Title: Dear Martin
Author: Nic Stone
Series: Dear Martin #1
Audience: Young Adult
Length: 210 pages
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 17, 2017
Source: Personal collection
Triggers/Content: police brutality, racism, gun violence
Raw, captivating, and undeniably real, Nic Stone joins industry giants Jason Reynolds and Walter Dean Myers as she boldly tackles American race relations in this stunning debut.
Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can’t escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.
Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack.
This is a must read book for everyone. I flew through this in a matter of hours because the story was so unputdownable. It’s only 210 pages, but Nic Stone packs so much into the story, exploring police brutality, racial profiling, racism & micoagressions from white classmates, gang violence, and minority prejudice.
This book made me cry, it made me angry, but it ultimately left me with hope. I was so engaged and awed by the ideas in the writing that I actually underlined passages and marked up my book, which I never do outside of academic reading. Justyce’s last letter to Martin was especially poignant. I hope everyone can gain perspective and empathy from this book, and I can’t wait for the upcoming sequel Dear Justyce.