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My Time Will Come: A Memoir of Crime, Punishment, Hope, and Redemption

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My story has been told many times and by highly regarded experts in their fields [judges, prosecutors, juvenile probation officers, sociologists, journalists]. But today, if you'll bear with me, I would like to try to tell it to you myself. I have reason to believe the experts may be wrong about me. You see, today, thirty years later, I am neither in prison nor dead.--I My story has been told many times and by highly regarded experts in their fields [judges, prosecutors, juvenile probation officers, sociologists, journalists]. But today, if you'll bear with me, I would like to try to tell it to you myself. I have reason to believe the experts may be wrong about me. You see, today, thirty years later, I am neither in prison nor dead.--Ian Manuel The United States is the only country in the world that sentences thirteen- and fourteen-year-old offenders, mostly youth of color, to life in prison without parole, regardless of the scientifically proven singularities of the developing adolescent brain--a heinous wrinkle in the scandal of mass incarceration. In 1991, Ian Manuel, then fourteen was sentenced to life without parole for a non-homicide crime. In a botched mugging attempt with some older boys, he shot Debbie Baigrie, a young white mother of two, in the face. But as Bryan Stevenson has insisted, none of us should be judged by only the worst thing we have ever done. Here, capturing the fullness of his humanity, is Ian Manuel's powerful testimony of growing up homeless in Central Park Village in Tampa, Florida, a neighborhood riddled with poverty, gang violence, and drug abuse--and of his efforts to rise above his circumstances, only to find himself, partly through his own actions, imprisoned for two-thirds of his life, eighteen years of which were spent in solitary confinement. Here is the at once wrenching and inspiring story of how he endured the savagery of the US prison system and of how his victim, an extraordinary woman, forgave him and bravely advocated for his freedom, achieved by a crusade on the part of the Equal Justice Initiative to address a barbarism of our judicial system, and to bring about just mercy. Full of unexpected twists and turns as it describes a struggle to attain the glory of redemption, My Time Will Come is a paean to the capacity of the human will to transcend adversity through determination and art (in Ian Manuel's case, his dedication to writing poetry).


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My story has been told many times and by highly regarded experts in their fields [judges, prosecutors, juvenile probation officers, sociologists, journalists]. But today, if you'll bear with me, I would like to try to tell it to you myself. I have reason to believe the experts may be wrong about me. You see, today, thirty years later, I am neither in prison nor dead.--I My story has been told many times and by highly regarded experts in their fields [judges, prosecutors, juvenile probation officers, sociologists, journalists]. But today, if you'll bear with me, I would like to try to tell it to you myself. I have reason to believe the experts may be wrong about me. You see, today, thirty years later, I am neither in prison nor dead.--Ian Manuel The United States is the only country in the world that sentences thirteen- and fourteen-year-old offenders, mostly youth of color, to life in prison without parole, regardless of the scientifically proven singularities of the developing adolescent brain--a heinous wrinkle in the scandal of mass incarceration. In 1991, Ian Manuel, then fourteen was sentenced to life without parole for a non-homicide crime. In a botched mugging attempt with some older boys, he shot Debbie Baigrie, a young white mother of two, in the face. But as Bryan Stevenson has insisted, none of us should be judged by only the worst thing we have ever done. Here, capturing the fullness of his humanity, is Ian Manuel's powerful testimony of growing up homeless in Central Park Village in Tampa, Florida, a neighborhood riddled with poverty, gang violence, and drug abuse--and of his efforts to rise above his circumstances, only to find himself, partly through his own actions, imprisoned for two-thirds of his life, eighteen years of which were spent in solitary confinement. Here is the at once wrenching and inspiring story of how he endured the savagery of the US prison system and of how his victim, an extraordinary woman, forgave him and bravely advocated for his freedom, achieved by a crusade on the part of the Equal Justice Initiative to address a barbarism of our judicial system, and to bring about just mercy. Full of unexpected twists and turns as it describes a struggle to attain the glory of redemption, My Time Will Come is a paean to the capacity of the human will to transcend adversity through determination and art (in Ian Manuel's case, his dedication to writing poetry).

