Monday, March 1, 2021

DEAR JUSTYCE by Nic Stone.  New York: Random House Children's Books, 2020.  266p.  ISBN 978-198482966-5 hc. $18.99     Gr. 8-12     YA FIC

Written as an epistolary novel, this story is framed around a series of letters written from Quan to Justyce.  The letters from Quan question why he is in the state detention center charged with murder, while Justyce is enrolled in an Ivy League college?  Both boys grew up in the same neighborhood.  They were childhood friends, so what happened?  Quan letters reflect on childhood memories of the places he used to go with Justyce and some of the friends they had in common.  In between the letters are accounts of Quan’s life that reveal how his family circumstances made it easy to make bad choices, with the good intentions of protecting his younger siblings.  This isn’t quite a sequel to DEAR MARTIN (2017), which is Justyce McAllister’s story, but it expands the realm of Vernell LaQuan Banks, Jr. for readers who remember him.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

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