Completes me! (5 stars)
What happens when you read a recommendation from your teenage niece? Weeping. Lots of weeping on a Sunday night as you finish a book and then crash into an emotionally drained sleep.
There are books in this world that are meant to be not only read, but felt, deeply and “Dear Martin,” by Nic Stone is just such a book. It is the tale of a young black man, Justyce, who is attempting to understand himself and the current American race dynamics through writing letters to Martin Luther King. It is the last year of his high school career and he finds himself enmeshed in an external world that negates his humanity in favor of seeing him as “a threat.”
Stone weaves a powerful and poignant inner wrestling with the many external forces bombarding Justyce. She employs a variety of genres, from the letters to Martin, narrative, debate transcripts to news articles offering the reader a wide range of emotional connections and perspectives to the various moments of impact be they mundane or volatile. Stone allows the reader a deeply personal window into the inner struggle black men face in this country and the diversity of path taken with a society’s pressure and pre-judgement forced upon them.
I was captivated, horrified, educated and humbled throughout the reading of this short, yet powerful story. It is pointed, going directly to the heart of the matter without apology or pretense and forces the reader to bear witness to this season in Justyce’s life without respite or placation. Do yourself a favor and read it.