Thursday, May 31, 2018

Dear Martin by Nic Stone - OPTIONAL

Stone, Nic  Dear Martin, 210 pages. Crown (Random House), 2017.  $18. Content: Language: R (100+ swears; 15 “f”): Mature Content: PG; Violence: PG-13.   
Justyce is a good student who has beaten the odds of his poor neighborhood, is going to an upscale high school and has been accepted into Yale.  One night while trying to help his intoxicated ex-girlfriend into her car a policeman misunderstands Justyce’s intentions and violently arrests him. Justyce’s outlook on life and what it means to be black is shaken and he becomes more aware of the prejudices around him.  When Justyce’s friend is killed in a racial altercation, Justyce has to find the strength to carry on, be true to himself and avoid the pull towards gang violence. 
This book is very well done.  Nic Stone addresses a lot of the issues that are in the headlines right now regarding race.  I like how this book explains the talking points through a class discussion because it allows for both points of views to be examined.  Justyce is a great character that is easy to love and it made me more empathetic towards his concerns and his hopes.  I wish the swear count was lower, because for as short as this book was it had a ton of language that wasn’t necessary and it would have been easy to recommend as essential.  
HS – OPTIONAL.  Reviewer, C. Peterson.   

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