The St. Louis Public Library presents the Spring 2019, Read It Forward selection Dear Martin by Nic Stone. Dear Martin follows Justyce McAllister, a kind, thoughtful young man headed for an Ivy League school. One evening, Justyce goes to the aid of an ex-girlfriend who is intoxicated and attempting to drive home. He quickly and unexpectedly finds himself confronted by the police and in handcuffs. Following this event, he begins to feel judgement from both the rough neighborhood he has left behind and his peers at the private boarding school he attends. This captivating book tackles race relations within America today from the perspective of Justyce, his classmates, and individuals from his neighborhood. Feeling trapped and confused after that fateful night in handcuffs, Justyce turns to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. He begins writing to Dr. King in the hopes of learning how to deal with the racial tensions he faces daily. Just as Justyce takes a hiatus from his experiment, he and his best friend Manny find themselves in an altercation with a white off-duty cop. The aftermath sets Justyce back and may alter his decisions for the future.
New York Times Best Seller Dear Martin is author Nic Stone’s debut novel, published by Ember, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York. Dear Martin was a 2018 finalist for both the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award for Young Adult Fiction and the William C. Morris Debut Award. Nic Stone has since written Odd One Out and is slated to release Jackpot on October 15th, 2019. Stone was born and raised in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. After graduating from Spelman College, she lived and worked in Israel for a few years. It was there in Israel that she states she “began to get a real grasp on the role of Story in the human experience.” (http://www.nicstone.info/callmenic) After her time in Israel, she returned to the United States and began writing full-time. While inspired by her experience in Israel, Stone states that her writings are trying to bring more diverse perspectives to YA novels. She does just that with Dear Martin, by wonderfully capturing provocative and realistic conversations between Justyce and those around him.
The St. Louis Public Library’s Read It Forward program promotes literacy and offers teens an opportunity to grow their personal library and meet amazing authors. Free copies of Dear Martin are available for teens and adults at any St. Louis Public Library location, while supplies last. Readers are then encouraged to Read It Forward by sharing their copy and experience with others. Join us at Central Library (1301 Olive Street) on Wednesday March 13th from 7:00-8:00pm to meet and listen to Nic Stone present on Dear Martin.
For more on Nic Stone, check out her website.