30 review for My Time Will Come: A Memoir of Crime, Punishment, Hope, and Redemption

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kaytee Cobb

    I will read all memoirs of people that had their lives changed by Bryan Stevenson.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    Have you heard Ian Manuel’s story? I purchased the audiobook because he narrates it himself, and I both read and listened to this powerful book. If you’ve read Just Mercy or The Sun Does Shine, please don’t miss My Time Will Come. At 13 years old, Ian Manuel is living with his mom in Tampa, Florida, often homeless and in transition. He shoots a woman he’s attempting to rob, and ultimately is sentenced to life in prison at the age of fourteen. While in prison, he spends the majority of his sentenc Have you heard Ian Manuel’s story? I purchased the audiobook because he narrates it himself, and I both read and listened to this powerful book. If you’ve read Just Mercy or The Sun Does Shine, please don’t miss My Time Will Come. At 13 years old, Ian Manuel is living with his mom in Tampa, Florida, often homeless and in transition. He shoots a woman he’s attempting to rob, and ultimately is sentenced to life in prison at the age of fourteen. While in prison, he spends the majority of his sentence (18 years) in solitary confinement. Ian Manuel immediately expressed remorse towards the woman he shot, Debbie Baigrie. The two connected and wrote letters and sometimes spoke on the phone in sporadic contact over his time in prison. That same woman was there, advocating for his release when Bryan Stevenson and his team got involved in questioning why Ian was one of the few teenagers serving life sentences for this type of crime. My Time Will Come is filled with Ian Manuel’s beautiful poetry, much of which he wrote while in prison. With the help of the Supreme Court taking a look at his case, he was released from prison. It wasn’t an easy read, even though it’s well-written and emotional. Ian’s actions that day didn’t happen in a vacuum. There were many layers of trauma and abuse he openly shared. A powerful story of resilience and never giving up, and also one of the power of forgiveness and redemption. Highly recommended. I received a gifted copy of the book from the publisher and purchased the audio copy. Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader

  3. 4 out of 5

    Oscreads

    Finished. Thank you @pantheonbooks #partner for sending a copy of “My Time Will Come” by Ian Manuel. I got this book the other day and I instantly started it. I literally dropped the four other books that I was reading to read this memoir and I’m glad I did. This was a tough read but while reading this I began to see the importance and the power behind Manuel’s words. If you get a chance please pre-order this book, I highly recommend it. Ian Manuel’s memoir is out in May.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    I was absolutely astonished while reading this book. Speechless. This is the true story of Ian Manuel, and his case. Manuel discusses the crime he committed as a 13 year old child, the environment that molded and shaped him, and how the US penal system swallows up our Black boys and men with a vengeance; hoping that they are no longer apart of society, forever. This book should not only enlighten you to Ian Manuel’s plight, but this book should open your eyes to the severity of treatment that is I was absolutely astonished while reading this book. Speechless. This is the true story of Ian Manuel, and his case. Manuel discusses the crime he committed as a 13 year old child, the environment that molded and shaped him, and how the US penal system swallows up our Black boys and men with a vengeance; hoping that they are no longer apart of society, forever. This book should not only enlighten you to Ian Manuel’s plight, but this book should open your eyes to the severity of treatment that is being handed down in prisons towards minors, minorities; particularly, Black males. In 1990, the state of Florida sentenced Ian Manuel to “natural life,” life without parole, 15 years, and life probation when he was 13 years old. The state of Florida deemed that a 13 year old Black boy would never be redeemable as a human being in his entire life and deserved to die in prison. On top of this harsh and cruel punishment, Manuel was constantly assigned to solitary confinement for 18 years, from the age of 15 years old. The decompensation, the deterioration, and emotional and inner turmoil that he went through for the 26 years he spent in prison, was hard to read and process through emotionally. What the US has done to children in this country is beyond comprehension. Although, Manuel was able to survive prison and the cycle of abuse that he had to endure, the system needs to be dismantled. If anyone doubts how systemic racism has constructed the pipeline to prison for Black boys, you should read this book. Prison abolition has also been shouted into the halls of justice for decades. Mass incarceration of our Black youth has reached levels of insurmountable damage that is damn near impossible to correct. Prison advocates, private prison industry, state and city legislation that allows for the genocide of our people all have blood on their hands. This book showcases the affects of poverty, poor quality education, systemic racism, and over-policing in Black communities that lead to a demise in some of our Black youth. There is no way that a 13 year old Black boy would be irredeemable, beyond repair and rehabilitated, sentenced to die in prison. As Bryan Stevenson has stated, “Each of us is more than the worst thing we've ever done.” The racism and prejudice that exists in prisons need to be eradicated. Prison abolition is our answer. I am utterly mesmerized by Ian’s life, and how he is adjusting to his life post-prison. He incurred some serious trauma in his life, and I just pray for his soul, his vulnerability, and his ability to discern what is in the best interest for his life. Thank you to Netgalley, Ian Manuel, and Pantheon Books for this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. Full review, link in bio. Companion reads with this book: · Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson · The Sun does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton · Heavy by Kiese Laymon · Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates · Bird Uncaged by Marlon Peterson • A Knock At Midnight by Brittany K. Barnett

