Tuesday, 20 March 2018
Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles
With the unfailing support of his mother and his two closest friends, Ivy and G-mo, Marvin is able to search within himself and his community for answers. Screaming back at him is the colour of his skin. It is the first thing that a lot of people notice when they look at another person.
Did Tyler get caught up in a bad decision he made, or did some one look at him and decide that because of his skin colour he must be doing something bad. Marvin experienced a lot of anguish as he broached these questions. On top of that, he had to find the strength to face the media, his classmates and their opinions.
This is a powerful tale. The first time I opened it and started reading, I closed it after a few pages. I wasn't ready for the emotional impact I knew it was going to throw at me. A few hours later, I cleared a block of time and dove in. While I love the book and the main characters, I am sad that we still need these tales to be told. I have faith, like Marvin, that we as a society can move forward and do what's right. At present we need authors such a Jay Coles to present these stories and show us how to proceed.
This book would be a great subject for a class room discussion or to read as a family.
Cover image courtesy Hachette Book Group.
I received an advanced reader copy of this book from Indigo Books & Music Inc., in exchange for an honest review.