THE JUSTICE PROJECT by Michael Betcherman is out today from Orca Book Publishers!

“A gripping, multi-dimensional work, deserving of a place in senior high school library fiction collections.”–CM: Canadian Review of Materials

“Thought-provoking…Matt’s halting steps toward self-acceptance are believable…His overview of wrongful conviction…may compel readers to seek further information.”–Kirkus Reviews

“Issues are successfully blended into a well-rounded novel that, in tandem with interesting characters and a thrilling murder mystery, will grip readers’ attention until the very end.”–Booklist

High-school football champion Matt Barnes was on the top of the world until a freak snowboarding accident left him permanently disabled, ending his promising sports career. People gawk with horror and pity and don’t know what to say as Matt careens down the street. As he struggles to accept his changed body, Matt becomes depressed and isolated. Instead of college football camp, he faces a summer job at the local golf club.

Then by chance Matt lands an internship at the Justice Project, an organization that defends the wrongly convicted. The other intern is his high-school nemesis, Sonya Livingstone, a quick-witted social activist with little time for jock culture. The two slowly develop a friendship as they investigate the case of Ray Richardson, who was convicted of murdering his parents twenty-one years ago. Matt and Sonya are soon convinced that Ray is innocent—but how will they prove it? Unravelling the cold case takes them on a journey filled with twists, turns, deception and danger. It will take dedication, perseverance and courage to unmask the real murderer.

MICHAEL BETCHERMAN is an award-winning screenwriter and author with numerous credits in both documentary and dramatic television. He is the author of two previous young-adult novels, Breakaway, which was a finalist for the John Spray Mystery Award, and Face-Off, which was a finalist for the Arthur Ellis Mystery Award. He is also the author of the romantic comedy, Suzanne, and co-author, with David Diamond, of the mystery The Daughters of Freya. Michael lives in Toronto with his wife and daughter.