“The Second Trial” is a read of a child finding it hard to adapt to a new world, which many young readers may find relation to. Highly recommended.
Midwest Book Review
Author Rosemary Boll is a lawyer and her background in family law shows in this well-informed and uncomprimising novel. This kind of story is often not presented in such ordinary surroundings and I admire the author’s choice of everyday realism.
This first-time author provides a thoughtful account of life amid the world of domestic abuse, where children can feel confused when adults are not who they pretend to be. Sadly, this topic affects too many families, so it’s timely and helpful to have this insightful literature for assignments and general interest in both public and school libraries.
Presents domestic violence victims as empowered individuals who can extricate themselves from desperate circumstances in order to forge new lives. At the same time, it gives a sobering portrait and reminder that domestic violence is something that cannot be resolved in isolation, but rather something that requires assistance from the entire community.
CM Magazine: Canadian Review of Materials
Danny is by turns hostile, frightened, childish, sophisticated—in other words a real boy. Recommended.
Author Rosemarie Boll's first novel describes, in often harrowing detail, the devastating effects that spousal abuse can have on a family. Danny is a sympathetic character and his reactions to the drastic changes in his life are believable for a young teen. This is not a fast-paced plot and there is no dramatic final confrontation with the father, but a sense of suspense is sustained throughout as the reader waits to discover if Danny can make the right decision and accept his new life.
Canadian Children's Booknews
This is a great story of upheaval and change, as well as the conflict a young person feels when his life is abruptly changed and he feels like he has lost control. Recommended.
Library Media Connection
The Second Trial is the story of a family torn apart by one abusive individual. Author Rosemarie Boll deftly describes the years of abuse Danny's mother suffered in silence. Her prose begins to explain the mystery of why abused women continue to live in physical and emotional turmoil instead of packing up and leaving it behind. Boll uses her own professional knowledge of similar circumstances to illustrate the fear, the anger, and the eventual acceptance of how life is changed for families like Danny's. Readers should appreciate the honest, straight-forward approach in which this novel is presented.
Reading Junky's Reading Roost blog
Several teen novels have dealt with the shattering and long-term effects of domestic violence, but Rosemarie Boll's The Second Trial is distinctive in that the author has an intricate understanding of the Canadian legal system and the means by which domestic violence charges are dealt with in court. As a result, the novel has an added element of authenticity that contributes to its representation of domestic violence's effects. These effects are not only the physical scars that result from the moment of domestic violence, but also the psychological, economic, and social effects that they leave on victims, their families, and communities. As Boll's novel shows, the addressing of domestic violence in court is, in itself, insufficient as a resolution. Instead, it is what occurs after the trial that is more crucial in terms of rehabilitating the lives of those affected. 3 out of 4 stars.
This story is beautifully told, and readers will be pulled along with Danny as he slowly comes to face reality and his own demons. With most of the graphic violence offstage, this story is sensitive enough for younger readers to handle, yet the characters seem so real.
School Library Journal
Boll deftly portrays how Danny has begun to internalize his father's misogyny and aggression toward the female members of his family.
This is a realistic portrait of family abuse which also explains the assistance that is available to abused women and their families; but it is much more. It is a sympathetic, thoughtful picture of the physical and psychological trauma these families go through, even with solid help from the professionals whose job it is to help them.
Deakin Newsletter of Children's Literature
Rosemarie Boll gives the reader insight into family violence and how the legal system and social services strive to cope with the intensely emotional fallout of shattered relationships. We see the impact this has on children when their need to be kept safe is compromised by those who love them. It is easy to become engaged with the characters and their story.
This is a great story of upheaval and change, as well as the conflict a young person feels when his life is abruptly changed and he feels like he has lost control.
Library Media Connection