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Tyler Johnson Was Here

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  4,139 ratings  ·  1,011 reviews
The Hate U Give meets All American Boys in this striking and heartbreaking debut novel, commenting on current race relations in America.

When Marvin Johnson's twin, Tyler, goes to a party, Marvin decides to tag along to keep an eye on his brother. But what starts as harmless fun turns into a shooting, followed by a police raid.

The next day, Tyler has gone mi
Kindle Edition, 305 pages
Published March 20th 2018 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Jay Coles Yes! Inspired by actual events in my life/childhood.
Brooke Nadzam I think it is good for all high school ages. There is some cursing (though the context makes it appropriate) and there is one intimate scene--but they…moreI think it is good for all high school ages. There is some cursing (though the context makes it appropriate) and there is one intimate scene--but they're safe and use a condom!(less)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,139 ratings  ·  1,011 reviews

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Elle (ellexamines)
“People don’t fucking know that black folks were never included in all. All-American means white. All-inclusive means white. All lives means white lives. It’s bullshit. White dolls always make it about them, and I’m pissed that they’re trying to mask their hatred with these tags.”

For once, a book is just as amazing as the cover. A story about police brutality, focused around a boy whose brother is shot by a police officer. And, as I think most of you may have guessed, the shooting occurred u
Emma Giordano
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Review to come!

CW: racism, police brutality, gang violence, drug use, death/grief
C.G. Drews
This is such a heartwrenching (and important) read. And I am just a bucket of sad right now...this one hit hard. I'm really glad books like this are getting published (and #ownvoices narratives are so important) so when I say "this is depressing" I don't mean it's something that shouldn't be said!! We need to be told these types of stories again and again until the world changes.

But seriously I am just 😭😭

I also want to whisper that I I loooove the cover so much. It is so soft™ and I feel like it
✨    jamieson   ✨

i love that ya puts soft black boys on their covers now i love it
Cristina Monica
‘‘The human heart is like a sponge. There’s a way to squeeze out all the hurt you don’t want. And somewhere in that hurting heart of yours,’’ she says, ‘‘you’ll find some strength to go on.’’

The Hate U Give meets Dear Martin.

3.5 stars. This is not a mystery novel. Yes, Marvin’s brother, Tyler Johnson, disappears and, yes, Marvin does make it his mission to find him and bring him home, but this situation is dealt with quicker than I had anticipated and it’s clear, in hindsight, that the author re
Trina (Between Chapters)
Beautiful. Heartbreaking. Powerful.

Content warnings: This book deals with topics like police brutality and racism. There is some drug dealing. There are a couple of instances where a parent threatens physical punishment toward their child. Grief is a major theme. If it is harmful to you, you may want to know that the N- word is used, but it is written by a black author and said by a black character and not as an aggression.

This is compared to The Hate U Give and yes, they do deal with similar to
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
This is a difficult review to write, and I am slightly conflicted. I give Tyler Johnson Was Here four stars, because this book tells an important and sadly all too relevant story. Again and again, we hear the disturbing reports of police brutality, of people being murdered for nothing more than their skin color, or living in a dangerous neighborhood they lack the means to escape. It is shocking and sad and the fact that the plot is based somewhat on the author's real experiences, makes it all th ...more
“I’ve spent too much time wondering what people think of me and spent so long trying to look good enough for Dodson, for white people, for Mama, for everyone except myself. And I think it’s my time to finally be who I am, who I want to be”

This tackles racism and police brutality, and is an important and powerful read. I am always thankful for these stories for the insight they provide, and I hope to continue seeing BLM novels being published. I will never know/can't even imagine what it's like
May 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
I struggled with this rating, but honestly, a good intent doesn't mean a thing if I cannot get into your book. Coles takes on the "Black Lives Matter" movement with "Tyler Johnson Was Here." I saw some people giving lip service to this being just like "The Hate U Give."


