Dear Martin - book cover
Literature & Fiction
  • Publisher : Ember; Reprint edition
  • Published : 04 Sep 2018
  • Pages : 240
  • ISBN-10 : 1101939524
  • ISBN-13 : 9781101939529
  • Language : English

Dear Martin

"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 #1 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

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, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Long Way Down

"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

Readers Top Reviews

Sarah H.Joy ABec Tul
Through Justyce, we get to see what life is like from a young black male’s point of view. Justyce is someone who any parent would be proud off, he is doing great at school and has his head screwed on. Things take a turn in his life when he is falsely arrested. I felt so many emotions whilst reading this book, mainly of sadness and anger. Justyce is struggling with his feelings and thoughts with the recent turns of events and starts to write them down in the form of a letters/journal to Martin Luther King Jr. It felt very personal reading someone’s most inner thoughts. It made me think back to my time as a seventeen year old and the trivial issues I thought were huge at that time yet now feel so little in comparison to what sadly so many still have to face like Justyce even in the present, real day. He even has to face constant racist remarks from his close white friends! It was sad to see the gap widening between them all. Dear Martin is a relatively short read at less than 200 pages but it packs a real punch. It evoked a whole heap of emotions at the injustice of what some of the characters have to face. It actually made me feel sick to the stomach at how things get twisted in the media and the courts. Even though it’s classed as a young adult book, it’s one that should be read by everyone. As soon as I finished this book and saw there was a book two, I went ahead and purchased it straight away. A story that will stick with me for a long time and one I hope that we, as a human race can learn from.
This is an important book that every teen should read. For such a short read, this packs a powerful punch. I really like Justyce, and the important people in his life; Manny, Doc, SJ. It’s hard, as a white person, to understand all the challenges that people of colour experience, the stereotypes and the brutality - just because of the colour of their skin. I found Justyce’s story, whilst heartbreaking, really enlightening. He’s got a good head on his shoulders, he’s decent, he’s well educated, he’s going to places. But sometimes life and society puts up big barriers - and Justyce encounters them regularly; when trying to do the right thing when looking after his drunken ex, when talking to his mum about white people, when encountering peers from his old neighbourhood who are trying to hold him down and when his white school peers can’t accept he’s as intelligent as them. But he keeps going; uses his head and uses the support from those important people in his life. Stone’s writing is really easy to lose yourself in - I’m looking forward to hearing the next stage in this story.
EuwanClare Wapshare
Too much foul language. I can’t believe a school allowed the book.
Patrick LeeSarah
The author delivered on inaccurate police protocol and procedure. The story is so one sided and construed by emotion and not facts even from it's own story. It feeds into the hate agenda.
Daniel K.JL
Im brown, employ black and white. My kids are white, their friends, gf/bf are black white and brown. This is absolute bullmalarky. We live in the south, and even we know that you get treated how you deserve. if youre trouble youre gonna catch trouble. If your straight and narrow youre not going to have problems. are there crappy people all over, yes. Is that the standard? absolutely not! stop with this mess and let folks do what they do without this constant lie.

Short Excerpt Teaser

chapter 1

From 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."


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 boun...