  5. 5 out of 5

    Never Without a Book

    | My Time Will Come: A Memoir of Crime, Punishment, Hope, and Redemption | Ian Manuel In this unsparing memoir, Ian Manuel describes his experience as a juvenile prisoner who was sentenced to life in prison without parole at the age of 14. Manuel goes on to describes how he was blinded by his pain and how he was pressured into committing a crime by older boys. I’ve heard and read many, many stories like this, Black girls and boys who are sentenced to life in prison for nonhomicide crimes at a ver | My Time Will Come: A Memoir of Crime, Punishment, Hope, and Redemption | Ian Manuel In this unsparing memoir, Ian Manuel describes his experience as a juvenile prisoner who was sentenced to life in prison without parole at the age of 14. Manuel goes on to describes how he was blinded by his pain and how he was pressured into committing a crime by older boys. I’ve heard and read many, many stories like this, Black girls and boys who are sentenced to life in prison for nonhomicide crimes at a very young age and the whole thing just blows my mind on how the judicial system works. Throughout this memoir and describing his experience through poetry, Manual criticizes the prison system for its use of excessive punishment. With the help of Bryan Stevenson’s organization ‘Equal Justice Initiative’, Stevenson, and his team, argued that the use of extreme punishment was unconstitutional. The Supreme Court agreed, leading to Manuel’s release in 2016. I felt that Manuel had so much more to say, but overall this story is both uplifting and heart-wrenching. Thank you, @Pantheon for this gifted copy.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Benson

    Another amazing story of perseverance and resilience connected to the Equal Justice Initiative. My friend, Tatiana Bertsch, helped secure Ian’s release, and I did not realize this until her name popped up about 2/3 of the way through the book. Then chills went down my spine because I remember eating dinner at Howley’s in December 2016 and seeing Ian and Tatiana walk in and eat together - just three short weeks after Ian’s release from prison. If you loved Just Mercy and The Sun Does Shine, you w Another amazing story of perseverance and resilience connected to the Equal Justice Initiative. My friend, Tatiana Bertsch, helped secure Ian’s release, and I did not realize this until her name popped up about 2/3 of the way through the book. Then chills went down my spine because I remember eating dinner at Howley’s in December 2016 and seeing Ian and Tatiana walk in and eat together - just three short weeks after Ian’s release from prison. If you loved Just Mercy and The Sun Does Shine, you will love this book too. According to Tatiana, Ian is a f**king miracle!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Eduvigues Cruz

    Wow. Speechless.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sara Broad

    "My Time Will Come" by Ian Manuel is the true story of the author's decades long struggle to secure freedom from a lifetime prison sentence for a crime he committed as a young teenager. Manuel details the vicious nature of America's system of mass incarceration and provides just one story of the many teenagers who are sentenced to a life behind bars for crimes they committed at a young age. Manuel spends decades, mostly in solitary confinement, searching for any avenue that will prove that the l "My Time Will Come" by Ian Manuel is the true story of the author's decades long struggle to secure freedom from a lifetime prison sentence for a crime he committed as a young teenager. Manuel details the vicious nature of America's system of mass incarceration and provides just one story of the many teenagers who are sentenced to a life behind bars for crimes they committed at a young age. Manuel spends decades, mostly in solitary confinement, searching for any avenue that will prove that the length of time for which he was sentenced never gives him the space to reestablish himself in society as a grown man who has learned from his actions. With the help of Bryan Stevenson and his team of lawyers at The Equal Justice Initiative, Manuel is released from prison. While his story is hopeful for Manuel himself, it barely shows promise for the people stuck behind bars without choice representation. "My Time Will Come" is interspersed with poems Manuel wrote during his time in prison and highlights that while each person is responsible for his or her own actions, the trauma experienced by people living in poverty often leads people, especially young people, to make decisions that are may not have been made under different circumstances. This book is really outstanding.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kay

    If you have any illusions about our prison system being one of rehabilitation, Ian Manuel will break those ideas with his images of prison life in Florida. Confinement, made up incidents of non-compliance, stricter than societal behavior restrictions. As a 14 year old boy, he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for a non-homicidal crime committed at the instigation of older boys. He saved himself through writing poetry, imaging a life of love and fulfillment, seekin If you have any illusions about our prison system being one of rehabilitation, Ian Manuel will break those ideas with his images of prison life in Florida. Confinement, made up incidents of non-compliance, stricter than societal behavior restrictions. As a 14 year old boy, he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for a non-homicidal crime committed at the instigation of older boys. He saved himself through writing poetry, imaging a life of love and fulfillment, seeking reconciliation and determination. He was eventually discovered by the Equal Justice Initiative of Bryan Stevenson and the story evolves from there. A good read for sure.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Becca

