Dear Martin

Dear Martin is a heart shattering road to self-discovery and social awakening. How do you live a non-violent life when you’re constantly faced with racial prejudice and social indignities?

 

Synopsis

Justyce McAllister is a bright and thoughtful young man – top of his class, a cherished friend, and aiming for the Ivy League. None of that seems to matter when he’s slapped in police handcuffs. He’s caught in a place between two worlds; he feels scorned for leaving his rough neighborhood behind, but doesn’t feel accepted by his new mostly-white schoolmates. He turns to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers, and starts a journal to explore his feelings and struggles.

Even that doesn’t seem to help, especially when he and his friend incite the anger of an off-duty police officer for playing their music too loud. What ensues is a heart shattering road to self-discovery and social awakening for Justyce.

Review

This little book packs a huge gut punch! Oh my.

Justyce grapples with the prejudices in society, from his peers, and even of his own making. He tries to find where he fits in this changing world, and to figure out who he really is. How did Dr. King live a non-violent life when faced with the same indignities?

I’m distraught, fuming, and shocked over the snap judgments, prejudice, callousness, and lack of compassion from some of the characters and how that extends to our current social climate.

But it’s not a surprising story because it feels like a personal account of true events that happen every day in our country. And that might be the most depressing part of the story – the realism and realization that this issue just isn’t changing. It’s infuriating and I feel impatient to arrive at a time when stories like these are relegated to the depths of our memories because these atrocities don’t happen anymore.

Are these race issues? Gender issues? Social issues? Gun issues? What matters is that these are serious issues! And they’re explored tentatively yet brutally in Dear Martin.

*As a white person, I recognize my privilege and try to open my heart and eyes to the struggles faced by others. I am not fully capable of completely understanding the struggles faced by black individuals today, but am thankful for authors like Nic Stone that help teach us different and more compassionate ways to view society.*

Dear Martin
by Nic Stone
Kindle Edition, 226 pages
Published October 17th 2017 by Crown Books for Young Readers

Summary

Dear Martin is a heart shattering road to self-discovery and social awakening. How do you live a non-violent life when you're constantly faced with racial prejudice and social indignities? This is an important story for #BlackLivesMatter and a must read for everyone to contemplate more compassion in their lives.

— Cassie
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