Tyler Johnson Was Here

Tyler Johnson Was Here

Book - 2018
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"When Marvin Johnson's twin brother, Tyler, is shot and killed by a police officer, Marvin must fight injustice to learn the true meaning of freedom"--
Publisher: Boston ;, New York :, Little, Brown and Company,, 2018.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780316440776
0316440779
Branch Call Number: YA FICTION Coles Jay 03/2018
Characteristics: 299 pages ;,22 cm

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JCLAbbeyL Jun 06, 2018

This is another powerful story about a black teen shot by a cop. It presents perspectives and outlooks on things from a space that some of us have never had to experience, and that is valuable. Listening to Tyler's brother tell this story breaks your heart, but it also makes it stronger.

This novel is getting so much love and critical acclaim, it's a 2018 must-read. Perfect for fans of The Hate U Give (which is basically everyone, right?).


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Maria_Wa
Sep 03, 2018

I loved this book and I definitely recommend it to everyone. The topic this book discusses is so important which makes this book a must-read for basically everyone. This book was eye-opening and taught me more about this issue than any news article I've read.

samcmar Jul 26, 2018

We need more books like Tyler Johnson Was Here, written by young voices. This fantastic debut explores police brutality, racism, prejudice, and the way in which people are labelled. This book is about a boy named Marvin, who loses his twin brother, and begins to start his own social media revolution. This story is powerful, it's thoughtful, and it has me excited to see what Jay Coles is going to write in the future.

I do want to talk about the writing because I think I will be hit-or-miss with some reader. There are moments of beautiful passages and metaphors, but there's also moments where the writing does feel a tad stilted and awkward. There were a few times where I had to reread sentences to ensure I knew what Marvin was getting at, though this only happened a few times. Regardless of how you view the language, the subject matter is fairly brutal and very eye-opening.

Marvin is a fantastic protagonist going through grief, and I found I could connect with him on that level. There are instances where he shuts down and he'll mention how he feels empty or lonely, and I know it was something I could relate to. The loss of Tyler in this story shows how torn apart Marvin and his mother are, as through a large part of them was stolen by police violence. You get a sense throughout the story that people, specifically white people, need to smarten up and listen -- and damn straight we do.

I will say, I wasn't entirely super sold on the relationship between Marvin and Faith in the story. It felt too insta-lovey for me personally, but I will say that I did like Faith as a character a lot. I loved that she tried to be guidance for Marvin, offering him support and kindness. I loved G-Mo and Ivy, who I felt were developed just enough that you see their compassion and care for Marvin and his family. Hell, I even adored the passages we get from Marvin's father in prison and some of the lessons and social commentary he makes about being black and living in a world where people peg you one way, and it's all they can see.

I think Tyler Johnson Was Here is a powerful debut that tackles some rough subject matters, and does it in such a pro-active way. It doesn't shy away from emotion, it's brutally honest and unapologetic, and we need more stories like this. I feel like I still have so much to learn after reading this book.

d
donutwombat
Jun 29, 2018

This heartbreaking new read reflects the racism and injustice in our world today. If you enjoyed The Hate U Give, a book of similar topic published last year, you will definitely enjoy this one.

ArapahoeBridget Jun 28, 2018

I've been waiting for this since I first saw the beautiful cover, and it lives up to the art. Try this if you're looking for more liked The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas or Dear Martin by Nic Stone. Also, read with tissues nearby.

JCLAbbeyL Jun 06, 2018

This is another powerful story about a black teen shot by a cop. It presents perspectives and outlooks on things from a space that some of us have never had to experience, and that is valuable. Listening to Tyler's brother tell this story breaks your heart, but it also makes it stronger.

LPL_WilliamO May 07, 2018

Another important, heartbreaking story addressing police brutality and racism in America. Fans of The Hate U Give and Dear Martin take note!

Dynamic pacing, lyrical - yet brutally real - writing, and characters I cared about from the first page, Tyler Johnson Was Here is a tribute to the diversity that exists within blackness, and an ode to embracing that individuality, no matter how much society may homogenize and villainize that blackness.

OPL_KrisC Apr 14, 2018

This is a powerful and compelling book about how police violence affects a young teenager when his brother is killed after a party and is inspired by events from the authors life/childhood.

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donutwombat
Jun 29, 2018

donutwombat thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

OPL_KrisC Apr 14, 2018

OPL_KrisC thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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