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Still reeling from his drug-dealing father's murder, moving in with the wealthy mother he never knew, and transferring to a private school, fifteen-year-old Jude is tricked into pleading guilty to a crime he did not commit.
"The intricacies of betrayal and discovery continue to the end of the novel."
— Booklist, starred review
The police arrived, then the paramedics, then the police photographer, and after that Jude lost track. There were so many officers and technicians and medical personnel that they spilled out of the small kitchen and into the hallway beyond. They knew what to do with the body lying on the kitchen floor. They knew how to secure the area to preserve evidence. They knew the procedure cold. But no one knew exactly how to handle Jude.
Jude sat in the darkened living room staring at the television. He was aware of what they must be thinking. What kind of kid sat watching TV when his father was lying dead in the next room? That's what they were saying in the kitchen. He knew the smart thing would've been to act like they expected him to. He should have cried or something.
They had taken his statement, then one of the policemen -- the youngest, the one who couldn't pass the buck -- was assigned to stay with him in the living room. The policeman didn't sit. He chose to stand, like a guard, near the doorway.
Jude could feel the officer glance at him every once in a while, but he kept his eyes carefully focused on the television -- so he didn't notice another figure in the doorway until he heard someone clear his throat.
When Jude looked up, he sawa man in a suit. The suit was the tip-off. Detective, Jude thought.
The man jerked his head at the young policeman, and the officer beat a quick retreat down the hall. Then he looked back to Jude and said, "Hey."
"Hey," Jude replied.
The detective seemed to take the brief acknowledgment as an invitation, and he crossed the room to stand beside the couch. He glanced over at the muted television.
"What are you watching?"
Jude shrugged. "Crap."
"It's all crap," the man said. "But I watch it anyway," he added. "Mind if I sit?"
Jude shifted slightly, as if to make room.
The detective sat on the end where the springs were broken, and he sagged almost to the ground. He grunted but didn't comment on it. At that level Jude could see that he was balding at the crown.
They sat without talking. Jude pretended to be staring at the screen, but he was really watching the man next to him out of the corner of his eye. Just as Jude thought the man was about to speak, a sharp voice echoed down the hallway.
"Where the hell are you, Burwell?"
Another man appeared in the doorway of the living room. This man was as thin and sharp as his voice -- except for his face, which had the drooping, wrinkled look of a hound dog.
"I thought we were doing the walk-through first," he said to Burwell. His eyes slid over to Jude. "Is this the kid?" he continued, without waiting for an answer to his first question.
Jude turned back to the television. He didn't like how this second man talked about him as if he weren't even in the room, but Jude's pointed movement failed to offend him; it just drew the man's attention to the television.
"You guys watching Leave It to Beaver or something?"
"We're just hanging out," Burwell said, glancing at Jude as if to include him in his answer.
The second man moved into the room to get a better look at the television. "Hey, I love this show," he said. "Turn up the sound for a minute."
Jude lifted the remote and changed the channel.
Instead of getting angry, the man broke into a smiling chuckle. "I see you've got a smart-ass here," he observed, but he said it as if it were a compliment.
"Hey, Grant, why don't you go back into the kitchen and make some notes about the scene. I'll be back in a couple," Burwell suggested.
"Okay, partner. Whatever you say." Grant looked over at Jude and said, "Don't let my partner fool you. He likes to play the jolly fat man, but he has the soul of a shark." He winked, pivoted on his heel, and disappeared back down the hallway.
"Don't mind him. He's an asshole," Burwell said in explanation. He paused, then asked delicately, "I need to ask you a few questions. You okay with that?"
"I guess." Jude tugged nervously at a ragged patch of fabric on the arm of the sofa.
Burwell pulled a notebook and a pen from his jacket pocket. "Were you the one who called in?"
"Okay. What's your name?"
"How old are you, Jude?"
"Can you tell me who that is in the kitchen?"
"That's my dad."
Burwell had been scribbling, but then he stopped. "I thought so," he said. "I'm sorry about your loss."
It was a common enough phrase, and the man said it without fuss. Jude realized that the detective must have repeated it a hundred times before. It was just part of a day's work for him. For some reason the thought that the loss of his father -- the only person Jude had in the world -- was just another corpse in a long line of bloody cases made his throat close up.
"Do you have any relatives we can call for you?"
Jude shook his head.
"No," he said. "There's no one."
"Where's your mother?"
Jude looked back at the TV. "Dunno. She split when I was a baby." He waited for the man's pity, but Burwell just made a note and plowed on with his questions.
"Were you in the apartment when the shooting occurred?"
Burwell didn't overtly react, but he watched Jude more closely as he asked him the next question.
