When I heard about Dear Martin by Nic Stone, I knew it was one I wanted to include in my data set for my dissertation. In that context, like with All American Boys and The Hate U Give, it doesn’t matter whether or not I liked it, or whether or not the writing evoked a visceral reaction (read: I cried through all three books, and I’ve read all but this one more than once). My dissertation is all about language.
But thankfully, this first read was not one analyzing language in use. I read as a reader. As a black reader with brothers and male cousins and as a reader who fears for the same situations in which Jus finds himself.
Here’s what Dear Martin is about (from Amazon):
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.
My Sticky Note Review, which is woefully light on the review part.
And then I received this response from Nic Stone, which one, made my day, and two, means she totally stalked my profile: