Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Dear Martin (Dear Martin, #1)” as Want to Read:
Dear Martin (Dear Martin, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Dear Martin

(Dear Martin #1)

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  56,426 ratings  ·  9,308 reviews
Raw, captivating, and undeniably real, Nic Stone joins industry giants Jason Reynolds and Walter Dean Myers as she boldly tackles American race relations in this stunning debut.

Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published October 17th 2017 by Crown Books for Young Readers
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Dear Martin, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Sarah If I asked you, "Should I breathe air, or drink water?" you'd say "BOTH!" right? DEAR MARTIN and THUG are like that. They're totally different, and yo…moreIf I asked you, "Should I breathe air, or drink water?" you'd say "BOTH!" right? DEAR MARTIN and THUG are like that. They're totally different, and you need them both. (less)
Kim Smith As a school librarian, I have found that School Library Journal is generally on spot with age/grade recommendations. It recommends this book for grade…moreAs a school librarian, I have found that School Library Journal is generally on spot with age/grade recommendations. It recommends this book for grades 9 and up. I would recommend to grades 8 and up due to mature language, and topics. Characters are high school seniors and I generally keep the the character age close to age of reader. Excellent book.(less)
Caraval by Stephanie GarberThe Hate U Give by Angie ThomasWintersong by S. Jae-JonesGilded Cage by Vic JamesBlood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves
YA Debuts 2017
215 books — 1,563 voters
Lord of Shadows by Cassandra ClareKing's Cage by Victoria AveyardCarve the Mark by Veronica RothCaraval by Stephanie GarberFlame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh
YA Novels of 2017
1,105 books — 8,473 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.38  · 
Rating details
 ·  56,426 ratings  ·  9,308 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Dear Martin (Dear Martin, #1)
Emily May
Jan 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For some, it sounds like the kind of dystopian world inspired by The Hunger Games. A dark, dystopian future where young men are gunned down for doing nothing wrong. Imagine trying to live your life with the constant knowledge that you could be murdered for… wearing the wrong clothes… looking “shady”… or having the wrong colour skin. Imagine living this nightmare and STILL being told that it doesn’t happen anymore. That everyone is equal and, actually, YOU are given an advantage by affirmative ac ...more
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
NOTE: As a white woman, I am incapable of fully understanding the issues that plague black individuals today. I recognize my privilege and try to learn something new every single day, and I am so grateful for authors like Nic Stone who can teach me new ways of seeing society. That said, my opinion on this book is honestly so much less important than own-voice reviewers' words. If you or someone you know is an own-voice reviewer of this book and would like your review to be featured in my blog po ...more
Emma Giordano
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing

CW: racism, police brutality

Dear Martin had me captivated the entire time, I seriously could not put it down. I finished it in under 3 hours so if you are looking for a short yet intense read, this is the one for you!

I feel I avoided Dear Martin for a few months because I assumed the entire novel was written in letters to Dr. King, which is not a format I prefer to read. I was pleasantly surprised to find the letters complimented the chronological storytelling,
C.G. Drews
This was super brutal and super good! And so literally arrived in the mail and I nearly lost it in the packaging. But while I do have some quibbles about the size, ultimately I think it's AMAZING that 200 pages can pack this massive punch. This is the kind of #BlackLivesMatter book that's super important for everyone to read. And as the author's note says, it's: " attempt to examine current affairs through the lens of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s teachings." Which was SO grea ...more
Elle (ellexamines)
May 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone and everyone
Every moment of this felt like a punch to the gut.

There’s honestly not much else to say about this book. Despite being incredibly short, I think Dear Martin speaks for itself about racism and hatred and prejudice. It’s hard to write a book that makes a reader feel, but reading this book just made me feel like I was being punched in the gut, over and over. This was just so emotionally real. While the characters may not get many specific traits, they all feel so much like real people. It takes a
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Jun 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
I absolutely flew through this. It was SO good.
Kayla Dawn
Jul 20, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 1-star-books
The topics that are being addressed in this are important and sadly very very real but this was just so TERRIBLY written!!
And I don't want to feel forced to love a book just because of it's sensitive/important topic. I want to love a book because it's good.

PS: The synopsis basically spoils about 60% of the book?! Why would you do that??
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Impactful. Immersive. Important.

There are many different ways in which we learn about the world. One of the most important ways is through personal experience. These experiences help to shape our views, opinions and really who we are as people.

As we all know, however, people experience the world differently for a variety of distinct reasons. Unfortunately, one way in which this is true is based upon the color of a person's skin.

