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Publisher's Summary

An NPR Best Book of the Year

The stunning sequel to the critically acclaimed, number-one New York Times best seller Dear Martin. An incarcerated teen writes letters to his best friend about his experiences in the American juvenile justice system.

An unflinching look into the tragically flawed practices and silenced voices in the American juvenile justice system.

Vernell LaQuan Banks and Justyce McAllister grew up a block apart in the Southwest Atlanta neighborhood of Wynwood Heights. Years later, though, Justyce walks the illustrious halls of Yale University...and Quan sits behind bars at the Fulton Regional Youth Detention Center.

Through a series of flashbacks, vignettes, and letters to Justyce - the protagonist of Dear Martin - Quan's story takes form. Troubles at home and misunderstandings at school give rise to police encounters and tough decisions. But then there's a dead cop and a weapon with Quan's prints on it. What leads a bright kid down a road to a murder charge? Not even Quan is sure.

©2020 Nic Stone (P)2020 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

A Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year! 

"An unforgettable tour de force of social-justice and activist literature." —Booklist, starred review

"A powerful, raw must-read told through the lens of a Black boy ensnared by our broken criminal justice system.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review 

“Stone tackles the American juvenile justice system and its unjust persecution of Black boys in this gritty, powerful sequel to Dear Martin.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review 

Featured Article: The Best YA Audiobooks for Listeners of All Ages


Young adult audiobooks offer some of the most affecting, original stories that, despite the genre’s name, make an excellent choice for all listeners. Unforgettably poignant coming-of-age stories, hopeful tales of youth resistance, and brave teens reckoning with questions that stump even the wisest adults are at the heart of this exceptional genre. Our list features diverse characters and ensembles that will make it impossible to press pause.

What listeners say about Dear Justyce

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Thank You Nic

This story was so necessary. The cycle and circumstances that cause the school to prison pipeline is often not told. Nic Stone told it beautifully. Saving my full review for Goodreads but let’s just say I loved this book. It should be required reading in schools across the country.

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very timely read, so important for today's youth

A sense of belonging can save a child from becoming a statistic. Read this book.

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Awesome Book

This book was one of the best I've read! I love Nic Stone story writing.

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Dear Martin Was Better

I enjoyed “Dear Martin” a bit more than “Dear Justyce.” While I totally understand the authors purpose for writing a sequel, “Dear Martin” provided a little more depth and kept my interest throughout. It was interesting to hear Quan’s point of view, but this book was a bit slow for me.

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My mind was everywhere.

Normally, I don’t like feeling negative (as most do), but I found myself appreciating the feelings that were happening because of how realistic it was. And as said in the authors note, these things are real. People of color are subjected to a fixed place in society and aren’t even given a chance for difference. I’m mixed and lived in an average middle-class home, but was given a different outlook at how lucky my story is compared to many others. The writing was also done in such a fantastic way, proving that Nic Stone knows what she’s doing. I have a feeling you will enjoy this book.

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Curious

I enjoyed listening to this story. It was written differently. Very interesting format to view.

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Dear, Nic Stone

Thank you for this book. I am only 11 and the fact that I can comprehend every thing in this book lets ne know that authors like you are really helping kids understand.
Thank you- Jordan

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The author's note mirrors my opinion.

I couldn't say it any better than what was expressed in the author's notes I DID forget it was fiction the characters and storyline felt so real! Thanks again Nic Stone👍🏽

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Good overall

Although it's fictional, it was too good to be true in a lot of ways. It's hopeful and uplifting, so I get it. But I don't know how inspiring it is since stories rarely, if ever, turn out like this.

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Should've been a different storyline

From Nic Stone's prelude to this novel details her goals about writing this book. It was highly necessary to tell a story from an African-American male who struggles in the face of adversity in their coming-of-age.

In the end though I don't think it was a good idea to do so tying it into The Dear Martin book. It was a challenge to figure out timeline of events in Quon's life as it jumped back and forth non-stop in a non-linear timeline.

I don't know maybe this novel read better in the physical book. But in the audiobook, it was all over the place and I lost attention numerous times simply trying to figure out what timeframe the novel was in. I just believe that a stand-alone book with a new character completely would've been more successful in a linear timeline like Dear Martin.