    If you’re like me and were moved by Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy, Ian Manuel’s story will serve as another beautiful reminder that “each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done.” Alongside his original poetry, Ian Manuel tells his story of being sentenced to life without parole for a crime he committed at 13 years old, and what followed. This book will shed light on some of the major changes that still need to be made in the American judicial system, but it also speaks of hope, forgiv If you’re like me and were moved by Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy, Ian Manuel’s story will serve as another beautiful reminder that “each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done.” Alongside his original poetry, Ian Manuel tells his story of being sentenced to life without parole for a crime he committed at 13 years old, and what followed. This book will shed light on some of the major changes that still need to be made in the American judicial system, but it also speaks of hope, forgiveness, and the resilience of the human spirit. Thanks to the publisher and netgalley for the advanced review copy. My Time Will Come releases on May 4, 2021.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Stuart

    3.5 stars rounded up because at the end of the day I still love his story, I just got lost in the last parts of the book. So much moving from one prison to another to another and a lot of crammed information made it difficult to follow I was losing interest. But that doesn’t take away from the story and how Ian endured against all odds. If you loved Just Mercy and The Sun Does Shine I highly recommend this. Ian’s story stood out in Just Mercy and it was nice to read his poetry. I didn’t know muc 3.5 stars rounded up because at the end of the day I still love his story, I just got lost in the last parts of the book. So much moving from one prison to another to another and a lot of crammed information made it difficult to follow I was losing interest. But that doesn’t take away from the story and how Ian endured against all odds. If you loved Just Mercy and The Sun Does Shine I highly recommend this. Ian’s story stood out in Just Mercy and it was nice to read his poetry. I didn’t know much about his relationship with Debbie and I was hoping to read and learn more about that but there was not that much about it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Daria Zeoli

    I first read about Ian Manuel a few months ago when I read Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, so when the publisher reached out, I was definitely interested. I'm so glad to have had the opportunity to read Ian's story. His experience in the criminal "justice" system was heartbreaking; no child should be sentenced to die in prison with no hope of rehabilitation or a hopeful future. It's evident from Ian's poetry that he's a bright man and it's unconscionable that his potential was dampe I first read about Ian Manuel a few months ago when I read Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, so when the publisher reached out, I was definitely interested. I'm so glad to have had the opportunity to read Ian's story. His experience in the criminal "justice" system was heartbreaking; no child should be sentenced to die in prison with no hope of rehabilitation or a hopeful future. It's evident from Ian's poetry that he's a bright man and it's unconscionable that his potential was dampened for 2/3 of his life. That he spent much of that time in solitary confinement is further evidence of the strength he has. While the crime he committed as a young teenager wasn’t victimless, the circumstances of Ian’s childhood and incarceration show that he was always struggling uphill. As a society, we need to do better by our youth. We need to throw this broken system out and build something new. Ian was released from prison with the help of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) and this memoir ends as he heads to Alabama to begin his life outside of the Florida prison system. I would love to see a second volume of his story. Thank you to Knopf Books for providing a ARC for review.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Liz Ritchie

    Ian Manuel's memoir was a quick, but not easy read. His story of incarceration includes abuse and straight up torture; much of it endured as a child. He reveals the corruption of the department of corrections and the dysfunctional legal system we have in our nation. While me and my homies already hate the prison system, this furthered my frustrations and disappointment. The most special parts of this memoir are Manuel's poetry and the incredible work that Equal Justice Initiative does. I also wa Ian Manuel's memoir was a quick, but not easy read. His story of incarceration includes abuse and straight up torture; much of it endured as a child. He reveals the corruption of the department of corrections and the dysfunctional legal system we have in our nation. While me and my homies already hate the prison system, this furthered my frustrations and disappointment. The most special parts of this memoir are Manuel's poetry and the incredible work that Equal Justice Initiative does. I also wanna give a huge shout out to Maria, his social worker, who is inspiring to me (also a social worker). I recommend this book to all who are interested in social issues, memoirs, and some inspiring poetry.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    This book, by Ian Manuel, describes the major part of his life that he spent incarcerated. He writes with passion and strong emotion about the abuse he suffered during that time and how he was able to survive. His timeline was a little confusing at times, but that really didn't bother me. Thank goodness for Bryan Stevenson and the EJI team, or Ian would have surely continued to be tortured and eventually perished behind bars. This book, by Ian Manuel, describes the major part of his life that he spent incarcerated. He writes with passion and strong emotion about the abuse he suffered during that time and how he was able to survive. His timeline was a little confusing at times, but that really didn't bother me. Thank goodness for Bryan Stevenson and the EJI team, or Ian would have surely continued to be tortured and eventually perished behind bars.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Angela's Booked

    I will read any and every memoir of someone who was helped by Bryan Stevenson. His book, Just Mercy, was one of my absolute favorite reads of 2020. I wanted to like this book more than I actually did; I thought it was great, but I wanted to be enraptured by it. There was a bit of a disconnect for me in some instances and I’m not sure why. I am so glad I listened to it though because the author reads it and to hear it from him was so powerful.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jaclyn Hillis

