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Dear Martin
Contributor(s): Stone, Nic
ISBN: 1101939494     ISBN-13: 9781101939499
Publisher: Crown Pub
    OUR PRICE: $16.19  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: October 2017
Qty:
Annotation: Profiled by a racist police officer in spite of his excellent academic achievements and Ivy League acceptance, a disgruntled college youth navigates the prejudices of new classmates and his crush on a white girl by writing a journal to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in the hopes that his iconic role model's teachings will be applicable half a century later. A first novel. Simultaneous eBook.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Race relations; Fiction.
Racism; Fiction.
Racial profiling in law enforcement; Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: 2016058582
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 10-12, Age 15-18
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 9.00" H x 5.75" W x 1.00" (0.75 lbs) 210 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 192070
Reading Level: 4.8   Interest Level: Upper Grades   Point Value: 6.0
 
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2017 #6)
"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?" So seventeen-year-old Justyce McAllister, who is black, hears after being shoved to the ground by a police officer ("CASTILLO [the officer's nameplate] reads, though the guy looks like a regular white dude"). Thing is, the girl is mixed-race and is Justyce's sometime-girlfriend (and drunk), and he was helping her get home. The opening scene is one of several that illustrate Justyce's feeling that "no matter what I do, the only thing white people will ever see me as is a nig--an ‘n'-word." Ranked fourth in his class at exclusive Braselton Preparatory Academy, he's been accepted to Yale, but his classmates assume it's only because of affirmative action. In his own neighborhood, people criticize him for being a "race-traitor" who's "gotta stay connected to the white man for the ride to the top." To sort his life out, Justyce begins writing "Dear Martin" letters to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Alternating with the main narrative, the letters are an effective device. What would Dr. King think about recent events surrounding Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and the many others who have died and become headlines, the real-life people who inspired this novel? Stone veers away from easy resolutions while allowing hope to reside in unexpected places. dean Schneider Copyright 2017 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2017 July #5)

First-time author Stone explores an African-American student's increasingly intense feelings of displacement in his predominantly white high school in a tense story that will grab readers' attention and make them think. Written as a mixture of script-style dialogues, third-person narrative, and letters to Martin Luther King Jr., the novel explores high school senior Justyce McAllister's confrontations with racism and his search for identity at a prestigious prep school, where he is one of only eight black students. After nearly getting arrested while trying to help his ex-girlfriend, who's "stone drunk" and trying to drive herself home, Justyce becomes acutely aware of racial profiling and prejudice close to home. Pushed to the brink of despair when a close friend is shot by a white off-duty police officer, Justyce doesn't know what to do with his anger. Though some characters are a bit one-dimensional (including Justyce's debate partner/romantic interest and the interchangeable bros at his school), this hard-hitting book delivers a visceral portrait of a young man reckoning with the ugly, persistent violence of social injustice. Ages 14–up. Agent: Rena Rossner, Deborah Harris Agency. (Oct.)

Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2017 September)

Gr 9 Up—Justyce is an African American teen caught between two worlds. He knows that the education he's receiving at a private school will grant him more economic opportunities, however he begins to question the effects his private school education on his own identity. Some of his classmates believe that the racial pendulum has swung too far, giving African Americans an unfair advantage over their white counterparts. The kids he grew up with believe Justyce has assimilated too much and has forgotten where he came from. He questions his blackness, his relationship with his biracial girlfriend, and his attraction to his white debate partner Sarah Jane. Through a series of journal entries, Justyce attempts to figure out his place in the world by exploring the life of Dr. Martin Luther King. A violent altercation between a retired white police officer and his best friend causes Justyce to examine what it means to be an African American male in 2017. The length and pace of this well-written story make it a perfect read for reluctant and sophisticated readers alike. The main characters are well balanced and will resonate with teens. However, the voice of African American women is largely absent from the narrative. The characterization of Justyce's mother and his girlfriend are one-dimensional compared to some of the other protagonists. Still, this important work should be read alongside Jason Reynolds's and Brendan Kiely's All-American Boys and Kekla Magoon's How It Went Down. VERDICT An good choice for school and public libraries.—Desiree Thomas, Worthington Library, OH

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.