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The boy in the black suit
2015
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Working in the local funeral home to support his family after his mother's death and his father's descent into alcoholism, Matt falls in love with a tough girl who never cries and who understands his loneliness. By the author of When I Was the Greatest. - (Baker & Taylor)

Soon after his mother's death, Matt takes a job at a funeral home in his tough Brooklyn neighborhood and, while attending and assisting with funerals, begins to accept her death and his responsibilities as a man. - (Baker & Taylor)

A 2016 Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book

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'in this 'vivid, satisfying, and ultimately upbeat tale of grief, redemption, and grace' (Kirkus Reviews) from the Coretta Scott King ' John Steptoe Award'winning author of When I Was the Greatest.


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. - (Simon and Schuster)

<b>A 2016 Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book<br> <br> Just when seventeen-year-old Matt thinks he can&#8217;t handle one more piece of terrible news, he meets a girl who&#8217;s dealt with a lot more&#8212;and who just might be able to clue him in on how to rise up when life keeps knocking him down&#8212;in this &#8220;vivid, satisfying, and ultimately upbeat tale of grief, redemption, and grace&#8221; (<i>Kirkus Reviews</i>) from the Coretta Scott King &#8211; John Steptoe Award&#8211;winning author of <i>When I Was the Greatest</i>.</b><br><br>Matt wears a black suit every day. No, not because his mom died&#8212;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&#8217;t handle the bills (or anything, really) on his own. So while Dad&#8217;s snagging bottles of whiskey, Matt&#8217;s snagging fifteen bucks an hour. Not bad. But everything else? Not good. Then Matt meets Lovey. Crazy name, and she&#8217;s been through more crazy stuff than he can imagine. Yet Lovey never cries. She&#8217;s tough. Really tough. Tough in the way Matt wishes he could be. Which is maybe why he&#8217;s drawn to her, and definitely why he can&#8217;t seem to shake her. Because there&#8217;s nothing more hopeful than finding a person who understands your loneliness&#8212;and who can maybe even help take it away. - (Simon and Schuster)

Author Biography

Jason Reynolds is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, a Newbery Award Honoree, a Printz Award Honoree, a two-time National Book Award finalist, a Kirkus Award winner, a Carnegie Medal winner, a two-time Walter Dean Myers Award winner, an NAACP Image Award Winner, and the recipient of multiple Coretta Scott King honors. He's also the 2020'2021 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. His many books include All American Boys (cowritten with Brendan Kiely), When I Was the GreatestThe Boy in the Black SuitStampedAs Brave as YouFor Every One, the Track series (GhostPatinaSunny, and Lu), Look Both Ways, and Long Way Down, which received a Newbery Honor, a Printz Honor, and a Coretta Scott King Honor. He lives in Washington, DC. You can find his ramblings at JasonWritesBooks.com. - (Simon and Schuster)

Jason Reynolds is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, a Newbery Award Honoree, a Printz Award Honoree, a two-time National Book Award finalist, a Kirkus Award winner, a Carnegie Medal winner, a two-time Walter Dean Myers Award winner, an NAACP Image Award Winner, and the recipient of multiple Coretta Scott King honors. He’s also the 2020–2022 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. His many books include All American Boys (cowritten with Brendan Kiely); When I Was the GreatestThe Boy in the Black SuitStampedAs Brave as YouFor Every One; the Track series (GhostPatinaSunny, and Lu); Look Both WaysStuntboy, in the MeantimeAin’t Burned All the BrightMy Name Is Jason. Mine Too. (with Jason Griffin); and Long Way Down, which received a Newbery Honor, a Printz Honor, and a Coretta Scott King Honor. He lives in Washington, DC. You can find his ramblings at JasonWritesBooks.com. - (Simon and Schuster)

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Trade Reviews

Booklist Reviews

His mother recently dead from breast cancer, 17-year-old Matt feels his life is backwards and that he has become invisible at school. Then, ironically, he secures a work-study job at the local funeral home, owned by Mr. Ray, a respected fixture in their Bed-Stuy neighborhood, and discovers, to his surprise, that he enjoys attending funerals. "Somehow," he thinks, "it made me feel better knowing my pain isn't only mine." It is at a funeral that he meets a beautiful girl with the improbable name of Lovey and feels an instant attraction. The two become friends and gradually their friendship, rooted in trust, becomes something deeper that may redeem both of them from their losses and loneliness. Though it gets off to a slightly slow start, 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 Lovey and Mr. Ray—also a fascinating character—are beautifully realized. This quiet story is clearly a winner. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 7 Up—Matt's mother just died, and his dad isn't coping well, hanging out with the local drunk and downing whiskey, which results in his getting hit by a car and landing in the hospital. Matt is also grieving his mom's death and now he's on his own, until he lands a job at the local funeral home: $15 an hour and Mr. Ray as his boss. Attending other people's funerals helps the teen come to grips with his own grief. Hearing mourners express their real thoughts of suffering at each funeral allows Matt to figure out his own feelings. Mr. Ray is wise and shows up at all the right times to help out the struggling young man, and when Mr. Ray's secrets come to light, he appears even cooler in Matt's eyes. Amid all this, Matt meets Lovey, the girl of his dreams, who is smart, funny, gorgeous, and tough. A mystery intersecting Lovey's life and that of Matt's best friend, Chris, deepens the plot. Written in a breezy style with complex characters who have real lives, this is another hit for Reynolds, fresh off the success of his When I Was the Greatest (S. & S., 2014). The author's seemingly effortless writing shines in this slice-of-life story, which covers a lot of the protagonist's emotional ground. The realistic setting and character-driven tale keeps readers turning the pages of this winner.—Amy Cheney, Alameda County Library, San Leandro, CA

[Page 122]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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