I know that as a white person, given the innate privileges that come
Tomi Adeyemi
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I kept trying to read a chapter at a time over the course of 2 days, but every time I sat down for one chapter I ended up reading five. By day three I just said "screw my responsibilities" and let myself curl up in bed with this beautiful and powerful book. It truly hurts to read because of all the raw issues it explores, but I loved every minute of it. It makes you laugh, it makes you cry, it makes you angry. It makes you FEEL and it makes you think. It gives you everything a great book is supp ...more
may ➹
4.5 stars

I honestly have no idea why this isn’t getting more hype, because this book is absolutely beautiful, important, and poignant. It opens eyes and minds about issues that are happening right now, and it offers perspective from people who are the ones facing those issues. This is a book everyone should read.

First, I’d like to say that I am a person of color, but I am not Black. I’ve faced racism, bias, and other forms of prejudice and discrimination, but none as bad as what Black people fac
Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥
”Why try to do right if people will always look at me and assume wrong?”

I know that’s quite a provocative quote for the beginning of a review but I decided to pick it because I like how it immediately causes you to think about it! I mean why indeed? If you play by the rules but no one else does, is it even worth to stick to them? Can one person change the prejudices that have been ingrained into society for generations? If others hurt and push you to your limits, should you just take it and let
jv poore
Sometimes I stumble onto a story that renders me speechless for days, but then can be summed up in one emphatic word,"YES!" Taking this to "my" students next week and I cannot wait! ...more
Feb 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is just one of those books that makes me so, so glad that young adult lit exists, and that it takes the form that it does.

The fact that this story has and will end up in the hands of the exact people who will learn the most from it makes me so happy.

This is such a powerful and impactful story, and it's going to do untold good.

That's all.

Bottom line: Just...good.


i don't know why it took me so long to pick this up but it was wrong and i am sorry.

review to come /
This book is so powerful and moving.

This book is literally one of the best I've read in ages and deserves equal amount of hype as The Hate U Give. I cannot stress how much people need to read this book!


buddy read with my most favoritest son (theo) ever!!!

I want a good read and I know for a fact this will be a fabulous read!!
Nov 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really appreciate YA authors that write directly to their teenage audience. There’s been a bit of a blurring of the lines between Young Adult and Adult fiction over the years, and sometimes it feels like teenage readers, especially ones in their early teens, get left behind. Maybe it’s due to the reluctance by publishers to classify books as New Adult, but about half of YA book readers are adults. This is fine, but adult readers and reviewers need to understand that these works are not made sp ...more
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved Dear Martin. This is a timely book that depressed, infuriated, and devastated me at various parts.

Dear Martin is about Justyce, a 17 year old high school senior at a prep school in Atlanta who, over the duration of the story, finds himself being treated inappropriately and unfairly in certain situations due to being a young African-American man. The book is timely with the social injustice that continues to pervade the U.S.

Justyce is aiming for an Ivy League college, balancing school,
Such a small book, and yet so impactful.

Do you ever just start a book and think ‘Oh you, you’re going to be a favourite’? Because that’s exactly what I felt when I opened this book and read the first chapter. By the second I was crying, and smiling, laughing, and in so much pain.

This book is mostly about Justyce, a seventeen-year-old black boy, trying to understand where he stands in his own life, what is opinion on racial inequalities is, what does it mean for him to be black in this white supr
4 stars
“You can't change how other people think and act, but you're in full control of you.”

I listened to the audiobook of Dear Martin and it was fantastic. Justyce’s story was real, important, and powerful. This was a short listen (less than five hours) but it packed a punch. I loved the concept of writing to Martin and I loved seeing things from Justyce’s perspective. One of my favorite things about reading is being able to be in someones head who’s perspective is totally differe
Sep 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
“You ever consider that maybe you not supposed to 'fit'? People who make history rarely do.”

Nic Stone has been on my radar for a long time so I'm glad I finally managed to pick up her bestselling debut novel. I really enjoyed it as it was a super quick read that didn't waste a word. Every page, every chapter grabbed my attention. I thought the characters were well-painted with only a small number of strokes. I couldn't help but feel as if the story was slightly fractured, only showing a few outt
#BookTubeAthon Day 5, Book 5.
Challenge: Let a coin toss decide your first read.

[4.5 ⭐️]
I began reading this around 4.30pm and finished it by 7:25pm.
I was completely absorbed into the story and it left me in such a haze after I finished it.
If you loved The Hate U Give, then you’ll love this. I actually preferred this story and the format is was told in, the writing, the characters, and how the subject matter of the Black Lives Matter movement was spoken about.

