by Kelly Loy Gilbert


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William C. Morris Debut Award Finalist

*"A poignant look at the messiness of love, faith, and humanity."
School Library Journal

Ten years ago, Braden was given a sign, a promise that his family wouldn't fall apart the way he feared.

But Braden got it wrong: his older brother, Trey, has been estranged from the family for almost as long, and his father, the only parent Braden has ever known, has been accused of murder. The arrest of Braden's father, a well-known Christian radio host, has sparked national media attention. His fate lies in his son's hands; Braden is the key witness in his father's upcoming trial.

Braden has always measured himself through baseball. He is the star pitcher in his small town of Ornette, and his ninety-four mile per hour pitch already has minor league scouts buzzing in his junior year. Now the rules of the sport that has always been Braden's saving grace are blurred in ways he never realized, and the prospect of playing against Alex Reyes, the nephew of the police officer his father is accused of killing, is haunting his every pitch.

Braden faces an impossible choice, one that will define him for the rest of his life, in this brutally honest debut novel about family, faith, and the ultimate test of conviction.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781423197386
Publisher: Disney Press
Publication date: 05/19/2015
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 1,173,237
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)
Lexile: 940L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Kelly Loy Gilbert believes deeply in the power of stories to illuminate a shared humanity and give voice to complex, broken people. She is passionate about social justice, the San Francisco Giants, and organizing things by color. She studied writing at UC San Diego and San Francisco State, and enjoys serving on the NaNoWriMo Associate Board and leading creative writing workshops for teens. She lives in the SF Bay Area with her family in an apartment teeming with books. She would be thrilled to hear from you on Twitter @KellyLoyGilbert or at

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Conviction 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think that this book was wonderfully written and definitely portrayed how religion, baseball, and family all ties together in this story. This story is about a family, a father who is a well known radio host, the oldest son Trey, who lives in New York and has his own restaurant but avoids contact with his family, then there's Braden, the youngest who is still in high school and lives with his dad. Ten years ago, God made a promise to Braden, a promise that his family wouldn't fall apart the way he'd hoped it wouldn't, yet ten years later, Braden's estranged older brother and his father, the only parent he'd ever known and the only adult in his life has just been accused for murder.. Braden is a key witness of what happened the night his father got taken away, both pulled out of the car and taken to the station as fast as a blink of an eye. Braden is so confused in all of this and just wants his family together, but everything is falling apart. He's finding out maybe he's a burden to his brother, who has come back down to Ornette for Braden so they won't put him in a group home, his father, and to himself. Braden is a pitcher for his small town of Ornette, but going up against Alex Reyes, the nephew of the police officer his dad was accused of murdering is now disorienting him, haunting him, whenever he pitches. Braden doesn't deserve all he's been given, with losing his family, and he may never get his dad back, but he is the only one that can save his dad, depending on what he'll say at his testimony.
DahlELama More than 1 year ago
This book was such a punch in the gut, but oh how I loved it. It's so masterfully and confidently written, with no easy answers and a uniquely unfolding narrative that ties family, baseball, and faith together beautifully. This is probably the 2015 YA I'm most frustrated isn't getting more buzz, especially after fantastic trade reviews, and I really hope more people pick it up!
NeverendingTBRlist More than 1 year ago
This is a beautifully written story about a high school baseball player who's father is accused of the murder of a police officer. Braden and his father insist it was an accident. It was foggy outside and he didn't see the Officer Reyes. With his father in jail, Braden is left in the care of his estranged older brother Trey. As the date for his court testimony approaches, Braden is left with the decision of telling the truth or lying to protect his father from the death penalty. This story is an excellent example of an abusive relationship. It's not physical but Braden's father makes him believe he(his father) is the only person who could ever love him and that love must be earned. I also love how religion and faith plays a big role in the story without any preaching. Overall, great story. Beautiful writing with great character development and a hopeful endin
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not a very good book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DonnaGambale More than 1 year ago
This is one of the most intense and complex father-son relationships I've seen — dealing with alcoholism & physical violence, extreme pressure to do well in baseball, emotional abuse, and plenty of conservative Christian guilt. The character portrayals in the book are nuanced and incredible. It makes you think about the complex nature of love, loyalty, and faith, and it stays with you long after you've finished. For my full recommendation, visit This Is What You Should Be Reading: http://www [dot] thisiswhatyoushouldbereading [dot] com/recommendations/2015/7/2/conviction-by-kelly-loy-gilbert
itsraymarie More than 1 year ago
I loved this one. I wasn't sure about it going in, because I've never really been a fan of sports books, but this one was so much more than baseball. It was unique, distinct, thrilling, and emotional. At first, Braden may seem like a simple character. But don't let that fool you. He is complex, with many layers that we slowly see peeled away. He lives a simple life with his father, where baseball is pretty much his whole life. His brother left as soon as he could, leaving Braden feeling abandoned. Then, Braden's father is accused of murder, and his brother Trey has to come back to watch over him until the trial is over. The story is also told a lot in flashbacks, leading up to what actually happened that night. While Braden looks like he has it all together, we see that is not actually the case. There are a lot of sides to his dad as well, and things start coming to light as the story progresses. This gives the story a sense of mystery and suspense, as we wait to see what happened. Braden is also trying to find himself. His dad is a famous Christian radio host, so Braden has had a lot stuffed down his throat. While there is religion in this book, it's not necessarily religious. Braden is trying to figure out what he believes. This book deals with a lot, from faith to race to who Braden actually is. This book deals with a lot of gray areas. Things aren't always black and white, and that's a hard place to navigate for a teen on his own. Like I said, this book deals with a lot of gray. Braden may make mistakes, but he learns from them. He's learning who he is, and that he isn't who his father made him to be. He also learns things about his father, his brother, that he didn't know before, and they shake his world. I think this book did a great job of dealing with those issues and those gray areas. It was definitely an emotional ride, the farther we get and the more we see his father. And the way everything could be metaphorically tied back to baseball was quite beautiful. This was an amazing story.