Have you ever heard of the expression, No Good Deed Goes Unpunished? Well, Justyce is thinking something along those lines while he sits on the ground in handcuffs after trying to prevent his ex- girlfriend from driving home drunk. Even when parents get involved, the police STILL don’t want to let him go. Finally, one of his friend’s mom’s who is a lawyer comes down and is able to get him out of it. All Justyce keeps thinking is what could have happened. What if the officer had gotten a little trigger happy with his gun and killed him? What then?
Justyce has been going to a private, mostly white high school on scholarship for a few years now, and after this incident, he can’t get out of his head how life seems to be stacked against him as a young black man.
Looking around at school, trying to figure out his friends, balancing life in the dorms with the different life at home with his mom, Justyce is finally realizing he has to decide where he fits in this world. He tries to live his life as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but he finds the struggle to turn the other cheek is getting harder and harder.
Dear Martin by Nic Stone is a troubling, honest look at what it means to be growing up in the United States with dark colored skin. Justyce has to find his way out, just like everyone else. This was a book that I read in one afternoon, and was glad I had the time to devote to it, so I could read it in one sitting. Really important issues in this book and a well crafted story.
Recommended for mature 8th graders and up.