Dear Martin by Nic StoneDear Martin by Nic Stone

Dear Martin

byNic Stone

Hardcover | October 17, 2017

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"Powerful, wrenching.” –JOHN GREEN, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Turtles All the Way Down

"Raw and gripping." –JASON REYNOLDS, New York Times bestselling coauthor of All American Boys

"A must-read!” –ANGIE THOMAS, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Hate U Give

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 New York Times bestselling debut, a William C. Morris Award Finalist.


Justyce McAllister is a good kid, an honor student, and always there to help a friend—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. 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.

"Vivid and powerful." -Booklist, Starred Review
 
"A visceral portrait of a young man reckoning with the ugly, persistent violence of social injustice." -Publishers Weekly
Nic Stone is a native of Atlanta and a Spelman College graduate. After working extensively in teen mentoring and living in Israel for a few years, she returned to the United States to write full-time. Dear Martin, her first novel, is loosely based on a series of true events involving the shooting deaths of unarmed African American teen...
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Title:Dear MartinFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:224 pages, 8.56 × 5.91 × 0.81 inShipping dimensions:8.56 × 5.91 × 0.81 inPublished:October 17, 2017Publisher:Random House Children's BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1101939494

ISBN - 13:9781101939499

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Dear Martin by Nic Stone Looks like: lonely Sounds like: the rise and fall of breathing Tastes like: cyclical truths Smells like: a cozy hoodie Feels like: being hugged and having your heart ripped out at the same time
Date published: 2018-08-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book! I read this book as part of an assignment and I can honestly say that I really enjoyed it! This novel provokes conversation in so many areas, and provides huge insight into a lot of what's been happening in the US. It's a page-turner and is fun to read.
Date published: 2018-04-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good message but that's it I found the message, while important, not-nuanced. The writing was also juvenile and some events came out of nowhere... I guess I would recommend it as a supplement to The Hate U Give, but otherwise you are better off with the latter.
Date published: 2018-02-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really Great Read! I bought this over Christmas break and it was definitely a purchase that was worth it! This novel really tackled the topic of rasicm and equality in our modern society and was quite an easy yet eye opening read!
Date published: 2018-02-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! This story is amazing. It’s very moving. The issues that Justyce faced are familiar to anyone who watches the news. He was wrongfully arrested because of his skin colour. He was trying to do the right thing and ended up in trouble. After that, everything spirals out of control because Justyce wants to face this social injustice head on. The plot of the story was very fast paced. I read the whole book in just a couple of hours. I couldn’t put it down! When the big twist happens halfway through the book, when the shots were fired, I was shocked. I loved the irony in the way Justyce’s mom behaved. She wanted her son to have a good life and have opportunities so she sent him to a private boarding school. She didn’t want him to be judged by his skin colour. However, she refused to let him date a white girl, just because she has white skin. Even if the girl loved Justyce and was good for him, she still wouldn’t accept her just because of her skin. This ridiculous prejudice just shows how no one should be judged solely by the way they look. People from all different races and backgrounds are both good and bad. Appearance doesn’t define the way you behave. It’s a great story for it’s entertainment value as well as it’s teachable moments. I highly recommend this book to everyone!
Date published: 2018-02-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Is this thing on? If you can read this, pick up Dear Martin and understand how outraged I am for Justyce McAllister’s life. And the most tragic thing of all is that the events in this novel still occur in this world. That’s when I’m reminded again that this is a life he has to keep fighting for just in the name of basic human rights. There’s still hope as he takes on the lessons of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, which was quite a while ago. My hope for others reading this is to use this modern fictious story as the beginning for change in this world. Not only relevant and timely but again, horrifyingly real for people like Justyce. This book was loosely inspired by an event in this story, when Justyce and his friend are merely driving, have their music cranked a little too high, and a white person just has to create that occurrence to tragedy. Unnecessary tragedy, might I add. If that were me, or anyone else, wouldn’t you just ignore them and let them be? The pair were not threatening anyone, yet, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, with someone within a possession of an item I don’t believe should have been present at all then pursued a cowardly reaction. And though I may feel as though justice could have been served by the end of the book, I’m not entirely convinced because it appears as though this is still happening, and worse, targeted to the same innocent victims. I would hope that if you read this, you heard my outrage loud and clear and listen to Nic Stone’s story. This is just one example of the many alarming events that still occur today. And it’s up to us to begin the change we wish to see in this world. *drops mic*
Date published: 2018-01-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow Short but extremely powerful!
Date published: 2018-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from 5 Stars Insightful, thought provoking, and relevant. This is a book that everyone should read!!
Date published: 2018-01-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok Decent book. Could've been more interesting though
Date published: 2017-12-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very Relevant This is so relevant in today's tumultuous political climate. Every team should read this, no matter the colour of their skin. It'll make them understand our differences and realize that they shouldn't divide us. Well done, Nic Stone! #plumreview
Date published: 2017-12-04

Read from the Book

chapter 1From where he’s standing across the street, Justyce can see her: Melo Taylor, ex-­girlfriend, slumped over beside her Benz on the damp concrete of the FarmFresh parking lot. She’s missing a shoe, and the contents of her purse are scattered around her like the guts of a pulled party popper. He knows she’s stone drunk, but this is too much, even for her.Jus shakes his head, remembering the judgment all over his best friend Manny’s face as he left Manny’s house not fifteen minutes ago.The walk symbol appears.As he approaches, she opens her eyes, and he waves and pulls his earbuds out just in time to hear her say, “What the hell are you doing here?”Justyce asks himself the same question as he watches her try—­and fail—­to shift to her knees. She falls over sideways and hits her face against the car door.He drops down and reaches for her cheek—­which is as red as the candy-­apple paint job. “Damn, Melo, are you okay?”She pushes his hand away. “What do you care?”Stung, Justyce takes a deep breath. He cares a lot. Obviously. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t’ve walked a mile from Manny’s house at three in the morning (Manny’s of the opinion that Melo’s “the worst thing that ever happened” to Jus, so of course he refused to give his boy a ride). All to keep his drunken disaster of an ex from driving.He should walk away right now, Justyce should.But he doesn’t.“Jessa called me,” he tells her.“That skank—­”“Don’t be like that, babe. She only called me because she cares about you.”Jessa had planned to take Melo home herself, but Mel threatened to call the cops and say she’d been kidnapped if Jessa didn’t drop her at her car.Melo can be a little dramatic when she’s drunk.“I’m totally unfollowing her,” she says (case in point). “In life and online. Nosy bitch.”Justyce shakes his head again. “I just came to make sure you get home okay.” That’s when it hits Justyce that while he might succeed in getting Melo home, he has no idea how he’ll get back. He closes his eyes as Manny’s words ring through his head: This Captain Save-­A-­Ho thing is gonna get you in trouble, dawg.He looks Melo over. She’s now sitting with her head leaned back against the car door, half-­asleep, mouth open.He sighs. Even drunk, Jus can’t deny Melo’s the finest girl he’s ever laid eyes—­not to mention hands—­on.She starts to tilt, and Justyce catches her by the shoulders to keep her from falling. She startles, looking at him wide-­eyed, and Jus can see everything about her that initially caught his attention. Melo’s dad is this Hall of Fame NFL linebacker (biiiiig black dude), but her mom is from Norway. She got Mrs. Taylor’s milky Norwegian complexion, wavy hair the color of honey, and amazing green eyes that are kind of purple around the edge, but she has really full lips, a small waist, crazy curvy hips, and probably the nicest butt Jus has ever seen in his life.That’s part of his problem: he gets too tripped up by how beautiful she is. He never would’ve dreamed a girl as fine as her would be into him.Now he’s got the urge to kiss her even though her eyes are red and her hair’s a mess and she smells like vodka and cigarettes and weed. But when he goes to push her hair out of her face, she shoves his hand away again. “Don’t touch me, Justyce.”She starts shifting her stuff around on the ground—­lipstick, Kleenex, tampons, one of those circular thingies with the makeup in one half and a mirror in the other, a flask. “Ugh, where are my keeeeeeeys?”Justyce spots them in front of the back tire and snatches them up. “You’re not driving, Melo.”“Give ’em.” She swipes for the keys but falls into his arms instead. Justyce props her against the car again and gathers the rest of her stuff to put it back in her bag—­which is large enough to hold a week’s worth of groceries (what is it with girls and purses the size of duffel bags?). He unlocks the car, tosses the bag on the floor of the backseat, and tries to get Melo up off the ground.Then everything goes really wrong, really fast.First, she throws up all over the hoodie Jus is wearing.Which belongs to Manny. Who specifically said, “Don’t come back here with throw-­up on my hoodie.”Perfect.Jus takes off the sweatshirt and tosses it in the backseat.When he tries to pick Melo up again, she slaps him. Hard. “Leave me alone, Justyce,” she says.