Friday, November 27, 2020

Dear Justyce

 Dear Justyce 

Author: Nic Stone

Publisher: Crown

Year: 2020


Dear Justyce is author Nic Stone’s follow up to her best seller Dear Martin. 

Dear Justyce tells the story of Quan Banks. He’s a smart kid, great with numbers. He’s trying to make the right decisions and be a good kid, but there just seems to be so many obstacles in his life. Quan’s mom is in an abusive relationship. His dad is a drug dealer who gets arrested one night. Quan is there when the police arrest is dad and is traumatized by it. Quan still tries to do everything right, but his support system erodes. He feels like nobody has his back. He starts stealing. At first it’s to feed his younger siblings, but he continues because he thinks that’s what’s expected of him. Quan gets arrested for stealing and labeled a delinquent and a career criminal. Quan eventually finds acceptance and support with a criminal crew. A confrontation with the police turns deadly and Quan is arrested for murder. 

While in lock up, Quan starts writing to his old friend Justyce who is now a freshman at Yale. Quan eventually admits to Justyce that he didn’t commit the crime he’s accused of. Justyce decides to help his friend try to get out of jail and start a new life. 

This book doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to how society sees expects from kids of color. The author crafts Quan as a whole person- a kid who loves his younger siblings, doesn’t understand how his mom can stay in an abusive relationship, has feelings and emotions he can’t always understand or express. I just wanted to take Quan to the bookstore and buy him all the Lemony Snicket books he wants and then take him home to give him a bowl of hot soup and listen as he tells me about the math test he studied so hard for. 

This is a book that will stay with you. 

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