The Trial
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The Trial

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  204 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Imagine you are Bruno Richard Hauptmann, accused of murdering the son of the most famous man in America.

In a compelling, immediate voice, 12-year-old Katie Leigh Flynn takes us inside the courtroom of the most widely publicized criminal case of the 20th century: the kidnapping and murder of Charles Lindbergh’s baby son. And in doing so, she reveals the real-life figures of...more
Library Binding, 176 pages
Published February 24th 2004 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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Michael Young
Genre:Poetry, Historical Fiction

Rating: ****
The historical context of the Lindbergh family tragedy is captured beautifully through the lens of a teenage girl.

After the Lindbergh baby is kidnapped, the trial for the man suspected of the crime is set to take place in a nearby town. When Katie Leigh Flynn is given the chance to help a reporter cover the trial, we learn a great deal about the case as Katie learns a great deal about herself.

Main Characters:

Katie Leigh Flynn: a girl living in...more
I recently watched a NOVA documentary entitled, "Who Killed Lindbergh's Baby?" which I found fascinating. Because Lindbergh was raised in Little Falls, Minnesota, there are local connections to the story as well. Therefore, when it was announced that we would be reading "The Trial" by Jen Bryant and "Outside over There" by Maurice Sendak I was interested. However, using these books with teens might require some front loading, as I am not sure how much background knowledge they might have on this...more
A wonderful work of historical free-verse fiction told from the POV of a girl who is working as a reporter's assistant at the Bruno Hauptmann trial (the accused kidnapper/killer of the Lindberg baby). The historical detail is sharp, the lines have some memorably well-crafted figurative devices, and the story has depth beyond the story of the trial. Way to go Jen!
In 1932, in Flemington, NJ, Bruno Richard Hauptman is tried for the kidnapping and murder of the 22-month-old son of Charles Lindbergh, the famous aviator, and his wife. Katie Leigh Flynn is 12 at the time and is bored with her town where nothing important ever happens. When the trial begins, her uncle who is a newspaper reporter in town, breaks his arm and can't write so, with the permission of her mom, Katie is able to attend the trial to take notes that are later used to write articles in the...more
Deanna Brooks
Ten year old Katie Leigh hopes for something exciting to happen in her sleepy little town of Flemington, NJ. She gets just that when in 1932, the baby son of Anne and Charles Lindbergh is kidnapped and later found murdered! The manhunt leads to the arrest of Bruno Richard Hauptmann. Two years later, the suspected kidnapper and murderer is brought to trial. Since Katie's Uncle Jeff, a reporter, will need help taking notes due to shoulder injury, Katie gets her mother to agree to let her take time...more
Jun 13, 2008 Patty rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who like history.
I got the book for a workshop I will attend, but amongst the multitude of books in my to read pile, this one caught my attention. The Trial is a highly readable book. I sat down and read it all in one hour. First of all, it talks about Charles Lindbergh, and I love historical fic probably more than any other genre. Second, I open it up, and it is written in free verse. Plus, it is broken into sections with quotes from people living at the time. I hope they are genuine. In one way, it was a shock...more
Katie Leigh Flynn is a young girl living in Flemington, New Jersey. It is a small, quiet town until the trial of the century is held there: the trial that would decide whether Richard Bruno Hauptmann was guilty of kidnapping and murdering Charles Lindbergh's baby boy.

I like the author's style. The entire story is told through poems, and each is full of feeling and insight. The book is well researched and thought provoking. Jen Bryant covers the doubt inherent in such a trial and the disgusting...more
Literature David Miller
December Book Review 1-13-13
The Trial by Jennifer Fisher Bryant
Imagine nothing ever exciting happening in your town. Imagine having only three exciting things in your life every year. You known everyone and everything. But, suddenly something bad happens... Its bad, but exciting at the same time. Then you find out that the exciting thing is going to take place here. Your uncle wants you to participate in it. Your so happy but at the same time you know other are suffering....more
Donna Nix
This book had a lot of potential, but didn't really hit its mark. Written in verse form, some of the poems are very well done, while others seem disconnected from the main storyline. There are numerous viewpoints about the Lindbergh kidnapping, a historical event; but they didn't come across very cohesively. For comparison, a more recent novel about the Titanic (The Watch that ends the Night) includes many perspectives (even the iceberg), but is much more cohesive than this book.
Miss Amanda
gr 5-8 158 pgs

1935, Flemington, NJ. Written in free verse. 12 year old Katie can't believe her luck when her uncle, a reporter, injures his writing hand and gets permission for Katie to act as his secretary and attend the trial of Bruno Richard Hauptmann, accused of kidnapping and killing the Lindbergh baby. As Katie listens to the case, she tries to decide is Hauptmann guilty or innocent?

