate (or contribute to an already-existing one), not to launch into an actual, fictional campaign.While the writing does, at times, carry the whiff of a beginner novelist - especially in some of the descriptions and language - there's no denying that Endangered has the necessary ingredients for a great story, is highly readable and shows the author's great potential. At times a bit simplistic, I nevertheless appreciated the human angle to the story. If the characters seemed a bit stereotypical, part of that would be because there's some truth in stereotypes, and part of it would be because the author hasn't yet reached her full range and stereotypes are unavoidable. Perhaps more time could have been spent on fleshing the main characters out, to make them feel and sound less like stock characters, but the writing was nicely, smoothly consistent throughout and the simple touch was actually refreshing.Cush stretches her legal chops in the legal-drama side of the story; an attorney for many years, she has a focus on domestic abuse, urban violence, and inner-city education. The descriptions and dialogue between the lawyers and the judge, for instance, were accessible to a layman like me while still sounding authentic and believable. Throughout the story, I couldn't help but feel a chill at the thought of children - children - being tried as adults and sent to adult prison. This is, according to the story, a law in Pennsylvania, and is just one of several laws that I, as a non-American, hear about and shudder at. As Endangered shows, it casts the wrong emphasis on crime, and neglects - and downright ignores - the issues behind crime. I'm naturally leery whenever I hear the words "zero tolerance" because it's so black-and-white and encourages black-and-white thinking, prejudice and a "hard-ass" attitude based on the idea that everyone's equal and there are no excuses. There aren't excuses, but there are reasons, and if you don't stop and consider those reasons and what's really going on - if you don't get at the crux of the matter - then you're never going to really, truly stop it from happening. Because clearly the threat of jail time doesn't do much at all, and as this novel pointed out, prisons create hardened criminals out of people who made mistakes or did something dumb, for various reasons. It's a big, complex mess of issues that throws open the debate of nature versus nurture - whether you're a criminal, or whether your environment and various social factors contributed to you going down a particular path that, if the factors had been different, you might not have gone down. Endangered doesn't try to please those "hard-asses": it clearly posits the understanding that these boys slip into crime because of poverty, peer pressure and other social factors. The lack of good male role models is also a contributing factor - not just in black American communities but everywhere - but again, Cush manages to blend the two sides: that you do have a say in how your life turns out, and you can change it; and that the world you come from does mean that we don't all start out equal.An enlightening and thought-provoking novel, Endangered blends readable entertainment with prevalent social issues to position Jean Love Cush as a writer to watch.My thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book via TLC Book Tours.

  • Priscilla
    2019-03-27 10:58

    Full book review: I received a copy of this book in exchange of my honest review.

  • LuAnn
    2019-04-11 03:54

    Like "Waking up White" by Debby Irving, reading "Endangered" was not always a comfortable experience for me. It was like being Dorian Gray and looking at the picture a decade or so after it was first painted. (For those who haven't read "The Picture of Dorian Gray", it's like looking in the mirror after a rough night.)If I got treated the way a lot of young, black men do simply because of the color of my skin I would be indignant too. Heck, I might be downright hostile.I sympathize with Janae's situation. The advice she had given her son, Malik, to do whatever the police told him to do probably lessened the chance that he would be seriously injured upon arrest. I struggle along with her wondering if that advice actually worked against Malik in getting him caught in the first place (instead of escaping injury by running).In steps Roger Whitford, an white attorney from the Innocence Project, who offers to take Malik's case. On the one hand, you would think a mother would jump at that chance. On the other hand, Janae is right to question Whitford's motives. He is at least as interested in trying his own theory on justice for young, black men in general as he is in representing Malik in particular. And the high-powered lawyer from the high-powered law firm working with the project as a favor to his boss (and because he is black) takes an interest in Janae as well as the case.Cush writes very well about potentially sensitive subject matter. Some people will deny the problem. Some readers will be outraged at the defense used in this work of fiction. Using stories to get one's point across is a literary device in use for thousands of years. Hopefully "Endangered" will do the same. I can see this being required reading in English classes around the country. After reading "Endangered", I know two things:1) that this book deserves as wide an audience as possible; and2) that we will be hearing more from Jean Love Cush in the future.(Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my non-biased opinion.)