Here was where it got tricky. Jude had spent the last half hour trying to decide what his story would be. He decided that he couldn't lie about being here. Too many people had seen him on his way home, and he had passed a neighbor when he came into the building. So he said, "I was here, watching TV."
Burwell wrote for a few seconds. "We'll go over this more later, but right now I want you to tell me about what happened. Do you think you can do that?"
Jude figured his best course would be to keep it simple. "I heard someone bust in the door," he said. He paused and had to clear his throat before going on. "They went down to the kitchen and I heard something, like a pop or something. Then they took off."
Jude covered quickly. "I heard them talking when they were walking down the hall."
"I'm pretty sure."
"So they never came back in here?"
Jude shook his head.
"And you didn't go into the kitchen?"
"Not until they split."
"Then you went in?"
"And what did you do when you went into the kitchen?"
"I called 911."
"And how long after that did the police arrive?"
"Less than ten minutes," Jude guessed.
"Do you know why someone might have wanted to kill your father?" Burwell asked, flipping the page in his notebook and still scribbling.
"Yeah." Jude had made the decision to be honest here.
Burwell glanced up. "Oh?"
"He was skimming too much from his shipments," Jude said. Now that they had gotten away from what happened, he felt a little steadier.
"His shipments of what?"
"Heroin and coke mostly." Jude changed the channel on the TV.
"Did he get a shipment tonight?"
"You saw it?"
"Did you see who dropped it off?"
Jude shook his head.
"Do you know who he got it from?"
Burwell rested his notebook on his knee and looked at Jude, his plump face unreadable in the light from the television.
Jude expected another question, but this time it didn't come.
"So, you think you're pretty tough, I guess," Burwell said mildly.
The comment caught Jude off guard. He didn't know what to say, so he didn't say anything.
Burwell took his silence as agreement. "Well, I'll let you believe that for a little while. I'm going to have one of the men take you down to the station, and we'll come down when we finish here. So you have maybe" -- he checked his watch -- "an hour or so to think about how tough you are before we get there."
He folded up his notebook and tucked it back into his pocket, sliding the pen in beside it.
"See, I'm ready to be sympathetic and understanding here, but if you don't tell me the truth, you're forcing my hand. I've been doing this too long not to smell bullshit when it's served up to me. The officers asked your neighbors if they heard anything. They're not too helpful -- apparently no one saw a damn thing -- but your neighbor Mrs. Ramos was pretty positive about one very interesting detail. She said she heard someone kick in the door. She didn't call the police or go out and check because she didn't want to get involved, but she was worried enough that they might try her door next that she stood and listened for them. Mrs. Ramos claims that whoever went into your apartment didn't come out for nearly ten minutes. She was real positive about that. Willing-to-testify kind of positive, if you know what I mean. So maybe you should think about whether you want to tell me what was going on in here for those ten minutes. Ten minutes you say you were here in the TV room and they were shooting your father, and you didn't see a thing."
Jude scrambled desperately to think of something to say -- something convincing, something believable.
Burwell waited a moment, and when Jude didn't respond, he said, "You see, this detective thing isn't that hard because people aren't that smart." He stared at Jude. Jude tried to stare back, but he found he couldn't hold it.
"Listen, you're young. We don't send kids to jail. If you had something to do with this, it's better to tell us. Then we can help you. Maybe it was a friend of yours come to take care of things for you. You've got a nasty bruise there, and your neighbors told us that you tend to get a lot of bruises. We take those things into account, you know. We understand about things like that."
"You don't understand anything," Jude said.
The detective seemed to hear the catch in his throat, and his next question was gentler. "Okay, maybe I don't, but how can I understand if you don't tell me? Listen, if you're scared about them coming after you, remember, we're the police. Protecting people is what we do."
If Jude had only been worried about his safety, he might have caved in and told the detective everything he knew. But the man had trusted him. He had trusted Jude to keep his word and had left him alive. He wasn't going to be like his father, Jude told himself fiercely.
When the silence stretched out, the detective nodded as if Jude had said something that confirmed all his suspicions. "Right. Let me explain something to you, Jude. Maybe you didn't have anything to do with this, but if you know something about your father's murder and you don't tell us, that makes you an accessory to the crime. That means you're partially responsible, and if we can prove it, we can cart you off to juvie, and the boys there will make a tough kid like you look like cotton candy. So think about that for a little while, and see if you can remember anything else."
Jude thought about it.
He was still thinking about it in the interrogation room more than two hours later. One of the policemen had taken him down to the station to wait for the detectives, and the longer he sat there, the more he felt like he wanted to jump out of his skin.
