Author: Nic Stone
Published: October 17, 2017
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: July 21-26, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
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.
Dear Martin succeeded for me where The Hate U Give failed: It captured the police brutality and racism that sadly does occur on a black teen youth who did everything right.
Dear Martin is a unique novel in the young adult genre: we have a male point of view! This was quite refreshing as male POVs are a rarity. This is a short novel ( just over 200 pages) that would be perfect for all teens. There are other subjects addressed that teens face today.
I really liked Justyce! He really is a good kid who finds himself in a bad situation more than once. You feel all the emotions he experiences. I really enjoyed the letters he writes to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, we really get to know Justyce. I found myself wishing that MLK Jr. was still alive to answer and give advice to Justyce. In some ways I felt I got to know MLK Jr. himself.
Dear Martin takes place in Atlanta and I live in Metro Atlanta, which added to my enjoyment. When certain areas were mentioned (“Let’s go hike Stone Mountain”: OMG, I’ve been there MANY times!) Nic Stone lives in the Atlanta area so she is local to me, and I am all about supporting ‘local to me’ authors!
Dear Martin was Stone’s debut novel and I look forward to see what she does next. Her second novel Odd One Out will be released October 9th. Dear Martin is one that everyone should read!
Dear Martin is very highly recommended.