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The Trial

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  443 Ratings  ·  76 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
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published February 24th 2004 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2004)
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Christina Wilder
Jen Bryant tells the story of one of the most famous trials in world history in a fascinating, unique way. Told through quiet, effective prose in poem form, "The Trial" tells the story of Katie Flynn, a young girl who lives with her mother in Flemington, New Jersey. It's in this town that the famous Lindbergh kidnapping trial took place in 1935. Katie is bored with her small town, well noted by the opening lines in the book:
"I've lived in this town my whole life,
and I can tell you...
nothing ev
Michael Young
Oct 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-lit-2011-12
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
Jennifer Olsker
Mar 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The historical topic of this novel is the greatly public trial of the kidnapping and murder of Charles Lindbergh's son. The story follows a small town girl when the trial is brought to her quiet town. through her eyes, it shows the courtroom, describes the jury, judge, lawyers, and the accused, Bruno Richard Hauptmann. Bryant allows depicts Katie's thoughts, doubts, and feelings that occur because of the trial. I really enjoyed this novel. It was interesting and I feel that it brought up many is ...more
Mary Louise Sanchez
When Charles Lindbergh's baby is kidnapped and dies in 1932, Bruno Richard Hauptmann is accused and his trial is in Katie Leigh Flynn's New Jersey town--Flemington. Katie gets to miss school to help her newspaper reporter uncle transcribe the trial.

The author grew up in Flemington and wrote this lyrical and poetic account of the kidnapping and trial from a young girl's perspective.

A quick read that makes you think about individual and social behavior and what truth is.
Mar 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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!
Annalee Schnebele
I really wanted to learn more about the Lindbergh baby kidnapping and murder trial and seeing it through a young girl's eyes wasn't cutting it for me.

Recommended for middle school students who are looking for a quick historical fiction book and are intrigued by the great depression and the Hauptmann trial.
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Katie Leigh takes dictation for her uncle at the trial of Bruno Hauptmann (Lindbergh kidnapping case) As she listens to the testimony, she begins to question just how solid the evidence against Hauptmann is.
Book in verse about Bruno Richard Hauptmann's trial for kidnapping and murder of the Lindbergh baby. The facts are presented through the eyes of a local girl who witnesses the trial as part of the press. Very interesting read.
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Interesting method to incorporate poetry as the story itself. A compelling story that captured the imagination of a country reliant on the press.
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a novel told through poems, and the poems are beautiful pieces of writing.
Tamara Jill
Oct 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Quick read. Interesting take in the Lindbergh story.
Nicole Hughes
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was beautifully written. I read it in about 30 minutes ( a novel written in verse) and then promptly started researching information about Charles Lindbergh's baby.
Bryant, Jennifer, and Leigh Wells. The Trial. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004. Print.

Jen Bryant uses a unique perspective and format as she weaves this historical fiction novel told through poems. During 1932, deep in the Depression, America was shocked by the kidnapping and murder of the son of one of America's heroes of the time...Charles Linbergh. In The Trial, readers are informed about the crime and subsequent trial through the eyes of 12 year old Katie Leigh Flynn. As the
Apr 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, cln
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
Jun 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.
Aiyana Martinez
Feb 25, 2015 rated it liked it
I chose this book over rules is because I thought it would be interesting to see what this whole book is about based around this trial and the fact that the writing style is all in poem format grabbed my attention since I have never read a book like that before. My process of reading this book, well I read it in one seating since I got really into it. I did have a few questions that seemed to be talked about in the book but does not really go in depth with it. Her father. She never really went i ...more
May 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
"Nothing much happens but eggs, chickens, and Santa Claus," complains restless Katie Leigh Flynn about life in her small New Jersey town. But on March 1, 1932, something does happen--something sensational . . and tragic. The baby son of Colonel and Mrs. Charles Lindbergh is kidnapped in nearby Hopewell. Bruno Richard Hauptmann is arrested and put on trial for the crime--right there in Katie's hometown--and the 12-year-old finds herself caught up in the case as assistant to her journalist uncle. ...more
Deanna Brooks
Jun 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 23, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
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
This story has always been high interest to me. Bruno Hauptmann's wife, Taunts Anna, worked in my grandparents bakery, Blessing's Bakery in Philly. she always believed he was innocent and spent her lifetime fighting to clear his name. because I believed in her, I also believe he is innocent. This middle grade novel in verse takes a middle line, agreeing on the end that the witnesses and the evidence was far too sparse to convict Hauptmann and give him a death sentence by electric chair. But in h ...more
Tanner Greyn
Feb 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Katie is tired of her quiet, small town where nothing ever happens. That is about to change though as the man who kidnapped Charles Lindbergh's son is put on trail in Katie's town. This is the most excitement Katie's town has seen in years and as a hopeful future reporter, Katie wants to be at the trial. Told through poems, the trial and Katie's feelings during this time period bring the reader in to the story through setting and mood. The town is captivated by the trial and all it brings with i ...more
Mar 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
My interest in this book began because I have read about the Lindbergh's before. I was expecting more detail about the kidnapping trial than was included. More of the story described Katie's personal life and her thoughts about the events. What I appreciated was the ambiguity of Hauptmann's guilt and small details about the time that the author included in the story. Even the narrator - Katie - was unconvinced that Hauptmann was guilty of kidnapping and killing Charlie Lindbergh. I would've like ...more
May 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-read-2014
I read this book back in fifth or sixth grade, which was a few years ago, and I remember that I liked it.
I reread recently and don't think I want to change my star rating. This book was totally mediocre, slow at some parts, I didn't get to know the characters enough, and yet it was absolutely flawless and totally enthralling. I just kind of understood the main character and was really interested in what was happening in the book, and the writing was simple but worked really well for the story it
Mar 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Written in free verse, this an account of life in the town where the Lindbergh kidnapping and trial took place. Katie's uncle is a reporter for the local paper, and because of an injury, needs an assistant, so she is allowed to attend the trial in that capacity. We see events unfold through her eyes, and we see her reactions to the outcome. Bryant is very low-key in all of this, allowing the reader to form their own opinions, and feel their own feelings. A very interesting fictional look at a pi ...more
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.
Sep 07, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
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Jen Bryant (Jennifer Fisher 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 Pi ...more
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