Author: Nic Stone
Narrator: Dion Graham
Publication Date: September 28, 2020
Dear Justyce by Nic Stone is a great YA own voices novel about the American juvenile justice system.
Dear Justyce is an excellent sequel to Dear Martin. It can be read as a standalone, but this series is so good I highly recommend reading both.
Quan is a teen in juvenile detention for killing a cop. Dear Justyce describes how Quan got there with flashbacks, recent stories, and letters to Justyce (the main character from Dear Martin). No matter what Quan did he was viewed as guilty by everyone including his mom.
I love Nic Stone’s novels. I have read Dear Martin and now Dear Justyce. Both gave me the perspective of black teenagers. Stone’s characters seem so real. None of her characters are all good or all bad. Her style of writing really gets you in the character’s head. You don’t only see what they did, but why they did it.
After Quan first entered the juvenile detention system, it started a cycle of being in and out of the system. Quan explains how he belonged to a group and didn’t really feel like he could break out even though he wanted to.
Justyce is a high achieving, friend of Quan’s late cousin. Justyce is in college and tries to help set Quan free. The similarities and differences between Quan and Justyce’s stories is so interesting reading this series.
In the author’s note, Stone explained her friends asked for a story of a typical black teenager, unlike the high achiever Justyce. I really liked going into the story knowing that and really enjoyed this book.
I highly recommend Dear Justyce to fans of Dear Martin, The Hate U Give and Punching the Air.
About the Author
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 adorable little family on most social media platforms.