    There are so many stories like Ian Manuel’s, and I’m glad he now has his freedom and the power to tell his story. The fact that Debbie Baigrie forgave him and fought for his freedom too, is so incredible and powerful. This story also got me thinking about the school to prison pipeline and how we need to do better for these kids. “None of us should be judged by only the worst thing we have ever done.” — Bryan Stevenson

  17. 4 out of 5

    Erin Isgett

    After being forever changed by Bryan Stevenson's "Just Mercy" and Anthony Ray Hinton's "The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row," I knew I had to read this book. Anything with a connection to the Equal Justice Initiative has my full attention and wholehearted support. *** "The United States is the only country in the world that sentences thirteen- and fourteen-year-old offenders, mostly youth of color, to life in prison without parole, regardless of the scientifically proven After being forever changed by Bryan Stevenson's "Just Mercy" and Anthony Ray Hinton's "The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row," I knew I had to read this book. Anything with a connection to the Equal Justice Initiative has my full attention and wholehearted support. *** "The United States is the only country in the world that sentences thirteen- and fourteen-year-old offenders, mostly youth of color, to life in prison without parole, regardless of the scientifically proven singularities of the developing adolescent brain--a heinous wrinkle in the scandal of mass incarceration. In 1991, Ian Manuel, then fourteen, was sentenced to life without parole for a non-homicide crime. In a botched mugging attempt with some older boys, he shot Debbie Baigrie, a young white mother of two, in the face. But as Bryan Stevenson, attorney and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, has insisted, none of us should be judged by only the worst thing we have ever done... Here is the at once wrenching and inspiring story of how he endured the savagery of the United States prison system, and how his victim, an extraordinary woman, forgave him and bravely advocated for his freedom, which was achieved by a crusade on the part of the [EJI] to address the barbarism of our judicial system and bring about 'just mercy.'" *** "It is a curiosity that a state-funded institution, run by professionals, would systematically place human beings in the most toxic of settings and then, when this made them sick, conclude that the problem was coming from inside of those human beings. There is likely no diagnosis that accurately captures the range of harm and its consequences for the mind and body of someone subjected to solitary confinement. The diagnoses given to me and the drugs used to bring them under control all seemed ultimately aimed at keeping me there longer."

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mary Lunghi

    Having read Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, I was already aware of the institutional racism that is our current penal system and the injustices that are rampant. Reading My Time Will Come by Ian Manuel was so powerful, hearing his story, in his voice, in the face of this evilness that sought to eradicate his humanity. His ability to not be crushed and in fact to rise above it, is beyond moving and inspiring. His poetry, which is interspersed throughout the book clearly was an outlet for all that Having read Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, I was already aware of the institutional racism that is our current penal system and the injustices that are rampant. Reading My Time Will Come by Ian Manuel was so powerful, hearing his story, in his voice, in the face of this evilness that sought to eradicate his humanity. His ability to not be crushed and in fact to rise above it, is beyond moving and inspiring. His poetry, which is interspersed throughout the book clearly was an outlet for all that he was experiencing and brings you into his world, his feelings in a deeply human way. To think that they locked away for life a 14 year old boy and then subjected that young boy to inhumane, horrible treatment for so many years is incomprehensible. Yet it happened. Thank God for Bryan Stevenson and his EJI organization that fights against evil like this and wins. And just today Derek Chauvin, a white man, received 22 years for murdering George Floyd, a black man. I couldn’t help but reflect on the contrast to Ian Manuel, a 14 year old black boy, who shot a white woman who lived, and he got life in prison.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Teri

