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An Entertainment Weekly Most Anticipated Book of the Year
"Exploring the current climate of police brutality and viral culture, this harrowing YA effort is based on its author's own experiences with tragedy and loss, a personal touch felt across every page."
"An unflinching look at police brutality and systemic racism in America."
* "This well-written, fast-paced story eloquently addresses how to grieve, plan, and participate in the burial of a loved one....[A] standout debut."
—School Library Journal, starred review
* "Unforgettable....Coles' exploration of brotherhood, grief, friendship, and familial ties is as moving and relevant as its exploration of racism."
—Booklist, starred review
"Coles...pens an immersive and uncompromising look at systemic police violence in the U.S., effectively dramatizing the human experience and ethical questions underpinning today's Movement for Black Lives."
"A distressing yet empowering portrait of a black teenager confronting relentless racism, brutality, and tragedy."
"Clear-eyed, authentic, and heartfelt, Tyler Johnson Was Here
is a captivating must-read."—Karen M. McManus, New York Times bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying
"Jay Coles' powerful, anguished debut novel...garners worthy comparisons to 2017's award-winning The Hate U Give
"Coles's contemporary novel addresses real issues facing black teens in the U.S. today, and is a powerful story full of heart, packing a deep emotional punch."
"An impactful story....Stirring and heartbreaking."
"Uncompromising and intense, this heart-wrenching novel sends out an anguished cry for justice to all who are willing to hear."
"Riveting...Coles evaluates self-identity in African Americans, police brutality, stereotypes, prejudice, social justice, education, poverty and more. At times endearing, and at times, excruciating to read, it is a very important novel."
—The Washington Missourian
"Gripping from the very first scene, Tyler Johnson Was Here
is a powerful and vulnerable immersion into the lives of people who are too rarely given a voice."—Adi Alsaid, author of Let's Get Lost and Never Always Sometimes
"Tyler Johnson Was Here
refuses to pull its punches. Marvin's story will remake you. The careful prose, the heartbreaking story, but also the triumph of a young man in the face of an often lightless world. Jay Coles delivers the first book in what will be an illuminating career."—Scott Reintgen, author of Nyxia