Published by Crown Books for Young Readers on October 17th 2017
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary, Emotions & Feelings, Fiction, Friendship, United States, Young Adult
Title: DEAR MARTIN
Author: Nic Stone
Pub. Date: October 17, 2017
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
Justyce McAllister is top of his class, captain of the debate team, and set for the Ivy League next year—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. He is eventually released without charges (or an apology), but the incident has Justyce spooked. Despite leaving his rough neighborhood, he can’t seem to escape the scorn of his former peers or the attitude of his prep school classmates. The only exception: Sarah Jane, Justyce’s gorgeous—and white—debate partner he wishes he didn’t have a thing for.
Struggling to cope with it all, Justyce starts a journal to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But do Dr. King’s teachings hold up in the modern world? Justyce isn’t so sure.
Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up. Way up. Much to the fury of the white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. And Justyce and Manny get caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack. The truth of what happened that night—some would kill to know. Justyce is dying to forget.
Nic Stone was born and raised in a suburb of Atlanta, GA, and the only thing she loves more than an adventure is a good story about one. After graduating from Spelman College, she worked extensively in teen mentoring and lived in Israel for a few years before returning to the US to write full-time. Growing up with a wide range of cultures, religions, and backgrounds, Stone strives to bring these diverse voices and stories to her work.
You can find her goofing off and/or fangirling over her husband and sons on most social media platforms as @getnicced.
Dear Martin is told from the perspective a black scholarship student at an all-white prep school. Justyce’s good deed is mistaken for something opposite of what he intended and when his friends and he are stopped, he begins to realize that even though he is smarter than a majority of his fellow classmates, his appearance makes him just like all of his friends. As a way to understand how young black men are treated as compared to young white men, he writes to his “homey” Dr, Martin Luther King. In heartbreaking fashion, he soon realizes that how he is treated like at school is quite different when he is with his friends at home. In real life, there is a stark difference.
This is a book everyone needs to read right now. Even though I am probably not the target audience for this book, it is a book that an older white female fell in love with. I know that I could never imagine what it must be like for black teens these days, but I can imagine. I read so I can understand what other life experiences and circumstances are like and educate myself to at least gain a bit of knowledge and insight to those that are different than me.
I have to say that Stone covered a great deal in a short amount of space and with a wonderful technique. Every word was used to perfection. While you only get brief glimpses into Justyce’s friends, you “get” them quickly. This is a book that should be in every teens’ hands right now, actually everyone should read this book now. It should say “soon to be a classic” on the cover.
3 winners will receive a finished copy of DEAR MARTIN, US Only.
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