Honestly, other books don't have to be like "The Hate U Give." They just need to be able to stand on their own. And "Tyler Johnson Was Here" read like a first draft of a book. This really needed developed more. I felt at times as
Contemporary A Thon: Read a diverse contemporary
- Read a contemporary with a picture on the spine

Jar of Death Pick #7 (5th finished)

I bought this book the day it came out but I just couldn't bring myself to read it. Books like this hit extremely close to home for most Black people. We never know when we might get murdered for simply being Black. For White people the police are there to help you, for Black people we don't know if we will survive an interaction with the police. If you are Black
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Jay Coles may be young, but don't you dare count that against him. Not when he's got a debut novel so stark and powerful as this one. Cut from much the same cloth as All American Boys, The Hate U Give, and Dear Martin, Tyler Johnson Was Here brings Black Lives Matter to the forefront of YA once again. It's the story of two black boys, twins Tyler and Marvin Johnson, both very smart and very bright and very vivacious, but they're starting to drift apart a bit lately...and then Tyler turns up dead ...more
kav (xreadingsolacex)
I hated this book with everything in me. And by that, I mean it’s easily one of my favorite books of all-time.

Tyler Johnson Was Here is the story of a teen, Marvin Johnson, whose twin brother, Tyler, goes missing and is later found dead. Tyler Johnson Was Here is a story of the truth, the ugly truth we want to avoid but black people can't avoid because their safety, their freedom, and their lives are at risk because of their skin color.

The first I noticed about this books is how unapologetically
Laura (bbliophile)
I feel dehydrated from crying
Abida's Book Adventures
Warning: This is not a political review by any means. This is just my honest thoughts and opinions about this book. Please do not feel offended by anything that I have written.

AHHHH this book is amazing!!! I have never cried so much in my life before (except when I'm cutting an onion.) This book will give you the feels, you will laugh, cry, and get mad. I have never read a book like this before. On a side note, can we please take a moment to appreciate the book cover; it is gorgeous!

Police Br
Trigger warnings: racism, police brutality, violence, gun violence, death of a sibling, authority figures who shouldn't be in positions of authority oh my God I am so mad right now.

On reread, I'm bumping this down to 4 stars. Why? The pacing more than anything. It's a fairly short book - only 300 pages - and essentially the first half of it is set up and reporting Tyler missing. As a result, the second half of the story feels somewhat rushed. But everything else I said last time around
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-releases
Tyler Johnson Was Here is amazing book and definitely one of my favorite reads of the year! It's beautifully written, the characters are complex and their relationships are realistic. It's a YA contemporary about life, grief, anger and hurt black people have to live with and through in the USA in the 21th century.

The book is told from the point of view of Marvin Johnson, who's twin brother Tyler goes missing after the party went wrong. Marvin and his best friends G-mo and Ivy start looking for h
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Tyler Johnson Was Here--did not come to be politically correct, or racially ambiguous. Tyler Johnson came to tell an ugly truth, and made no qualms about sharing its blackness, in it's raw and true form.

Tyler Johnson Was Here is an experience I found both realistic and painful. It wasn't very verbose--or even eloquent for that matter. But, it was well-written and specific in it's story telling.

Tyler Johnson was here is about a set of twins, Tyler and Marvin. Marvin and Tyler go to a party--a sho
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Woah!!! This book packed a punch.
This is a different perspective of the outcome of police brutality and it just brings the world problem to the surface again.
As a black person who has lived in Africa (Nigeria) all my life it is a bit difficult for me to express and feel the pain of racism. But I did work in the US during the summer and I felt the difference my skin color made to a lot of people. I would agree that not everyone see it this way.
There is this part in the book where Marvin talks abo
Jun 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“I tell myself that I love this skin, that I’ve always loved my blackness, that if the world doesn’t love me, I will love myself for the both of us. After reminding myself that I matter, that I always mattered, that Tyler mattered and still does, I make a promise to myself. I promise that I’ll never be silent about things that matter, that I’ll keep on saying his name for the rest of my days.”