    I didn't particularly enjoy this book and I feel that a better editor might have made for a more enjoyable reading experience. While I learned a good bit about the wretched penal system in Florida and the incarceration of children, I found the book to be very tedious and a more than a little confusing in places. For me it was a bit hard to follow with regard to the time periods and the movement of the author from one prison to another. I continued to find myself frustrated by his refusal to lear I didn't particularly enjoy this book and I feel that a better editor might have made for a more enjoyable reading experience. While I learned a good bit about the wretched penal system in Florida and the incarceration of children, I found the book to be very tedious and a more than a little confusing in places. For me it was a bit hard to follow with regard to the time periods and the movement of the author from one prison to another. I continued to find myself frustrated by his refusal to learn (or maybe accept) the behaviors that would keep him out of solitary confinement and in the general population. I am, however, very happy that the author received help from the Equal Justice Initiative out of Montgomery, AL, who felt he had been unjustly sentenced and worked tirelessly to get his sentence reduced. I am equally glad that he has found a way to give back via his motivational speaking.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 3.5. Incredibly important and eye-opening. However, at times, slightly confusing and/or disjointed. What really killed it for me was the ending. 99% of the book is a build up to that moment we’re all waiting for…when he’s finally, finally released. And that moment takes place in one sentence, of one paragraph - that paragraph doesn’t even flow well from the previous or follow-up ones. Plus, we’re basically left there - perhaps there’s a 2nd book in the works? But the “next chapter” is what I was 3.5. Incredibly important and eye-opening. However, at times, slightly confusing and/or disjointed. What really killed it for me was the ending. 99% of the book is a build up to that moment we’re all waiting for…when he’s finally, finally released. And that moment takes place in one sentence, of one paragraph - that paragraph doesn’t even flow well from the previous or follow-up ones. Plus, we’re basically left there - perhaps there’s a 2nd book in the works? But the “next chapter” is what I was most interested in.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Ian Manuel grew up in a rough neighborhood in Florida. He and his mom had been homeless at times, she spent time in prison as did both his father and brother. Even though he did have a few good influences in his life, for Ian the pull of petty crime and fitting in in his neighborhood won out. At the age of thirteen during an attempted robbery he accidentally shot a woman. She lived, but he was charged with several weighty felonies and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of pa Ian Manuel grew up in a rough neighborhood in Florida. He and his mom had been homeless at times, she spent time in prison as did both his father and brother. Even though he did have a few good influences in his life, for Ian the pull of petty crime and fitting in in his neighborhood won out. At the age of thirteen during an attempted robbery he accidentally shot a woman. She lived, but he was charged with several weighty felonies and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole at the age of fourteen. At first prison was actually better than life outside - he had 3 meals a day, friends, and a place to sleep. But, he started getting in trouble for what would be seen on the outside as typical teenage rebellion, but in prison any small infraction has harsh punishments. Because of constantly getting in trouble Ian ended up spending eighteen years in solitary confinement. Because of this his mental health seriously declined and he began self-injuring as a way to get attention and get out of his cell. What Ian didn't know was that his case had caught the eye of Bryan Stevenson. Stevenson knew there were some pending court cases for the Supreme Court regarding death penalty and life without the possibility of parole for juveniles. He reached out to Ian and ended up finally getting him re-sentenced to time served after twenty-six years in prison. Another miraculous aspect of Ian's story is that when he had been in jail for around a year he reached out and called the woman he shot to apologize. They corresponded off and on over his time in prison and she was instrumental in helping him be re-sentenced by showing that she forgave him and believed he was rehabilitated. Ian's story is not an easy one, but like the many others that Bryan Stevenson has told he is not the worst thing he's done. His time in prison did rehabilitate him, despite that not being the goal of prison at all. He lost his entire immediate family during this incarceration, but he still held on to hope that he would get out and be better. My only small complaint with the book is I would have loved another chapter about how he's doing now that he's out of prison. Like Anthony Ray Hinton's book The Sun Does Shine the book ends with Ian getting out of prison and celebrating with his legal team and some family friends. I would love to have a follow up with some of the people Stevenson has helped and how they readjusted to life outside of prison and what they are doing now. A quote I liked: "The United Nations considers solitary confinement for more than fifteen days torture. It was my condition for eighteen consecutive years. Scientists have shown that solitary confinement, especially of juveniles, can damage the brain, provoking panic, anxiety, depression, loss of control, and even suicide. I managed to endure it and survive." (p. 95)

  22. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn Klassen

    It took the Supreme Court to free Ian Manuel. He was so patient, had to be so patient waiting for an overturning of his life sentence received as a minor for a non-homicide crime. My Time Will Come reflects this patience. His time for freedom did come, but it sure took a long time. The USA prison system was ready to disappear him forever, saw him as a permanent menace on "white society," but he patiently fought back. His actions that led to his arrest and conviction are shocking but understandab It took the Supreme Court to free Ian Manuel. He was so patient, had to be so patient waiting for an overturning of his life sentence received as a minor for a non-homicide crime. My Time Will Come reflects this patience. His time for freedom did come, but it sure took a long time. The USA prison system was ready to disappear him forever, saw him as a permanent menace on "white society," but he patiently fought back. His actions that led to his arrest and conviction are shocking but understandable through the lens of his environment and his relationships at the time. He was raised in a world of hurt and only knew hurt as a motivator for others. He was just a kid. He did a lot of hurting, learning, and eventually healing in prison. He relates his years in prison so intimately for the reader, yet clearly from the safe distance gained from his freedom and his newfound support system. His evolving relationship with Debbie over the years from the crime to his release from prison was fascinating. She has a right to be angry about her attack, but she does not harbour hate or anger beyond the first period of coming-to-terms with the experience. Her fight for his freedom was touching and his words regarding her are beautiful. They have found a path through to forgiveness and healing together. Highly recommend the audiobook which he narrates himself. Hearing his own voice and intonation was perfect for the tone of the book. It's fitting that he is so involved in telling his own story and sharing his art with us. I love the inclusion of his poetry! This was an unexpected but delightful surprise. Especially read by the author, these verses are powerful truths. If you're a fan of Bryan Stevenson's Just Mercy, this is a natural progression for continuing to learn about racial and criminal justice for incarcerated Black people. I also recommend it to readers of Brittany K. Barnett's A Knock at Midnight and Guantánamo Diary Mohamedou Ould Slahi (though not directly related, I think this sheds some light on how the American prison system is willing to disappear people of colour for indeterminate lengths for its own gain). content warnings child imprisonment, abuse, gun violence, torture (solitary confinement, unjustified use of force), child sexual abuse, mentions of capital punishment.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Isabella Lanzante

