The Wicked and the Just

By J. Anderson Coats
(Harcourt Children's Books, Hardcover, 9780547688374, 352pp.)

Publication Date: April 17, 2012

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Summer 2012 Kids' Next List
“This is one of the best young adult titles I have read in a long, long, time. The setting is clearly evoked, the unlikable narrator gradually becomes sympathetic, and the message of the book is that juxtaposition of masters and servants, haves and have-nots, slaves and free, has happened throughout history and is still happening. The concerns, politics, and emotions of a young woman in 13th century England are not nearly as foreign to our time and world as one might think.”
-- Robert McDonald, The Book Stall At Chestnut, Winnetka, IL


This powerful historical fiction debut, set in medieval Wales, follows Cecily whose family is lured by cheap land and the duty of all Englishman to help keep down the "vicious" Welshmen, and Gwenhwyfar, a Welsh girl who must wait hand and foot on her new English mistress. As issues of prejudice, heritage, and occupation come to a head, both girls have to find a way to survive.

About the Author

J. Anderson Coats has masters degrees in history and library science. She lives with her family in Washington State. Visit her at

Praise For The Wicked and the Just

A Kirkus Best Teen Book of 2012   "I am gobsmacked by this astonishing story. This is a remarkable achievement, full of truth and compassion."—Karen Cushman, Newbery Medal-winning author of The Midwife's Apprentice   "Brilliant: a vision of history before the victors wrote it."--Kirkus, starred review   "[An] unusually honest portrait of the effects of power...[Coats] offers us a potent historical novel."--Horn Book, starred review "This debut novel reverberates with detail, drama, and compassion."--School Library Journal, starred review

"Coats's debut shifts gracefully between the two girls' perspectives, finding empathy for both."--Publishers Weekly

"A rich historical novel that challenges readers to think about universal ideas, such as true justice."—VOYA "[An] intriguing first novel...Coats' considerable research provides details of everyday life that ground this dark and sometimes brutal historical novel."--Booklist

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