I just finished reading Dear Martin by Nic Stone. The story centers on the life of Justyce McAllister, a young African-American teen who’s attending a prep school in Georgia. Justyce finds it difficult to fit in this world of rich kids and bias white students who don’t understand that racism really does exists at a time when Justyce’s targeted by racial hatred.
At the start of the story Justyce was handcuffed by a police officer after he was trying to help Melo, his drunk bi-racial girlfriend who looks white. The officer accuses him of trying to steal from her. The handcuffs sink so deep into his skin he feels the pain from them weeks after. Justyce is haunted by the experience and as racist incident after another incident builds, so does his patience for trying to hold back the urge to find a way to fight back.
Justyce tries to deal with how to deal with the situations by writing letters to Dr. Martin Luther King. Each letter is an honest look how African-Americans feel about the seemingly unending bias being directed towards them.
So much happens between the pages of this book sand all of it is good, very good. It’s a beautiful and powerful story. There are a few books out there dealing with African-American teens and police violence but this novel takes a different path to tell this difficult story.
I am sure you’ll love this book. The characters are people you care about and their journey is important. and moving.