A Novel

Paperback - 2017
Average Rating:
Rate this:
When Mary, a teenager living in a group home, becomes pregnant, authorities take another look at the crime for which Mary was convicted when she was nine years old.
Publisher: New York, NY : Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2017]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780062422644
Characteristics: 387 pages ; 22 cm


Featured Blogs and Events

CPL’s 2017 Teen Mock Book Awards

Every year before the winners of American Library Association's Youth Media Awards are announced, CPL librarians come together to discuss all things teen literature related and nominate our own Mock Book Awards to honor some of our favorite titles of the year. Here are the 2017 teen books we chose: Mock Printz Award for Literary Excellence Winner: Jane, Unlimited: In this magnificent genre-be… (more)

From Library Staff

October 2018

When Mary was nine years old, she killed an infant her mother was babysitting. Allegedly. Now 15 and living in a group home in Brooklyn, she considers telling the truth about what happened in order to keep her own baby.

When Mary was nine years old, she killed an infant her mother was babysitting. Allegedly. After several years in "baby jail," at the age of fifteen, she is living in a group home in Brooklyn.

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
ArapahoeKati May 20, 2019

I skipped breakfast so I could keep reading this and I kept thinking about even while on vacation! Very compelling, well-written novel.

Apr 09, 2019

This was a fantastic story to listen to - beautifully narrated, the characters’ personalities shine through. With a title like ‘Allegedly’, you know you are going to have some revelations and surprises through the book, and the way they are presented and revelealed is superb. Mary Addison *allegedly* killed the baby ... but what’s the real story?

Mar 28, 2019

This was hands-down one of my favourite books! It was hard to put down! I recommend it for you if you are interested.

Cynthia_N Oct 03, 2018

Hard to put down! Mary was found guilty of killing a baby when she, herself, was just a young child. She spent years in juvenile detention and is now living in a halfway home. She finds herself in a predicament that forces her to reexamine the events of that fateful night. Good read with a few twists twists and turns!

LPL_KimberlyL Aug 09, 2018

Tiffany D. Jackson's writing is what happens if you mix Gillian Flynn's messed up unreliable narrators with Rene Denfeld's social commentary. You never quite know what is really going on or who to trust, so the ending is weirdly satisfying if you love a good twist. Pick this up ASAP if you like psychological thrillers, crime novels of any kind, and books that make a real statement.

Nov 30, 2017

This book is such a mindtrip. I don't even know what to make of it -- in the best possible way.

First off, the voice was fantastic. Mary's perspective was fascinating, descriptive and well-written. I absorbed into her world instantly. I dove right in and kept lapping it up.

Second, if you want a freakin emotional roller coaster pick this up. There were times when I laughed, when I was disgusted, when I had to close the book and take a break, when I couldn't put it down, when I almost cried. I was down for the ride.

Third, this mystery was shocking until the end. And it didn't feel like a surprise for the sake of surprise. I was shocked by what was happening and how it all played out. The reveals were dramatic and timely. Well-plotted.

My only reason is it's not five stars were points when it was a little slow and I struggle with such hard material. Also, I feel slightly betrayed by the ending because the mental stuff was a little inconsistent with what was presented.

Overall, a great, intense mystery that I highly recommend. Unique voice and story that hooks you right away and keeps you till the very end.

Aug 07, 2017

For me this was a solid four and a half stars, right up until the last ten pages.

SCL_Pascale Jul 13, 2017

This was a great debut novel from Tiffany D. Jackson. It was well-paced, and not knowing what exactly happened on the night baby Alyssa died made me want to keep reading. Mary's relationships with her mother and Ted -- while definitely problematic -- were realistically portrayed. The dialogue was also fun to read and it was refreshing to see women of colour represented.

However, I thought the characters in the group home were a little too one-dimensional. The story is told through Mary's point of view, which means that the depictions of the group home girls and authority figures are very one-sided. Jackson consulted kids who actually lived in group homes, so I was surprised that they were so negatively -- and at times, stereotypically -- depicted.

The other issue I had with this book is the ending. Here, narrative point of view works against the story, leaving readers with a twist many found surprising and unsatisfying. There was not enough foreshadowing to make the ending convincing. Otherwise, this was a decent story that fully absorbed my attention.

ArapahoeStaff1 Jul 13, 2017

This book was a tough pill to swallow. There is a lot of really dark, tough things going on. The premise of this story is incredible--a young girl accused and punished for the murder of an infant, when you don't know if it actually was her...or her mother. This book gives an in-depth look at what it's like to be a teenager in prison and the subsequent group home she is placed in later. This is a great choice if you like books that mess with your mind and have definite plot twists!

Mar 17, 2017

Allegedly stays with you long after you finish the last page.

Plot: Holy crap, this book. Did you read the first line to the synopsis? That's the overall tone and it was absolutely gripping!

As a child, Mary was convicted of killing an infant; as a result, she did some time in juvvie and then was sent to a group home until she graduated high school. While the summary mentioned the consequences of a black girl being accused of killing a white baby, I found that this book didn't really focus on race relations, instead, Allegedly followed Mary and her day-to-day life. The mystery of this novel was that no one truly knew what happened the night the police found Mary and her mother with a dead infant, there were only assumptions and speculations.

Jackson's career involves television and horror films and that translated well for Allegedly. There was always the sense of not really understanding the full story, and Jackson's world was so gritty that I couldn't put this book down well past my bedtime (and I enjoy my sleep, so that's saying something).

Characters: Jackson's characters were real. These girls were the unfortunate result of a state system not providing the best care for young people. They were crude, they were cruel, and they were deemed a burden on society. Mary; however, was determined to make the best out of a bad situation. She was smart and set to go to university so that she could provide for her boyfriend, Ted, and their future child. What I loved about Allegedly was that there wasn't a clear-cut division between "good" and "evil". I don't know if I can really say that there are any "good" characters, just people trying to survive given their circumstances, which made them all the more interesting.

Worldbuilding: This New York was dirty and wasn't exactly welcoming. Jackson's writing is phenomenal, that is unquestionable, and I absolutely loved how she described Mary's sheltered life. I felt like I was with Mary on the outside looking in and hoping to live just one day like a "normal" teenager.

Short N Sweet: Tiffany D. Jackson's Allegedly is haunting and will keep you on your toes. I'll be more than happy to scream with you once you finish this novel.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability
Jan 31, 2017

zandralynn thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Jan 26, 2017

HarkiQuinn thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


Add a Summary
35Shonda Jan 12, 2019

I really enjoyed reading this book. If you read this one you should read, "Monday is Never Coming". I enjoyed that one a little better. I don't like giving away what happens in books. I will say the ending left me upset. I didn't like it. So I agree with the last ten pages left me upset.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at CPL

To Top