It’s uncanny how much the events of Tyler Johnson Was Here—published in 2018—parallel the George Flo
Sol ~ TheBookishKing
DNF @ 35%

Y'all ever have those books that you just KNOW are going to be so amazing and beautiful and then you start it and it's like you get hit by a big o'le "NOPE" train?! That's exactly how I felt with this book. I was expecting something empowering and moving and uhmmmmmm I was just heavily annoyed. The characters are so bland and the writing is bland. I JUST REALLY WANTED TO LOVE THIS OKAY. I REALLY DID. but yeah nope, it just didn't cut it for me. I do love that with this coming out that t
For a book about a black life that mattered, I know nothing about Tyler Johnson or his twin brother, Marvin. This entire story is about Marvin and his twin brother, Tyler, and how they matter.

I feel about this the same way I feel about I Am Alfonso Jones - the story is going to resonate with some readers, they will feel Marvin's anger, confusion, and despair, they will understand the rage and loss he feels at finding his brother was another unarmed black youth killed by a white police officer. T
This cover... 💖

Dewey's #Readathon Book 2 - I had only 100 or so pages left to read, so I finished this one pretty quickly. I have thoughts about Tyler Johnson Was Here, and I'll leave them here later...
rachel ☾
Sometimes people need reminding that they matter, more than they need reminding that they're alive, because sometimes being alive just isn't enough.
May 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Books like these are very important and deserve to be published and read. The 'Black Lives Matter' movement is dear to me and should be to anyone. There's need of more novels that deal with this topic, especially if marketed for young adults. BUT I want them to be original, at least.
And by "original", this is what I mean.

The Hate U Give is a glorious best-seller. After one year and two months, it's still on top charts. Everyone raved and still raves about it and a film is going to come out. It
People will try to convince you that you don’t deserve to live.
That you don't deserve to exist.
They’ll ignore your voice. Lock you up.
They’ll even kill you to take you out of this world.
And through it all, you have to fight. Fight to remind yourself that you do matter. That you do deserve to exist. That you do deserve to have your voice heard.

I dare you to read this book without crying at least once. I personally couldn’t. It is one of the hardest books I’ve ever had to read. I hate my reading e
Ardent Reader

This is very similar to the The hate you give by Angie Thomas.
This book reveals about the skin discrimination where all black people are being cornered in the life which is happening even right now in the world.
Cody Roecker
Jay Coles is a voice we need in YA today, and you bet your ass I am going to read this book. And I will more likely than not be pushing this on everyone I meet once I have done so.

I need this immediately
Enne (they/he)
”All-American means white. All-inclusive means white. All lives means white lives. It’s bullshit. White folks always make it about them.”

3.5 stars
TW: police brutality, gun violence, death, racism

The Writing
I found the descriptions in the writing to be a bit simple at times, which definitely gave this a debut-novelly kind of feel. That wasn’t a bad thing, per se, but just something I thought was worth noting. I did find some of the internal dialogue to be a bit underwhelming and forced a
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
My heart ached the whole time I read this. Tyler Johnson Was Here is a vivid and heartbreaking portrait of grief, loss, and a young black teen navigating his life after it is turned upside down following a fatal act of police brutality.

- This book explores how police brutality in the U.S., perpetuated against black people by police officers, have significant, terrible, and personal consequences.
- Tyler Johnson has a powerful and distinct narrative voice. I loved Coles's portrayal of a Marvin, a
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Jay Coles is a MG and YA author. He lives in Indianapolis, Indiana with two dogs nicknamed Bonnie and Clyde. Also, Jay is a teacher, blogger, composer/musician and a proud member of ASCAP!

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Need some help planning your summer reading? Goodreads employees are a very bookish bunch, so we asked our colleagues to...
183 likes · 43 comments
“I’m seeing so many All Lives Matter bullshit posts that have my entire body shaking. People don’t fucking know that black folks were never included in the All. All-American means white. All-inclusive means white. All lives means white lives. It’s bullshit. White folks always make it about them, and I’m pissed off that they’re trying to mask their hatred with these tags.” 8 likes
“I prayed for twenty years. Nothing happened until I got off my knees and started marching with my feet.” 6 likes
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