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Guest post from Hannah Rials
A Social Justice YA Book | Dear Martin by Nic Stone
Justyce McAllister is the best kind of person—loyal friend, willing to help someone in need, top of his class on the Ivy League track. However, the police officer who cuffs him after trying to help his ex-girlfriend doesn’t care about any of that. This traumatic event sends Justyce spiraling into a dark hole, isolating himself from his friends, so he tuns to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King for advice by writing him a series of letters whenever he faces a new issue.
However, it seems like the world is against Justyce. Just when life starts to look up, Justyce and his best friend Manny are caught in a crossfire at a stoplight with a white off-duty police officer pulled up beside them. However, in the media coverage and following investigation, Justyce is the one who’s targeted, not the officer who started firing at two unarmed teenagers.
Nic Stone’s debut YA novel is startling, serving up truth on every single page. She deals with a rough subject in a clear, respectful, raw way that leaves readers captivated and crying by the end of the book. It will definitely get you riled up. I absolutely love the mix of prose with epistolary writing, especially in a young adult novel. We need more books like Dear Martin in our schools, not just to learn the craft of dialogue (which Stone has mastered) but also to incite the desire for social justice in a time where that term is murky.
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 husband and sons on most social media platforms as @getnicced, or on her website: www.nicstone.info.
A Social Justice YA Book | Something To Do
Read up on the teachings that Justyce was trying to practice in his every day life from Dr. Martin Luther King:
What was Dr. King’s idea of “Beloved Community?”
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HANNAH RIALS: A Maryville native and current college student at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Hannah began writing her first novel at age twelve. Eight years later, the result is her new YA novel Ascension; a modern day teenage romance filled with “double-blooded” vampires and revenge-seeking witches. When not spending time with her family and playing with her beloved Corgis, Buddy and Noel, Hannah leads a creative group, crafts and cultivates her writing skills. Connect with Hannah on Facebook, Twitter and via her website.
Enter this world of vampires, set in the south, and realize you are being pulled in more—and deeper—with each page.
Steeped in the mystery, intrigue and rich history of New Orleans and the secretive world of the Deuxsang, teen vampire, Cheyenne, and her forbidden love, Eli, embark on a very different, and vastly more dangerous, journey as the net of betrayal tightens around them. This intense and fresh novel is enchanting, engrossing and impossible to put down right up to the cliffhanger ending. Remember, the end is not the end.
What an extraordinary debut novel with new and intriguing twists on vampires—a strong female protagonist as one. I already can’t wait for book two.-Jill Murphy Long, author of The Conduit
This book is by the far the BEST YA/Adult fiction that I’ve read in a very long while. So exciting!-Rebecca F
The wait is over-Ascension is here! Thrilling and entertaining, like the experience on a crazy roller coaster. Hannah has grown into the most amazing writer. Watching her journey has been as much fun as holding the book in my hands. A “must read” for YA and thriller fans!-Valarie B