“I can’t do that, Mel. There’s no way you’ll make it home if you try to drive yourself.”He tries to lift her by the armpits and she spits in his face.He considers walking away again. He could call her parents, stick her keys in his pocket, and bounce. Oak Ridge is probably the safest neighborhood in Atlanta. She’d be fine for the twenty-­five minutes it would take Mr. Taylor to get here.But he can’t. Despite Manny’s assertion that Melo needs to “suffer some consequences for once,” leaving her here all vulnerable doesn’t seem like the right thing to do. So he picks her up and tosses her over his shoulder.Melo responds in her usual delicate fashion: she screams and beats him on the back with her fists.Justyce struggles to get the back door open and is lowering her into the car when he hears the WHOOOOP of a short siren and sees the blue lights. In the few seconds it takes the police car to screech to a stop behind him, Justyce settles Melo into the backseat.Now she’s gone catatonic.Justyce can hear the approaching footsteps, but he stays focused on getting Melo strapped in. He wants it to be clear to the cop that she wasn’t gonna drive so she won’t be in even worse trouble.Before he can get his head out of the car, he feels a tug on his shirt and is yanked backward. His head smacks the doorframe just before a hand clamps down on the back of his neck. His upper body slams onto the trunk with so much force, he bites the inside of his cheek, and his mouth fills with blood.Jus swallows, head spinning, unable to get his bearings. The sting of cold metal around his wrists pulls him back to reality.Handcuffs.It hits him: Melo’s drunk beyond belief in the backseat of a car she fully intended to drive, yet Jus is the one in handcuffs.The cop shoves him to the ground beside the police cruiser as he asks if Justyce understands his rights. Justyce doesn’t remember hearing any rights, but his ears had been ringing from the two blows to the head, so maybe he missed them. He swallows more blood.“Officer, this is a big misundersta—­” he starts to say, but he doesn’t get to finish because the officer hits him in the face.“Don’t you say shit to me, you son of a bitch. I knew your punk ass was up to no good when I saw you walking down the road with that goddamn hood on.”So the hood was a bad idea. Earbuds too. Probably would’ve noticed he was being trailed without them. “But, Officer, I—­”“You keep your mouth shut.” The cop squats and gets right in Justyce’s face. “I know your kind: punks like you wander the streets of nice neighborhoods searching for prey. Just couldn’t resist the pretty white girl who’d locked her keys in her car, could ya?”Except that doesn’t even make sense. If Mel had locked the keys in the car, Jus wouldn’t have been able to get her inside it, would he? Justyce finds the officer’s nameplate; castillo, it reads, though the guy looks like a regular white dude. Mama told him how to handle this type of situation, though he must admit he never expected to actually need the advice: Be respectful; keep the anger in check; make sure the police can see your hands (though that’s impossible right now). “Officer Castillo, I mean you no disresp—­”“I told your punk ass to shut the fuck up!”He wishes he could see Melo. Get her to tell this cop the truth. But the dude is blocking his view.“Now, if you know what’s good for you, you won’t move or speak. Resistance will only land you in deeper shit. Got it?”Cigarette breath and flecks of spit hit Justyce’s face as the cop speaks, but Justyce fixes his gaze on the glowing green F of the FarmFresh sign.“Look at me when I’m talking to you, boy.” He grabs Justyce’s chin. “I asked you a question.”Justyce swallows. Meets the cold blue of Officer Castillo’s eyes. Clears his throat.“Yes sir,” he says. “I got it.”

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Dear Martin:A New York Times Bestseller!A William C. Morris Award Finalist!An ALAN / Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Finalist!A 2018 BookExpo Editors' Buzz Selection!An Indies Introduce Selection! A Kids' Indie Next List pick!   “A powerful, wrenching, and compulsively readable story that lays bare the history, and the present, of racism in America.” –John Green, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Turtles All the Way Down   "Painfully timely and deeply moving." –Jodi Picoult, #1 New York Times bestselling author "Raw and gripping." –Jason Reynolds, bestselling coauthor of All American Boys "Absolutely incredible, honest, gut-wrenching. A must read!" –Angie Thomas, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Hate U Give "Teens, librarians and teachers alike will find this book a godsend...Vivid and powerful." –Booklist, Starred Review "A visceral portrait of a young man reckoning with the ugly, persistent violence of social injustice." –Publishers Weekly