Interesting, quick read.
My former boss often made reference to the kidnapping of Lucky Lindy's son, so it was interesting to read a novel centered around the trial of Bruno Richard Hauptmann, his alleged kidnapper and murderer. Probably the thing that surprised me most is how much of a role the news media of the day and the public's fascination with celebrity played in the trial and its outcome. It wouldn't surprise me in today's world with the constant access we have to news, but for some reason I wasn't expecting it...more
Gummybear Lovet
I usually don't like historical fiction but this book is amazing and thanks to my teacher I love this book!!!
I am a big fan of Jen Bryant's novels in free verse and this one was no exception - I really enjoyed it. Fascinating historical fiction about the Lindbergh kidnapping case, told from the point of view of a young girl attending the trial in her home town of Flemington, NJ. Free verse reads quickly but is powerful and effective.

My next Jen Bryant read will be Ringside 1925, her other historical fiction novel in free verse about a different trial.
awalnya gw kira nih kumpulan puisi, soalnya liat dalemnya bentuknya kayak puisi gitu. terus gw liat sampulnya, ada tulisan "A NOVEL". bah bingung kan lu? tapi setelah gw baca sampe part 2 mulai terlihat kesamaan pembahasan dan kronologisnya. yah intinya gw mulai ngerti lah nih buku arahnya kemana. gw ngerasa nih buku bagus mungkin karena ada pembaharuan dalam gaya penulisannya kali yeah. baru nemu sih buku yang isinya, bentuk penceritaanya kayak gini. selamat menikmati. gw punya buku aslinya loh...more
Citlalli W
I loved the story line. A story about a girl who is a part of a very big trial. People may know the real trial, but it gives a new perspective on how the trail went down. I like how it talks about different thing that happened at the same time.
It was the way that Jenn Bryant wrote it was a little confusing. Sometimes she would start a story, but then would not conclude it. I guess if you like cliff hangers then this is a book for you.
This is a book where all the chapters where poems. At first this style was kinda unusual, but it gets more normal as you read it.
This book is an event by event unfolding of the Lindbergh case, told from the perspective of Katie Leigh Flynn.
This wasn't the most amazing book I've ever read, but I do like a book about trials, and the story gets very captive towards the middle.
This historical fiction about a young girl who works as a journalist at the Lindbergh trial is a good introduction to historical fiction, the law and writing for people who are 8 or a bit older. It is written in an interesting poetical form that is easy to read and interesting. Try it, Eva!
Kirsten Murphy
An excellent example of how successfully a verse novel can draw the reader into the story and move the plot along in a good, solid direction. After reading this book, I was fascinated to learn more about the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby and the trial upon which this book is based.
This is the second book I've read by Jen Bryant. I think younger readers would like this book better than Ringside because the point of view is from one character's perspective rather than numerous characters, but I liked Ringside better for that very reason.
As a courtroom observer, a twelve-year-old girl provides an inside look at the trial of the Charles Lingbergh's baby kidnapping and murder through a review of the witnesses, the defendant, the lawyers, and other related parties involved in this historic case.
Tammy Smith
A close friend recommended that I read The Trial after being introduced to it herself while teaching the 8th grade this year. I was pleasantly surprised of how Jen Bryant was able to turn factual truths of the Lindbergh baby kidnapping/murder into poems.
this was a subtle book about the Lindberg trial. I learned a few things that I was unaware of, and I believe this might spark an interest in that time period/trial, for kids who may read it. I recommend it-it is easy and quick, but worth it.
A verse novel set during the trial to convict the murderer of Charles Lindbergh's son, Charles Jr. This was a very quick read and made me want to delve deeper into the story behind the controversial court case.
While I enjoyed many elements of this book, I am not entirely clear on why the author chose to write it as poetry rather than as a short story. The verse did not seem to lend much to the book, with rare exceptions.
Dec 22, 2007 Jess rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Carly and anyone who is interested in the Charles Lindbergh baby kidnapping
Written in poem format, this is the story of the trial of the guy who was accused of kidnapping and killing Charles Lindbergh's baby, so I guess it's historical fiction... a quick read and interesting.
Rae Hittinger
Oct 04, 2007 Rae Hittinger rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all
A child's perspective on a trial that actually took place. Historical fiction that uses first source documetns to recreate the trial of the kidnap/murder of the Lindbergh baby. Fascinating. A quick read.
The main character is endearing, but something seems too bare. Still a thought provoking verse novel about the crime of the century, a subject not often addressed in children's lit.
OOOh oooh oooh -- I loved this! THis novel in verse is a speedy read about a girl who writes about the trial of Bruno Hauptman.

Accurate history, creative delivery.
Lana Krumwiede
I thought the trial of the Lindberg baby's accused kidnapper was a fascinating setting. I also liked the Katie, the main character in this book.
Jen Bryant often combines local history in her books. This one tells the story in poetry form, of the trial surrounding the missing Lindbergh baby.
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Jen Bryant writes picture books, novels and poems for readers of all ages. Her biographical picture book: A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams, illustrated by Melissa Sweet,received a Caldecott Honor award and her historical novel in verse RINGSIDE 1925: Views from the Scopes Trial is an Oprah Recommended Book for ages 12 & up. Other titles include Pieces of Georgia (IRA Youn...more
More about Jennifer Fisher Bryant...
A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams Pieces of Georgia Kaleidoscope Eyes Ringside, 1925: Views from the Scopes Trial The Fortune of Carmen Navarro

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