He jumped up and paced the room, back and forth, back and forth. The mirrored window caught his eye, and he realized that someone -- maybe even the detectives -- could be on the other side watching. Waiting. Figuring out when he was softened up enough. They already knew he was lying. His story hadn't held up for even five minutes. What would happen if they questioned him for two hours? Would he hold out...or would he break down and tell them the truth?
Copyright © 2004 by Kate Morgenroth
Excerpted from Jude by Kate Morgenroth Copyright © 2004 by Kate Morgenroth. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Posted November 29, 2007
This is the first book i ever read by kate morgenroth and i think it is outstanding. It is a very good sad but happy book. When i first got this book i only read like 10 pages at first and my eyes were glued to the page i love this book and i hope this book could be made into a movie because its just that good. I am also looking forward to reading more of kate morgenroths books especially kill me first that book looks like it will be very interesting. All i can say is thanx for creating such great books and to keep up the good work.
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 1, 2011
Jude by Kate Morgenroth was a fantastic book. This is the first I¿ve read of Morgenroth and I will never regret my choice. This book is flooding with emotion. At some points you will be scared, and then you will be smiling and joyful, and then you¿ll want to cry. Jude is a book about a teen age boy, named Jude, that has to go through, pretty much everything people don`t want to experience in their lives. He is faced with death, drug dealing, jail, and so much more throughout the book. From the very beginning Kate Morgenroth has you on the edge of your seat with your eyes glued to the page. On the very first page, you read about the death of Jude¿s drug dealing father. Throughout the book, a connection grows between you and Jude, and you feel extreme sympathy for him and wish everything would be better in his life. Although Jude is faced with many challenges, he succeeds and excels in life at the end of the book. After being reunited with his high class mother, Anne, he uses that reunion as a drive for his life. My favorite aspect of this book is its lesson. It teaches you to never give up on your dream, even when faced with roadblocks, keep going. One thing I didn¿t like about this book is basically the buildup to the climax. Not because its poorly developed or because it was dull, but because of what Jude had to go through. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good suspense story. Not suspense in the traditional sense, but the kind that keeps you guessing. I do feel like this book is for an older more mature crowd because of its talk about murder, drugs, and at some point¿s offensive language. If I were to rate this book I would give it four and a half out of 5 stars. I hope you take time read this book!
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 22, 2011
Posted February 8, 2013
This should be titled THE WOELDS BEST BOOK becase it truely is just that. Personally this is one of my very few favorite books in earth. If I had the tim i would read this book over and over and over again until my brain explodes. Lol. But seriously if you own 11$ GET THIS BOOK!!
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 16, 2011
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Posted August 18, 2013
This book was an amazing find. It had twists and turns in the plot every chapter and had characters turning out to not be the same as you thought. The plot grows more and more complex, but is still followable.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 21, 2012
Jude is a book about a teen age boy that has to go through, pretty much everything people don`t want to experience in their lives. He is faced with death, drug dealing, jail, and so much more throughout the book. The character of Jude is a very interesting character to follow during the book. Throughout the book I got more attached to him and found myself upset when Jude was at harm. The book starts out with a great lead that really grabs your attention. In the first page you hear about the murder of Jude`s drug dealer father which already sets up an interesting situation. Within the first few pages of the book you are already able to tell Jude`s personality, a shy, strong (both physically and emotionally) young man living in a rough neighborhood. Jude reunites with his higher class mother, Anna. Anna`s character I felt was very bland and not well developed on, the situation Jude was put in in his new, higher class lifestyle was very intriguing and it also set up Jude with peer pressure at school which was a good dilemma in the book. As Jude gets older in the book he is put into tougher situations, but he also grows more in responsibility and shows that he can make something of himself. Showing how Jude grows maturely in the book was a good aspect to it because if it was not put into the book it would be to much of an emotional book. The best quality of the book was the realism of many of the characters and settings. Though the book drags on at times, it is mostly a good read if you are up for a pretty realistic, but some what gloomy book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Jude is not just a book. He is a character that grows and seems more than real. He seems like a friend, or possibly even the reader: you. He carries with him a powerful message of desires, sorrows and the transformations one can go through. Jude's life had never been all he wanted, even though he didn't know just what it was that he needed most. Then, when he discovers that he wants to find his mother more than anything, his abusive, drug-dealing father is brutally murdered and that is precisely where the police put him. The story unfolds as it is revealed exactly who Jude's mother is and Jude realizes that living the good life is harder than it sounds. Complications arise both in Jude's new school and back on the street where Jude grew up and it is Jude that is blamed for all of it. This is when Jude's mom's boyfriend formulates a plan that tests both Jude and himself to their fullest capacity. This novel is very powerful and filled with insight into the darker parts of reality. There are times when Jude has contact with drugs and these encounters all but ruin his life. This novel also includes groundbreaking imagery. When Jude's father is murdered, the imagery is so detailed and precise that it evokes emotion from the reader. All of the characters are dynamic and drastically change as the story develops. Jude's reporter friend, Davis, turns into a completely different person as he turns into a respectable adult. This novel is primarily for teens but adults may also find it intriguing. I would give this book two enthusiastic thumbs-up! Jude will have you hooked from page one and keep you guessing until you turn the final page.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 14, 2009
