author: Florence Cadier

ages: 12+

160 pages



Born Guilty

  • A powerful novel based on the true story of 14-year-old George Stinney, convicted and electrocuted without a single piece of evidence. A chilling example of institutional racism.

    March 23, 1944. At that time in South Carolina, black lives did not matter. America's eyes are following the end of the conflict in Europe, and segregation is in full swing.

    George Stinney, a 14-year-old African-American boy, is arrested for the murder of two white girls. The boy, who admits to having met them a few hours before the murder, looks like the perfect suspect in the eyes of the sheriff.

    Questioned and forced to sign a confession that he does not understand, he is put in prison without seeing his parents again. Powerless, George's family doesn't even get the right to attend his trial.

    The jury, composed of 12 white men, will take only 10 minutes to convict George, 83 days after his arrest.

    George Stinney is the youngest person in the 20th century to have died on the electric chair.

    Florence Cadier, an author and a journalist, has imagined and told in this novel, in a sober style, the three months before the execution.


    "A powerful novel, well documented, in which universal themes subtly intersect". - LibbyLit (Belgian branch of IBBY)

    "A super important book, super riveting. You have to read this book and talk about this topic with children". Radio Canada

    "(...) a highly necessary read to never forget how fragile justice is". Les libraires, magazine des librairies indépendantes.