Dear Martin

Dear Martin by Nic Stone


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 do find out.


The cop shoves him to the ground beside the police cruiser as he asks if Justyce understand his rights. Justyce doesn't remember hearing any rights, but his ears had been ringing from the two blow to the head, so maybe he missed them. He swallows more blood.

It's hard to read a book like this one and afterwards have to say that, yeah, it's okay, but really nothing special simply because the topic is very polarizing. Which is, as you might have figured already, exactly what I want to say about this book. The topic is interesting, yes, and, yes, police in the USA have to start getting their shit together if they want to move forward in any meaningful sort of way, but I didn't really feel anything while reading.

I can't even tell you why I didn't feel emotionally connected to the story, it simply didn't happen. There are some dramatic events taking place but I couldn't help feeling indifferent. Moreover, while I enjoyed the idea of "I'm going to pretend-write to MLK to work through my problems" I never actually really thought this particular element was implemented all that well. Often his letters were hardly more than a diary, sometimes rehashing events I already knew about without adding anything new, but never really engaging with particular ideas or the persona of MLK as such. Maybe other people will find more gratification when reading those letters but I, personally, would have probably even forgotten the original purpose if Justyce hadn't walked around town and told everyone ever about his project.

However I can't deny that I think this book will tick all the right marks for some people. The premise is promising, the topic Important™, and the twists this story takes have the potential to break your heart and then squish it to mush. Frankly, I had hoped for more from this story but I don't belong into the "some people" group, which is fine, too. You win some, you lose some. 


3 out of 5 stars, there's nothing else left to say.


Name: Dear Martin
Deutscher Titel: Dear Martin
Author: Nic Stone
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 224 
Where?: Amazon (English edition), Amazon (deutsche Ausgabe)


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