Prisoner 88

Prisoner88_Final_CVR_300 (2)Written by Leah Pileggi

10 year old Jake Oliver Evans shot a man to protect his father and, in 1885, he was sentenced to 5 years in the Idaho Territorial Penitentiary. Being the youngest inmate, Jake gradually learns to adapt to the harsh prison life with the help of friendship, a job on a hog farm, and learning to read and write. Leah Pileggi’s first novel, Prisoner 88 is inspired by an actual 10 year old prisoner that lived in the Idaho Penitentiary and was called Prisoner 88. The reader feels the true experience of prison life from a young boy’s point of view. Jake’s ability to weather his struggles with each situation and endear himself to other characters and us as readers is a heartfelt experience. Written in a young, unschooled voice, this novel is unforgettable and as Naomi S. Nye states on the back cover, “you will wish you could know him forever.”

Review by Renee Larsen, Hillside Elementary Media Center
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 5-8

Author Website:

Prisoner 88
Written by Leah Pileggi
144 pages
Release Date: August 1, 2013
ISBN: 9781580895606 (hardcover)

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2 thoughts on “Prisoner 88”

  1. Hi Renee,

    I just saw your review of Prisoner 88. Thank you so much for your beautiful words. If the kids in your school have any questions for me, I’d be glad to answer them. And I’d love to hear what they think!



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