What would MLK say if he were alive today? This book investigates
What would Martin Luther King Jr. do about racial injustice if he were alive today?
That's exactly the question Nic Stone asked herself when she sat down to write her debut novel Dear Martin. In the book, she answers the question through the eyes of high school senior Justyce McAllister who finds himself in a deadly situation.
Justyce thought it could never happen to him—getting pulled over by the police, that is. Despite his place in a fancy prep school, he can’t seem to escape the stereotypes of his background in a rough neighborhood. Fourth in his class and on track to go to Yale, Justyce finds himself getting handcuffed on the side of the road.
After his run-in with law enforcement, Justyce becomes hyper-aware of racism in his everyday life. Microaggressions from white prep school classmates and systematic societal racism make him wonder: Have things really gotten better since MLK's day?
Justyce decides to start writing letters to MLK in his journal, asking questions he’d be too afraid to ask anywhere else. He asks King for advice, wondering, like Stone, if his teachings would hold up in the 21st century.
Justyce navigates these tough questions, along with other high school issues—like his crush on his debate partner—with the help of his best friend Manny, another black student at his primarily white high school.
One day, Justyce faces his worst fear: He and Manny are in the car blasting loud music. A white police officer, in a fit of rage about the volume, confronts them and shots are fired. Who does the media blame for the tragedy that leaves one dead? Justyce. And he can’t help but wonder: Dear Martin, how did this happen?
You can buy Dear Martin right HERE.
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