    “I have reason to believe the experts may be wrong about me. You see, today, thirty years later, I am neither in prison nor dead.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The USA is the only country in the world known to have condemned thirteen and fourteen year old children to imprisonment until death. And this is not even in the distant past. My Time Will Come is Ian Manuel’s dedication to telling the truth about his life and his decades long fight to secure his freedom after his imprisonment at only 14. Ian Manuel takes you “I have reason to believe the experts may be wrong about me. You see, today, thirty years later, I am neither in prison nor dead.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The USA is the only country in the world known to have condemned thirteen and fourteen year old children to imprisonment until death. And this is not even in the distant past. My Time Will Come is Ian Manuel’s dedication to telling the truth about his life and his decades long fight to secure his freedom after his imprisonment at only 14. Ian Manuel takes you with him as he grew up and grew up more in prison. Manuel details the abusive conditions he experienced in multiple prisons at the hands of dozens of prison guards. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ If you enjoyed reading Just Mercy, read this. Ian Manuel’s life eventually intercepts with the Equal Justice Initiative headed by Bryan Stevenson, and it is a powerful story. Ian Manuel’s story is heartbreaking, and it is just one of the stories of those who have experienced the ills of mass incarceration and our prison system. If you read this you will feel angry and invigorated. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ CW: sexual assault, prison violence, self harm

  24. 5 out of 5

    Geraldine (geraldinereads)

    Ian Manuel was only 14 when he was sentenced to life without parole. He suffered almost 20 years of abuse and trauma in the prison system, but with the help of Bryan Stevenson and his team of lawyers from the Equal Justice Initiative, he was able to win his freedom in 2016. I couldn't put this book down! It's a really short, but powerful read that gives you a look not only into Ian Manuel's life, but the prison system that almost broke him. Ian does a great job at both being a writer and a poet, Ian Manuel was only 14 when he was sentenced to life without parole. He suffered almost 20 years of abuse and trauma in the prison system, but with the help of Bryan Stevenson and his team of lawyers from the Equal Justice Initiative, he was able to win his freedom in 2016. I couldn't put this book down! It's a really short, but powerful read that gives you a look not only into Ian Manuel's life, but the prison system that almost broke him. Ian does a great job at both being a writer and a poet, and includes many of his heartbreaking poems in this book. If you were a fan of Just Mercy or The Sun does Shine, this is one you'll have to add to your TBR as well! This book is an important read where Bryan Stevenson shows us once again how "we are, in fact, more than the worst thing we've ever done", and I highly recommend it! Thank you to Pantheon Books for sending me an arc!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gina

    Bryan Stevenson is one of my personal heroes. His tireless work to bring justice to many innocent men on death row is incredible. In this book the author Ian Manuel is 13 when he is sentenced to life in prison without parole. He was treated as an adult in prison and his stories of the treatment he received in multiple prisons in this country is criminal in itself. We treat prisoners like animals or worse. Ian spent years in solitary confinement, endured abuse by prison guards and almost everyone Bryan Stevenson is one of my personal heroes. His tireless work to bring justice to many innocent men on death row is incredible. In this book the author Ian Manuel is 13 when he is sentenced to life in prison without parole. He was treated as an adult in prison and his stories of the treatment he received in multiple prisons in this country is criminal in itself. We treat prisoners like animals or worse. Ian spent years in solitary confinement, endured abuse by prison guards and almost everyone he came in contact with. To get any attention he would cut himself and get taken to medical unit. But if wounds were self inflicted that would stitch you up without numbing medication. Every story is filled with horrors like this. The fact that he survived at all is amazing. He started writing poems in prison many of which are included in the book. He read the Bible and somehow kept hope and faith that one day he might get parole. His parents and brother all died while he was in prison. His savior was the Equal Justice Initiative led by Bryan Stevenson. In addition to representing people on death row, EJI found many juveniles who had been imprisoned with life sentences and began appeals to the Supreme Court to have their sentences reduced. They won two cases and wrote to Ian to ask to represent him and get his sentence reduced. After many years they succeeded and Ian was released in his forties. Ian was guilty of shooting someone at 13 and his victim forgave him and supported his release. His story is remarkable and without EJI it would not have been possible. Ian is a great writer and now does motivational speaking. If you care about justice particularly for people of color, this is a must read along with Just Mercy which is Bryan Stevenson’s book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Leah K