  • Diane Coto
    2019-04-05 08:13

    Malik did not run when he heard the police sirens in the distance. His three friends left him. Malik’s mother, Janae Williams, taught him from an early age – “raise your hands high, keep your mouth shut, and do what they order, immediately.” Now, Janae is doubting herself — Would he have escaped imprisonment if he’d run? He’s been charged with the murder of his friend, Troy Barnes.Janae was a single mom and they were living in a poor, disadvantaged area of Philadelphia. She has no money for an attorney so she is ready to work with an assigned District Attorney. But, then a human rights group took interest in Malik’s case. That’s when things became very engrossing.I love a good legal thriller and this one caught and held my attention. What bothered me at the beginning of this novel is that the arrest was not questioned together with facts. Where was any evidence that Malik had been involved in a murder? It was circumstantial at best. From my idea of the justice system, the police had no right to arrest and hold 15 year old Malik. But, then again, maybe that’s the whole point of the circumstances of this novel and how more black youth than white are being criminalized in America today. Janae’s raw emotions and feelings were fittingly portrayed as the young mother concerned about her son’s outcome. I rated this novel at 4 out of 5.

  • Kadea
    2019-04-02 04:56

    The subject matter is important to examine and made for an interesting read. But the actual writing left a lot to be desired. There were unnecessary details like the courtroom shooting (how did everyone simply gloss over that?); the author took a long time to develop elements of the story (like Calvin's reluctance to join Roger's team and his eventual acquiescence) and the loose love story between Calvin and Janae was so unnecessary—really took away from the story, in my opinion. The themes of race, police brutality, mass incarceration, etc. are themes I haven't really seen explored in fiction and I was really excited to read this...but in the end, the writing could have been much stronger. Great idea, poor execution.

  • Peacejanz
    2019-03-26 04:57

    The topic of young black men being shot, arrested, harassed, beaten by law enforcement people is important. It happens and is is unjust and it continues to happen. We all must do more to stop it. Unfortunately, this book does not add to information, awareness, or knowledge. It is overwritten; she is "shocked, overwhelmed, trembling, throwing up, horrified, etc." This is mixed with her love story - not much of a mystery, not much of a memoir. Just a lot of emotional words and phrases. I received a review copy of this book from Goodreads First Reads program.

  • Brandi
    2019-04-21 11:19

    I received the book in a Goodreads giveaway. I didn't hate this book but I didn't love it. The book really hits the topic of police brutality to young, unarmed black men that is prevelant to today's society and daily news. The first few chapters were the best in my opinion. They had good action and hooked me into wanting to read the book. As it went on, the book started to drag and I quickly lost interest.

  • Hilary Mccarthy
    2019-03-31 07:08

    I didn't know if I would like it initially, because I don't normally read mysteries or books that deal with serious topics, such as race equality, and this book is a little of both.However, I was surprised and I liked it. Cush had a way of drawing me in from the beginning and never lost my attention. I was pulling for the main characters and the primary story line, but I was also rooting for romance to win in the end as well.

  • Scott Eagan
    2019-04-09 03:00

    This is an amazing book! Jean Love Cush puts the issue of discrimination right in the lap of the reader and forces each person to confront their own thoughts and demons. With her background in law, this becomes a very real portrayal of real life. Certainly a must read!

  • Elizabeth Gooden
    2019-04-17 07:15

    This book gives great insight on a solution that deals with crime in the black community. Endangered allows the reader to think beyond the crime and the court room.

  • Emily
    2019-04-21 07:14

    Interesting story about the judicial system and how it unfairly treats young black males.