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THE BOY IN THE BLACK SUIT

Jason Reynolds

  • Original Title: THE BOY IN THE BLACK SUIT
  • Publication date: January 2015
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books For Young Readers
  • Country: US
  • 272 print pages
  • Drama

Information

  • Epoch: Contemporary
  • Time Period: 21st century
  • Location setting: United States
  • Themes: FAMILY, Maternity, Paternity, Filiation, Mourning, PEOPLE facing life, Dependence, Death, Resilience, SOCIAL CHRONICLES, Solidarity, Friendship, LOVE / HATE, Amorous urge, CHARACTERS, Strong Female Character

Pitch

Matthew is starting his final school year and his mother has just passed away. Crushed with grief, he finds relief in a job at a funeral home where watching other people’s pain somehow helps him deal with his own sadness. When he meets a girl who has dealt with more pain than he could imagine, he will find a way to live again.

Comments

Translation rights sold: UK, Germany, Korea, Lithuania

A 2016 Coretta Scott King Author Honor book

‘Reynolds’ second novel quickly becomes a superb, character-driven story. His protagonist Matt is a wonderfully sympathetic, multidimensional character whose voice is a perfect match for the material and whose relationships with Love and Mr. Ray—also a fascinating character—are beautifully realized. This quiet story is clearly a winner.’ Booklist

Jason Reynolds is a New York Times bestselling author, a National Book Award Honoree, a Kirkus Award winner, a Walter Dean Myers Award winner, an NAACP Image Award Winner, and the recipient of multiple Coretta Scott King honors. His novel LONG WAY DOWN (2017), a novel in verse, was named a Newbery Honor book, a Printz Honor Book, and best young adult work by the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Awards.

Summary

Just when seventeen-year-old Matt thinks he can’t handle one more piece of terrible news, he meets a girl who’s dealt with a lot more - and who just might be able to clue him in on how to rise up when life keeps knocking him down.

Matt wears a black suit every day. No, not because his mom died - although she did, and it sucks. But he wears the suit for his gig at the local funeral home, which pays way better than the Cluck Bucket, and he needs the income since his dad can’t handle the bills (or anything, really) on his own. So while Dad’s snagging bottles of whiskey, Matt’s snagging fifteen bucks an hour. Not bad. But everything else? Not good. Then Matt meets Lovey. Crazy name, and she’s been through more crazy stuff than he can imagine. Yet Lovey never cries. She’s tough. Really tough. Tough in the way Matt wishes he could be. Which is maybe why he’s drawn to her, and definitely why he can’t seem to shake her. Because there’s nothing more hopeful than finding a person who understands your loneliness - and who can maybe even help take it away.

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go further

  • Author’s biography

    Jason Reynolds (born 1983) is an American writer.
    He is a New York Times bestselling author, a National Book Award Honoree, a Kirkus Award winner, a Walter Dean Myers Award winner, an NAACP Image Award Winner, and the recipient of multiple Coretta Scott King honors.
    His debut novel was WHEN I WAS THE GREATEST and was followed by BOY IN THE BLACK SUIT and ALL AMERICAN BOYS (cowritten with Brendan Kiely); AS BRAVE AS YOU; JUMP ANYWAY; and the first two books in the Track series, GHOST and PATINA. LONG WAY DOWN (2017), a novel in verse, was named a Newbery Honor book, a Printz Honor Book, and best young adult work by the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Awards.