Tyler Johnson Was Here

Tyler Johnson Was Here

Book - 2018
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When Marvin Johnson's twin, Tyler, goes to a party, Marvin decides to tag along to keep an eye on his brother. But what starts as harmless fun turns into a shooting, followed by a police raid. The next day Tyler is missing, and it's up to Marvin to find him. But when Tyler is found dead, a video leaked online tells an even more chilling story: Tyler has been shot and killed by a police officer. Terrified as his mother unravels, mourning a brother who is now a hashtag, Marvin must learn what justice and freedom really mean.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2018
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780316440776
Branch Call Number: YA COLES 2018
Characteristics: 299 pages ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

When Tyler goes missing after a party, his twin brother Marvin searches the neighborhood for days but the more he learns, the more questions he has.

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CarleeMcDot Feb 12, 2019

The hubby and I were in search of an audiobook to listen to on the trip to and from Phoenix for the Mesa-PHX Marathon and grabbed this one. I hope this doesn't come out wrong, but this story line is similar to others currently on the market (i.e. The Hate U Give, Dear Martin, etc). Don't get me wrong, it is a truth that we need to have our eyes opened up to more and more, but the plot was comparable to ones I have read recently. With that said, the hubby and I both really enjoyed this one. At the end, the hubby mentioned that the conclusion he was expecting (or wanting) never really came, but I guess that's not really the point, is it? The heart of the matter is that (without sounding trite) black lives matter. These people killed were and are more than just a hashtag - they are someone's son, someone's brother, someone's friend. This is not a story hating on police or whites, it's a novel the author wrote based on true events in his life. This is reality in America - there is police brutality, there is racism, there is hate. We need to do everything in our power to overcome these truths and fight for a better world, a better life. I would give it an 8 out of 10.

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.

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.


Add Age Suitability
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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