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The Reformatory

The Reformatory

Tananarive Due

Released in 2023

Regular price $18.99 USD
Regular price Sale price $18.99 USD
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A gripping, page-turning novel set in Jim Crow Florida that follows Robert Stephens Jr. as he’s sent to a segregated reform school that is a chamber of terrors where he sees the horrors of racism and injustice, for the living, and the dead.

Gracetown, Florida

June 1950

Twelve-year-old Robbie Stephens, Jr., is sentenced to six months at the Gracetown School for Boys, a reformatory, for kicking the son of the largest landowner in town in defense of his older sister, Gloria. So begins Robbie’s journey further into the terrors of the Jim Crow South and the very real horror of the school they call The Reformatory.

Robbie has a talent for seeing ghosts, or haints. But what was once a comfort to him after the loss of his mother has become a window to the truth of what happens at the reformatory. Boys forced to work to remediate their so-called crimes have gone missing, but the haints Robbie sees hint at worse things. Through his friends Redbone and Blue, Robbie is learning not just the rules but how to survive. Meanwhile, Gloria is rallying every family member and connection in Florida to find a way to get Robbie out before it’s too late.

The Reformatory is a haunting work of historical fiction written as only American Book Award–winning author Tananarive Due could, by piecing together the life of the relative her family never spoke of and bringing his tragedy and those of so many others at the infamous Dozier School for Boys to the light in this riveting novel.


"The writing here is spectacular; the pacing, engrossing; the setting, heartbreaking but honest; and the characters are given a nuance and depth rarely seen... A masterpiece of fiction." -- Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

"With fully realized characters and well-placed twists, Due ratchets up the tension until the final, extraordinary showdown."

"A vividly realized page-turner, which is at once an ingenious ghost story, a white-knuckle adventure, and an illuminating if infuriating look back at a shameful period in American jurisprudence."
-Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

"Her fiction is always powerful, and The Reformatory promises to be her most moving -- and horrifying -- tale yet." -- Vulture

"One of the greatest living horror writers.... Sure to be as powerful as it is haunting." -- CrimeReads
"Due knocks it out of the park every damn time." -- Book Riot

"An epic novel of horror and real history. Tananarive Due displays all her powers as a master of the form, there's frights and chills and also so much love. I tore through this book. This novel is a straight up masterpiece, it should be read and remembered for a long time."
-- Victor LaValle, bestselling author of The Changeling, and Lone Women

"Tananarive Due at her best. Hallucinatory, haunting, terrifying and moving, a tour de force of a novel."
-- S. A. Cosby, bestselling author of All the Sinners Bleed, Razorblade Tears, and Blacktop

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