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Just Mercy: A Great Book & Movie For World Day of Social Justice

World Day of Social Justice is celebrated on the 20th of February every year since 2009. It is an international day recognizing the need to promote social justice (including efforts to tackle poverty, exclusion, gender equality, unemployment, human rights, and social protections). Which is why I wanted to share Just Mercy: A great book & movie for World Day of Social Justice.

I decided to finally finish reading the book Just Mercy (as I had to return the book part-way through the last time I started it) after having already watched the movie last year with my teenager. And I decided to check both the original and the YA adaptations this time around (why am I doing this when I have so many more books marked on my must-read? I am not sure at all, but I got started and unable to stop). I am still working my way through them but had to share this idea with all of you as….

Just Mercy: A Great Book & Movie

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The Book: Just Mercy

Book Info

Title:  Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption
Author: Bryan Stevenson
Length: 336 pages
Genre: Social Activist Biographies
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau (October 21st 2014)

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Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.

Book Info: The YA Version

Title: Just Mercy (Adapted for Young Adults): A True Story of the Fight for Justice
Author: Bryan Stevenson
Length: 288 pages
Genre: Teen & Young Adult Social Activist Biographies (12 – 17 years)
Publisher: Delacorte Press (September 18th 2018)

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In this very personal work–adapted from the original #1 bestseller, which the New York Times calls “as compelling as To Kill a Mockingbird, and in some ways more so”–acclaimed lawyer and social justice advocate Bryan Stevenson offers a glimpse into the lives of the wrongfully imprisoned and his efforts to fight for their freedom.

My Thoughts So Far


From what I recall of my first reading of the original book (or rather a part of it), it is in one word, powerful!!! And it deserves all the ways to highlight that one word – highlighting it, underlining it, ‘all-caps’ing it, and adding exclamation points too.


I am working on reading them side by side to the best I can, and hope to be able to give a review after reading them fully by next week. Until them, it is, as this section’s title says – My Thoughts So Far.

I will give a more detailed review of both books, along with a more detailed side-by-side accounting in a later post. So far, what I do see it that the YA version is more concise, and has been rewritten intentionally and consciously rather than by just removing parts of the original book. That is, Stevenson has made a conscious effort to rewrite the book, and it shows in the brilliance of both the books (based on what I have read so far).

In Summary – My Thoughts So Far

Read either one (or both if you wish!) NOW!!

The Movie: Just Mercy

Movie Info

Title: Just Mercy
Director: Destin Daniel Cretton
Written By: Destin Daniel Cretton, Andrew Lanham, based on the book by Bryan Stevenson
Main Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx, Brie Larson

Our Thoughts

This movie is a must-watch, just like the books are a must-read. With stellar performances by powerhouse actors, the movie brings this heart-rending story of gross injustice and outrageous racism to life as best as a movie can. If you are the sort who will not be reading the book, then at the least, you should watch this movie – both for learning more about the true story behind it, and for the top-notch acting.

Book Vs Movie

Am not yet ready to give a consensus on which is better. But I will do so when I finish reading these books (currently in progress, as mentioned earlier).

More Books-2-Movies Related to Social Justice

While the featured book to movie is based in the US, considering the recent (and current) global social climate, this can be applicable or relatable anywhere. Anyway, here are a few more options for you (I have either read the book, or watched the movie, or done both – in all these below):

  • The Hate U Give (book and movie of same title)
  • Hidden Figures (book and movie of same title)
  • Dark Waters (movie) – based on 2016 New York Times Magazine article “The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare” by Nathaniel Rich
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (book and movie of same title)

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Just Mercy: A Great Book & Movie For World Day of Social Justice

And Now, the End Of This Post

Dear reader, have you read the featured book(s) or watched the movie? Or read anything else about either? How about any of the other listed books-2-movies? Do you have any other recommendations?

As always, all comments and suggestions are welcome.

24 thoughts on “Just Mercy: A Great Book & Movie For World Day of Social Justice

    1. I hadn’t heard of Just Mercy until reading this post. Sounds like I need to read this book. I love that you’re reading the different versions of it to compare them. It’s also always interesting to see how the movie compares to the book.

    1. This rewriting is something I have seen a lot of over the last couple of years, especially.. For some, it makes sense to rewrite for the younger teens at least given the nature of the book

  1. Funny that I come across this today, my husband was just doing a Bible study with our children yesterday about this very subject and how wrong it is to exclude people for the very reasons this book outlines. This looks like an excellent book for our shelves.

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