My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Raw, powerful and REAL, DEAR MARTIN is a required purchase for HS libraries and a required read for all American teens and adults.
Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a review copy of this title – all opinions are my own.
Book Description (from Goodreads)
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 is raw and it’s powerful and it does not hold back. This is a book for mature readers not because of the violence and sexual content, but because of the maturity of the discussions and debate held throughout the book. This, in my opinion, makes this just as valuable in the YA market as in the adult market. I love the format of the book ~ standard narration broken up by letters from the teen narrator written to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr ~ and I absolutely had my heart broken with the overall story. Justyce’s struggle is heartbreaking and authentic and so gorgeously written.
Add this to the canon of YA books about race relations in present-day United States, but put it right near the TOP of that list. It can be right alongside THE HATE U GIVE by Angie Thomas and ALL AMERICAN BOYS by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely.
And until adult fiction writers start hitting this topic like YA has, this is THE must-read book on the topic for adult readers as well. My eyes are open like they never have been before.
As mentioned earlier, this is a required purchase for HS libraries. I have pre-ordered it for mine.