About the Book:
Title: DEAR MARTIN
Author: Nic Stone
Pub. Date: October 17, 2017
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
Justyce McAllister is top of his class, captain of the debate team, and set for the Ivy League next year—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. He is eventually released without charges (or an apology), but the incident has Justyce spooked. Despite leaving his rough neighborhood, he can’t seem to escape the scorn of his former peers or the attitude of his prep school classmates. The only exception: Sarah Jane, Justyce’s gorgeous—and white—debate partner he wishes he didn’t have a thing for.
Struggling to cope with it all, Justyce starts a journal to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But do Dr. King’s teachings hold up in the modern world? Justyce isn’t so sure.
Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up. Way up. Much to the fury of the white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. And Justyce and Manny get caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack. The truth of what happened that night—some would kill to know. Justyce is dying to forget.
Read more about the author, including her thoughts on pushing morality in YA books below~AK
Nic Stone was born and raised in a suburb of Atlanta, GA, and the only thing she loves more than an adventure is a good story about one. After graduating from Spelman College, she worked extensively in teen mentoring and lived in Israel for a few years before returning to the US to write full-time. Growing up with a wide range of cultures, religions, and backgrounds, Stone strives to bring these diverse voices and stories to her work.
You can find her goofing off and/or fangirling over her husband and sons on most social media platforms as @getnicced.
I want to thank Nic Stone for taking time to share with us her opinion on the importance of morality in ya novels!
There’s a quote from one of my favorite characters (the illustrious and high-minded Lord Henry) in one of my favorite books (The Picture of Dorian Gray): “I never approve, nor disapprove, of anything now. It is an absurd attitude to take towards life. We are not sent into the world to air our moral prejudices.” This is exactly how I feel about morality in YA novels. For me, reading has always been about exploration—seeing bits of the world at large from a perspective that is not my own—and it’s vital for me to have the space, as a reader, to draw my own conclusions, moral or otherwise, about what I’ve read. In fact, if a book has a clear “message” or obvious moral bent, I’ll put it down.
I feel we do teens a disservice when we tell them what to think. The best YA novels, to me, are the ones that present information without comment and allow readers to do what they will with it. Morality has its place in character development because, yes, (most) real people are guided by moral principles, but for morality of any sort to be overt in a novel? Eh. Not for me.