Reader Reviewed Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Dear Martin

Written by Nic Stone

YA readers   Debuts of the Month   13+ readers   Summer Reading   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

May 2018 Debut of the Month | In a Nutshell: Striving for goodness when the world has you down as bad

Picture this. You’re an honors student with a top university in your sights. You work hard, and you follow your mother’s advice to always put your best foot forward. So how come, when you help a friend in need, you’re man-handled by the police and arrested? How come the cops tell you that they “know your kind...Just couldn’t resist the pretty white girl who’s locked her keys in her car, could ya?” As Yale-bound African American Justyce knows only too well, “things aren’t as equal as folks say they are”. At every turn he’s caught between worlds: a white classmate attributes his success to positive discrimination, while he’s accused of being a race traitor by some of his black peers. He airs this elemental conundrum with SJ, his debate partner: “white people hold most positions of authority in this country. How do I deal with the fact that I DO need them to get ahead without feeling like I’m turning my back on my own people?” And what’s he supposed to do when he falls for SJ and his mama’s dead against him dating a white girl?

As the compelling, gut-wrenching story unfolds, Justyce writes a journal to Dr Martin Luther King Jr. to work through his thoughts, vent his frustrations and to ask what Dr King would do in his situation. Then a tragedy strikes that threatens to disarm Justyce’s pledge to do as Martin would do.

Important, timely and unforgettable, this powerful exposé of racism, injustice and the injuriousness of profiling articulates the persistent everyday battles faced by thousands of kids in Justyce’s shoes with scorching lucidity. Quite simply, everyone must read this poignant punch-packer of a debut. ~ Joanne Owen

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our LoveReading Teen/YA Reader Review Panel members were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Humaira Kauser, age 20 - 'This book lives up to the hype, it'll go down a classic.'
  • Emily Kirby, age 13 - 'Dear Martin is a great book and I will definitely recommend it to my friends. It covers huge issues that are not often written about. Also it was very gripping I read it in one day.'
  • Edel Waugh, Adult - 'This was a beautiful story that I recommend for everyone to read.'
  • Laura Solomon, age 15 - 'Beautiful and startling, this novel combines two fundamental elements of amazing literature; beautiful writing and startling subject matter.'
  • Linda Brown, Adult - 'Dear Martin is a short (207 pages) but very powerful story that is a raw, captivating read that I seriously could not put down. A must read for 2018.'
  • Finn, age 14 - 'This book deal with a tough subject in a sensitive way but people (not just teens) will want to read it.'
  • Olivia Tierney, age 20 - 'Powerful coming of age, black lives matter, novel detailing racial struggles present in this day and age. Heart-breaking and heart-warming, Dear Martin, is one of those books you just have to read.'
  • Rebekah Marsh, age 15 - 'Dear Martin is eye opening, it has made me more aware of what's going on around me and its honest plot line has encouraged me to speak out more about race.'
  • Jasmine, age 11 - Thorp Academy - 'I really enjoyed this book and I think it will stick with me forever.'
  • William Longlands, age 14 - '5/10. Well written but I didn’t like the style of the book.'

Win the Skulduggery Pleasant series, SIGNED by the author!

The 11 instalment in the best-selling Skulduggery Pleasant series, Midnight, is out in hardback on 31 May. To celebrate this we are giving away THREE prizes of all 11 books in the series, SIGNED by the author Derek Landy and delivered in a special Skulduggery Pleasant tote bag!

To have a chance of winning one of these great prizes, click the button below. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once. Draw closes on 28 June 2018. The winners will be notified by 12 July 2018.

Good luck!

Enter prize draw Draw closes: 28/06/2018


Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Raw, captivating, and undeniably real, Nic Stone boldly tackles American race relations in this stunning debut. 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 neighbourhood 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 police officer 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?


'A powerful, wrenching, and compulsively readable story that lays bare the history, and the present, of racism in America' John Green, bestselling author of Turtles All the Way Down

'Absolutely incredible, honest, gut-wrenching! A must-read!' Angie Thomas, bestselling author of The Hate U Give

Painfully timely and deeply moving, this is the novel the next generation should be reading' bestselling author Jodi Picoult

`Justyce's story is earnest, funny, achingly human, and unshakably hopeful. I am forever changed.' Becky Albertalli, author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

'Raw and gripping' Jason Reynolds, bestselling co-author of All American Boys

About the Author

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Book Info


224 pages


Nic Stone
More books by Nic Stone


Simon & Schuster Childrens Books an imprint of Simon & Schuster Ltd

Publication date

3rd May 2018




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