Posted April 11, 2009
This book book has a way of triggering your emotion. It is a real story about real things. The main character is a boy named Jude who lives in the ghetto area. There is a lot of crime were he lives. But once something terrible happens to his father he has a chance of changing his life for the better. His father is a drug dealer which is not a great impression for Jude. His father was cheating on his deals by mixing things like baby powder with the drugs he sold. This all eventually caught up to him. This book was very good and i definitley recommend it. It kept me reading and did get a little intense.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 28, 2008
I thought the book had a lot of the topics that I rated in it. <BR/>There were a lot of unforgettable things that Jude went through. His mother only wanted to move higher up in her career or political life. It was Edgy because of how Jude spent most of his life locked up when he truely didn't deserve it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 10, 2008
This is one of the greatest books I¿ve ever read. In the beginning, teenager Jude watches his drug-dealing father get shot down at the kitchen table. He was living with his separated mother, the district attorney, when he met Nick, who eventually died of overdose after Jude took him to buy drugs in Jude¿s rough old neighborhood. Jude is then charged with murder and tried¿ as an adult? Just when you think that he will be proved innocent, there is a twist. Watch as he goes through the terrible hardships of jail time and maybe something even worse: having to explain to his mother why he is innocent. This was a very eye opening book about the dangers of drugs and the horrors of prison. I enjoyed the book because of Jude¿s ability to keep his composure in difficult situations and his finding a way to fix the situation. For instance, when he witnesses his father¿s murder, he remained tough and when he was sent to jail, he decided to fix the situation by studying for a degree 'he finished his GED while in prison'. Also, when he began to try to prove his innocence, he found a reliable people with insight to help him. The author¿s writing style was unique. She told you about what Jude was going through emotionally. The plot was exciting and the message was positive. I give this book a B+ or four stars. This is a perfect book for high school kids to read during their free time.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 10, 2008
Adrienne. After Jude¿s father is murdered over a drug deal gone bad, Jude moves in with his wealthy mother, a district attorney, who abandoned him when he was born. Jude is welcomed in by his mother and her boyfriend and starts a new life with them. Everything is going fine until one of Jude¿s friends at his new school dies of a drug overdose. It does not look good for his mother¿s campaign for mayor when everyone blames Jude for his friend¿s death. Jude makes the choice to sacrifice everything for his mother. He has ot trust his mother¿s boyfriend to help him tell her what really happens in the end.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 11, 2008
Jude is a great book by an amazing writer named Kate Morgenroth. This book is very good because of Morgenroth¿s ability to write with such suspense. The character she made is a character that I feel like I know and I could relate to. This book really is an amazing book that really leaves you with many thoughts and feelings after you are done reading. I feel different now about people like the main character in the book, only because I read this novel. The book starts out with Jude, a fourteen year old boy who is living in a life of poverty with only his dad, having his father killed. He makes a promise, though, that he will not tell on the people who killed his dad so many people think he killed his father. He soon moves in with his mother and almost starts a completely new life, where he has enough money to live properly. He soon finds out, though, that his old friends got into drugs and his mother then thinks he also got into drugs. So he fakes that he is on drugs so his mother can keep her head up in their local town. For this, he is sentenced to jail. He has to now start his life over again and try to accomplish his dreams. I really thought this book was one of the best books I ever read because of all the suspense and reality it brought to my life. An example of suspense would be when he gets thrown into jail because he gets into a lot of fights. To read the outcome though, you have to read the entire next chapter. The reality of this book is all about how Jude is like many inner-city kids that live in Baltimore, which is a big city near where I live. In the book, Jude is a very poor child, who loves basketball, which Baltimore has everywhere. One of my favorite parts was when Jude was in the stressful situation of seeing his father being killed. This left me feeling terrible for this young kid. The plot of this story was very well thought out and was made for teen readers who get very restless with many stories. I think that the message of the story was to just show people how many kids who live their lives are very poor. I would recommend this book to everyone. I would give this book five stars out of five. Finally, when you read this book you have to think of all the poor children in many major cities that are struggling, and this book will make more sense.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 10, 2008