Just a stunning novel.
Jul 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dear Martin was a pretty quick audiobook. I actually listened to it in one sitting since it’s only 4 hrs and 32 mins long.

Short BUT powerful.

As with THUG, the story and message was emotional, and captivating. It reflects the news we hear almost weekly here in the US. Black teenagers being killed, and police officers not being charged.

For me, these kind of books are a reminder that I've had it easy, compared to others. I grew up White, and in Europe, and have never been judged and profiled be
I very much appreciated the message of this book, however it wasn't executed well. I have read other books (ALL AMERICAN BOYS, THE HATE U GIVE) with similar subject matter that just did it better.

Yes, I read this book in a day but that was because it was only 210 pages. I struggle with trusting a YA book that's only 210 pages, cause that's short! Like THE GREAT GATSBY short and surprise, I didn't like THE GREAT GATSBY. I felt like there needed to be more. I read in the acknowledgements that Nic
J.T.  Yorke
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
April (Aprilius Maximus)
“You ever consider that maybe you not supposed to 'fit'? People who make history rarely do.”

representation: own voices Black characters, Jewish side character.

[trigger warnings are listed at the bottom of this review and may contain spoilers]


How do i even begin to talk about this? What an impactful book. The characters felt so real so everything just hit so hard... it was honestly devastating and incredibly anger-inducing to read. Just.... we need to do better, y'all. Stories like this
Oct 20, 2017 rated it liked it

Most importantly, I would like to thank NetGalley and publishers for allowing me to read this book. Thank you very much.

Actual rating: 3.5 stars

Writing this review won’t be easy because of this book destroyed my heart and feelings. Before starting reading Dear Martin, I automatically compared it to The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, another YA contemporary book focused on #BlackLivesMatter movement. For the ones who don’t know what this movement is, it is based on racism towards black people a

Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Holy fucking shit I loved this book so much.

DEAR MARTIN is a masterpiece. There's simply no other way to describe it. It's a work of art that will leave you breathless and sobbing and unable to stop thinking about it.

I'm amazed by how well-done everything is: the characters, the story, the writing, the cover, the plot twists...It fully deserves 5 stars, and I wish I could give it more.

When this book releases, there's no excuse for not reading it. You simply have to. If you like contemporary? R
The Artisan Geek
------------------VIDEO REVIEW------------------

Such a stellar read. I have so much to say about how good this is, but will need some time to process.

You can find me on
Youtube | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Website
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
A really moving, well-written and thought-provoking story, which delves into subjects such as race, violence, culture, identity and relationships. It is, at times, really difficult to read, because I felt confronted with a reality that I wish were different. For someone who has never been (at least to my knowledge) discriminated against because of the way I look, Dear Martin offered insight into the constant strain and struggle so many people face just in normal, day-to-day situations. The book ...more
Dave Schaafsma
“You can’t change how other people think and act, but you’re in full control of you. When it comes down to it, the only question that matters is this: If nothing in the world ever changes, what type of man are you gonna be?”

Dear Martin is one of several YA novels that seem to have emerged in response to the killing of young black people by police officers in the U. S. and in keeping with the Black Lives Matter movement. Since it is YA and is likely going to be adopted in schools, it can provide
Mariah Roze
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this book for the Goodreads' book club Diversity in All Forms! If you would like to participate in the discussion here is the link:

I really enjoyed this book! It was short, but covered so many important topics. The main character is Justyce McAllister. He is a African-American male, high school senior that is at the top of his class. The book starts off with a police officer putting him in handcuffs because he was helping his ex-girlfriend late at
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Concrete Rose (The Hate U Give, #0)
  • Clap When You Land
  • All American Boys
  • Punching the Air
  • Long Way Down
  • The Poet X
  • On the Come Up
  • Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You
  • This Is My America
  • Grown
  • Monday's Not Coming
  • You Should See Me in a Crown
  • With the Fire on High
  • Ghost Boys
  • The Black Kids
  • The Black Flamingo
  • Slay
  • Felix Ever After
See similar books…
See top shelves…
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 d ...more

Other books in the series

Dear Martin (2 books)
  • Dear Justyce (Dear Martin, #2)

Articles featuring this book

Don’t you just hate that feeling of falling head over heels for a new series...and then having to wait anxiously (sometimes for years!) for...
45 likes · 15 comments
“You can’t change how other people think and act, but you’re in full control of you. When it comes down to it, the only question that matters is this: If nothing in the world ever changes, what type of man are you gonna be?” 131 likes
“You ever consider that maybe you not supposed to 'fit'? People who make history rarely do.” 74 likes
More quotes…