Blurb from Goodreads:
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 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.
HERE’S MY THOUGHTS!
Dear Martin is a gripping story that makes me captivated. I honestly cannot put this down while reading, I read this in a whole day. It is not that this story is boring and easy, it’s not what you think of. This story is moving, intense and very much emotional to get through.
The main character is Justyce McAllister, who is a POC and faces such difficulties in his teenage years by delving into important issues such as racism and police brutality. His character is so refreshing in the YA world because we get to see his point of view facing the injustice and intolerance by the people around him.
The discussions about racism in the book are totally raw and honest. Justyce is a debater, and it is really enlightening to see a wise main character in a YA book. He is definitely a good person, he thinks the consequences of doing something, he studies and gets excellent grades and he tries to understand what is the main problem of racism and prejudice.
However, being a black person does not give Justyce the privilege to live a happy and safe life. He is constantly challenged by society’s expectations and mindset. We can also observe how POCs are treated in Dear Martin. They are NEVER treated seriously and often undermined by the society. Even people who have the qualifications in the higher ranks are discriminated by others.
My favourite part of the book is when Justyce writes letters to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (as the title is Dear Martin) explaining and telling his experiences as being a POC in a high school and how he feels like he is treated very badly by the society. He writes letters and at the same time he studies about Martin on how he faces discrimination during his time. It is very emotional to see Justyce faces these kind of treatment from the society.
Nic Stone also shows the mindsets of POCs towards white people in the book. It is not their fault to feel doubtful towards white people because of what they or their ancestors have gone through in the past. However, Justyce believes that not all white people are like that. It is not the skin colour which determines the person.
I wish the media will hype and talk about this book a lot, like the hype received from The Hate U Give. This story is such an eye opener to me, as I learn a lot of stuffs from this book regarding racism and prejudice. I don’t know the challenges and feelings of the shoes of people who have gone through shit, but at least by reading this, it opens my perspective.