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Dear Martin
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Dear Martin
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"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...
"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...
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  • "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 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
 

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Excerpts-

  • From the cover 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...

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    July 31, 2017
    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.

  • AudioFile Magazine Narrator Dion Graham conveys Justyce McAllister's depth of character and inner conflict. The African-American honor student's life is changed when he is the victim of racial profiling, police brutality, and wrongful arrest. Graham at first registers Justyce's confusion and shock. With equal believability, Graham depicts Justyce's anger and trauma at experiencing racism at his mostly white prep school. To better understand his emotions, Justyce begins a journal, a series of letters to Martin Luther King, Jr. In his entries, Graham reflects Justyce's isolation, suffering, and occasional moments of solace. Then, a terrible string of events occurs. Graham voices Justyce's reactions of disbelief, disgust, and, finally, hope in this powerful journey of self-discovery. S.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award � AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine

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