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5 Novels About Justice to Get You Fired Up

At times, we can feel helpless or disconnected from the injustices or indeed the justice, taking place around us and around the world. Here are five novels from around the world that deal with themes of justice and injustice to get you feeling engaged, informed and ready to stand up for what you believe in! 

 

Good as Gold by Bernard Martin 

 

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Image Via Amazon

 

This amazing novel from Australian author Bernard Martin tackles the injustices inflicted upon the Aboriginal people of Australia by white settlers, and how those injustices still effect modern Australian society. 

 

It’s the mid 1950s, and racism is rife. Robert’s father, Jack Pickering, is confident he’s doing what’s best for Jim, a young Indigenous boy. Recognising the child’s athletic ability, Jack encourages him to train hard, to go for gold. But despite Jim’s outstanding success, something is wrong. Jack’s paternalism, and the injustices Jim faces every day, weigh heavily against the ‘advantages’ forced upon this Aboriginal child. When Jack finally dies, his white son Robert discovers something terrible about Jim that will ultimately explain everything. 

A unique, and powerful story of the stolen generation, reconciliation, the power of country and ultimately of hope.

 

 

 

A Civil Action by Jonathan Haar

 

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Okay so this isn’t technically a novel, but it reads like a thrilling page-turner, and was adapted into a movie starring John Travolta. It follows the case of a lawyer who risks everything to represent a group of residents in a toxic chemical case.

 

This true story of an epic courtroom showdown, where two of the nation’s largest corporations were accused of causing the deaths of children from water contamination, was a #1 national bestseller and winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. 
 
Described as “a page-turner filled with greed, duplicity, heartache, and bare-knuckle legal brinksmanship by The New York TimesA Civil Action is the searing, compelling tale of a legal system gone awry—one in which greed and power fight an unending struggle against justice. Yet it is also the story of how one man can ultimately make a difference.  Representing the bereaved parents, the unlikeliest of heroes emerges: a young, flamboyant Porsche-driving lawyer who hopes to win millions of dollars and ends up nearly losing everything, including his sanity. With an unstoppable narrative power reminiscent of Truman Capote’s In Cold BloodA Civil Action is an unforgettable reading experience that will leave the reader both shocked and enlightened.

 

July’s People by Nadine Gordimer

 

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This novel, written prior to the end of apartheid in South Africa, is set in a near-future, in which Gordimer has imagined Apartheid ended through civil war. 

 

For years, it had been what is called a “deteriorating situation.” Now all over South Africa the cities are battlegrounds. The members of the Smales family—liberal whites—are rescued from the terror by their servant, July, who leads them to refuge in his village. What happens to the Smaleses and to July—the shifts in character and relationships—gives us an unforgettable look into the terrifying, tacit understandings and misunderstandings between blacks and whites.
 

 

Dear Martin by Nic Stone 

 

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Dear Martin examines racism in America, the American justice system and police brutality through this moving tale following one young man’s experience. 

 

Justyce McAllister is a good kid, an honor student, and always there to help a friend—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. Despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can’t escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates.

Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack.

 

Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington

 

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Doris Pilkington’s novel deals with the incredible story of three girls, victims of assimilationist policy in colonial Australia, as they embark on a journey of resilience, love and strength against all odds. 

 

This extraordinary story of courage and faith is based on the actual experiences of three girls who fled from the repressive life of Moore River Native Settlement, following along the rabbit-proof fence back to their homelands. Assimilationist policy dictated that these girls be taken from their kin and their homes in order to be made white. Settlement life was unbearable with its chains and padlocks, barred windows, hard cold beds, and horrible food. Solitary confinement was doled out as regular punishment. The girls were not even allowed to speak their language. Of all the journeys made since white people set foot on Australian soil, the journey made by these girls born of Aboriginal mothers and white fathers speaks something to everyone.

 

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