After reading the novel, ¿Jude,¿ by Kate Morgenroth, I am able to declare with confidence that this book is thrilling and full of unexpected twists that you will surely savor. In the book, the main character Jude witnesses the murder of his father, is found by his long lost mother, and starts his life over in a new, affluent neighborhood quite different from his old one. After a drug scandal, in which he was partially involved in at his school, begins to hurt his mother¿s chances for being elected as mayor, he sets himself up as the criminal responsible for everything. With the help of his mother¿s friend Henry, he allows himself to be arrested by his mother, changing the public opinion to be in favor of her. He is then condemned to jail with the sentence of five years in prison under the false promise of release after his mother wins election. He undergoes several changes while in prison, meets many people, and learns all sorts of lessons and realities while counting down to the day when he will finally be released to bring justice to his life. This book was, as I stated earlier, very exciting. It is the kind of book that you will not be able to put down once you pick it up. The part where Henry reveals that he had known Jude¿s identity and his father long before anyone else, and that he planned these unfortunate events to keep Jude away from his mother is an example of one of the events in the story in which the author takes a character¿s actions and reasoning even further than what a reader¿s expectations might be. I also consider this to be a book that creates a sense of deep thinking. Valuable lessons are taught in the book, such as the idea of taking full responsibility for your actions. Old Man River was the man who shared his cell with Jude, and when Jude told him that they should share some of the blame with the people who involved them in a crime, he responded, ¿If we share it, then I need to forgive two people instead of one, and if I can¿t forgive him¿how can I forgive myself?¿ Other values that Jude learned were through events that occurred. After drowning his misery in extreme violence to the point where he almost kills a man, he realizes that he was on his way to becoming a person he did not want to be. He realized that he was coming closer and closer to being exactly how his father was: angry, abusive, and leading a life full of misery with the inability to deal with life¿s problems rationally. The way in which the author writes ¿Jude¿ makes readers experience a sense of reality. We see relationships that we can connect to, such as the ones shared by Jude and his mother, and the one shared by the siblings, Davis and Lizzy. Their interactions are what you would expect, being that they are typical relationships that many of us have in our lives. When Jude would try hard to make his mother proud of him and when Davis and Lizzy would argue and tease each other are both examples of the realistic elements thrown into the story. The author also writes in a way that will emotionally impact the reader. Jude¿s situation is a very bleak, sad one. At the age of only fifteen, he is thrown into prison and forced to remain there for five years of his life. He was cruelly deceived by a man he thought he could trust, his mother whose love he cherished now wishes that she never found him, and he is constantly in fights and suffering injuries. To add to that, the ending is also not necessarily a happy one, as one would suspect. The truth is that people who have actually had experiences like Jude usually do not turn out as well off as he was in the end. It opens one¿s eyes to a more empathetic opinion for minors, as well as others, in jail. I would highly recommend this book for those seeking a darker sort of story with well developed characters, and a plot that never slows down. There are some grim topics in this book, such as drug abuse, jail situations, betrayal, and broken relationships that canWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 11, 2008
Kate Morgenroth brings another homerun book, Jude, to the table. It starts off with the death of young Jude¿s father. But it¿s not just the death of Jude¿s father, it¿s a shooting Jude¿s not supposed to see, but does. During the search of the apartment Jude lives in, the FBI finds who Jude¿s mother is, a person Jude didn¿t¿ know existed. His mothers the DA of a nearby county, so Jude moves in with his mother, and befriends her partner, Harry. In a twisted plot to protect his mother¿s political career, Jude pleads not guilty to an assisted homicide case, and is shunned from his family for the years he spends away. After pleading not guilty, Jude¿s life is a rollercoaster ride of highs, lows, friendship, and a feeling of fitting in since his father was killed. ¿It was as if he were playing at another life-almost as if he weren¿t the same person that had lived with his father for fifteen years.¿ Morgenroth talks about the other side of the story when a kid from the wrong side of the tracks is forced to live where he obviously doesn¿t fit it. She masterfully created characters who are complete, and almost touchable, with plotlines that twist and turn constantly. If you don¿t feel sorrow for Jude, than you can¿t feel it for anybody. You truly hope Jude can put his life on track, and you¿ll shout out in celebration if he does. I¿d recommend Jude for anyone, from teenagers to parents alike.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 27, 2008
Jude is probly one of the best books I have read this year. I like how real it is how he tries to help his Mom but he can not tell her that he is trying to help her win her election because she will freak out. Also he thinks he has a friend on the outside but he finds out he back stabbed him. But over all this is a good book i recamend it to all teenagers.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 14, 2008