    At age 13 (in 1991), Ian Manual commits a crime involving a botched robbery and shooting. He is sentences to life in prison without parole, making him one of the youngest people in the US adult prison system. This book talks about his 30+ year journey in prison, his correspondence with the woman he shot, and his eventual freedom with the help from EJI (the nonprofit run by Bryan Stevenson - see Just Mercy for more info). It's not an easy read, as is expected. There is trigger warning for rape, s At age 13 (in 1991), Ian Manual commits a crime involving a botched robbery and shooting. He is sentences to life in prison without parole, making him one of the youngest people in the US adult prison system. This book talks about his 30+ year journey in prison, his correspondence with the woman he shot, and his eventual freedom with the help from EJI (the nonprofit run by Bryan Stevenson - see Just Mercy for more info). It's not an easy read, as is expected. There is trigger warning for rape, self harm, and abuse in this book. Ian's story deserved to be told and I'm glad he was able to tell it.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Wolovich

    Difficult to read, but enlightening to learn about Manuel's background and treatment of prisoners especially those in close monitoring. It's disturbing to learn of the unfairness, mind games and mental warfare the inmates endured to earn privileges to end CM and have it revoked and repeat the cycle. Perhaps focusing more on rehabilitation and compassion for incarcerated teenagers despite the violet nature of their crimes could benefit all of mankind. Although Manuel deserves punishment for his c Difficult to read, but enlightening to learn about Manuel's background and treatment of prisoners especially those in close monitoring. It's disturbing to learn of the unfairness, mind games and mental warfare the inmates endured to earn privileges to end CM and have it revoked and repeat the cycle. Perhaps focusing more on rehabilitation and compassion for incarcerated teenagers despite the violet nature of their crimes could benefit all of mankind. Although Manuel deserves punishment for his crime, no one should be dehumanized for years in CM without hope of redemption for good behavior. Enjoyed the poetry and forward written by Byran Stevenson.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Penelope Wood

    Hard to read but beautifully written is this incredible memoir. If you have any desire, and you should, to know what our justice system looks like, how it works, and how it is used to label people as young as Ian, forging a path of a lifetime of institutions and abuse, then you should read this book. Ian’s resilience, grace, and humility will bring tears to your eyes as he navigates the worst justice system in the world. Not many people have what it takes to not only survive but to keep fighting Hard to read but beautifully written is this incredible memoir. If you have any desire, and you should, to know what our justice system looks like, how it works, and how it is used to label people as young as Ian, forging a path of a lifetime of institutions and abuse, then you should read this book. Ian’s resilience, grace, and humility will bring tears to your eyes as he navigates the worst justice system in the world. Not many people have what it takes to not only survive but to keep fighting for their life in a system that so desperately wants you to feel like you’re already dead. I feel privileged to have read Ian’s book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Judy Frey

    If you loved Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson ( and I did), you will also love this book. Stevenson write the foreword and Ian Manuel became a client of the Equal Justice Initiative. Mr. Manuel committed a non- homicidal crime at the age of 14 and was sentenced to life in prison without parole. This was, and is, possible in Florida. Stevenson has fought to change this for years. What Ian experienced in prison was beyond degrading but the EJI did not give up on him. Manuel also proved himself to be If you loved Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson ( and I did), you will also love this book. Stevenson write the foreword and Ian Manuel became a client of the Equal Justice Initiative. Mr. Manuel committed a non- homicidal crime at the age of 14 and was sentenced to life in prison without parole. This was, and is, possible in Florida. Stevenson has fought to change this for years. What Ian experienced in prison was beyond degrading but the EJI did not give up on him. Manuel also proved himself to be an incredible poet and many of his poems are featured in the book. Highly recommend the book.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Drea

    Hard to “like” a book filled with so much injustice, sadness, cruelty, generational trauma, and inhumanity - but this book is wonderful. The author describes his time as a child and then given a life sentence at 13yo - spending the majority of his sentence in solitary confinement. Our penal system is barbaric and illogical. The author is a incredible poet and a fine writer of prose. I am so grateful I read this and was given the opportunity to do so by Pantheon Books as they sent me a copy. High Hard to “like” a book filled with so much injustice, sadness, cruelty, generational trauma, and inhumanity - but this book is wonderful. The author describes his time as a child and then given a life sentence at 13yo - spending the majority of his sentence in solitary confinement. Our penal system is barbaric and illogical. The author is a incredible poet and a fine writer of prose. I am so grateful I read this and was given the opportunity to do so by Pantheon Books as they sent me a copy. Highly recommend.

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