Called brilliantly devastating in a starred review from Kirkus Reviews, this award-winning, mesmerizing novel, based on the chilling true story of the last execution in Denmark’s history, asks a question that plagues a small Danish town: does a fifteen-year-old boy deserve to be put to death? On February 22, 1853, a fifteen-year-old Niels Nelson is prepared to be executed on Gallows Hill.
This remarkable, wrenching story is told with the alternating perspectives of eleven different bystanders—one per hour—as the clock ticks ever closer to the moment when the boy must face his fate. Niels Nielson, a young peasant, was sentenced to death by beheading on the dubious charges of arson and murder. Does he have the right to live despite what he is accused of? That is the question the townsfolk ask as the countdown begins. With strong social conscience, piercing intellect, and...
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Brilliantly devastatin. —Kirkus Review