Next Generation Now: Dear Justyce with Nic Stone

Next Generation Now is the event series dedicated to nurturing a love of literature in children, tweens, and teens at the PEN America World Voices Festival. As the leading writers’ organization defending free expression, a major part of our mission is encouraging today’s children to explore their creativity and appreciate the rich, rewarding, and diverse world they will shape as readers and writers of tomorrow.

In Virtual Storytimes, writers for kids and teens read aloud the stories they would have shared in person at the 2020 Festival. These short home videos reach inboxes just in time to set family weekends off on the right foot. Many also include creative activities to energize kids, teens, or even aspiring young adult and children’s book authors to hone their craft and engage directly with beloved authors on social media.

Nic Stone

Photo by Nigel Livingstone

Our first reading comes from middle grade and young adult fiction author Nic Stone. She shares one of her favorite passages from Dear Justyce, the sequel to her New York Times best-selling novel, Dear Martin. Two young Black boys grow up on the same block to walk radically different paths in life—one to prison, the other to Yale University. Their correspondence reveals extraordinary flaws in America’s criminal justice system and the many ways in which police brutality, wrongful convictions, and mass incarceration disproportionately impact the futures of Black youth.

About Nic Stone

Nic Stone is an Atlanta native and a Spelman College graduate. Her debut novel for young adults, Dear Martin, was a New York Times bestseller and a William C. Morris YA Debut Award finalist. She is also the author of the teen titles Odd One Out, a novel about discovering oneself and who it is okay to love, which was an NPR Best Book of the Year and a Rainbow Book List Top Ten selection, and Jackpot, a love-ish story that takes a searing look at economic inequality. Stone lives in Atlanta with her family.

Order her newest book, Clean Getaway, on Indiebound or Amazon.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME).