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Dear Justyce: 01/15/22
Dear Justyce is the follow-up, companion piece to Dear Martin (2017). Like Justyce wrote to Dr. King during his incarceration, Quan writes to Justyce while he awaits trial for a crime he has pled not guilty for.
Through the letters and other scenes, Quan's life story unfolds, including the events leading up to the shooting death of the officer.
Quan's story is of a smart child not given the chances to thrive. When he gets high marks on a math test he's accused of cheating. Even his mother doesn't believe him. His home life is bad. He and his mother and younger siblings live with her abusive boyfriend. He's forced at times to steal to put food on the table.
Quan's a good kid struggling in a system set up to make him fail. He's forced by circumstances beyond his control to make decisions that will further criminalize his reputation in the eyes of the adults in his life.
The afterword is worth a read as it explains the inspiration for the book and the numerous real world Quans, most of whom don't get the happy ending he does.