The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds
Matt’s mom has just passed away from breast cancer. He knows he needs to help his dad out so he decides to get a job. While he’s filling out an application at the local chicken fast food joint, he runs into Mr. Ray who runs the local funeral home. Mr. Ray offers Matt a job that sounds better than slinging greasy chicken.
Matt finds that he likes his job at the funeral home and he really likes slipping into the back during the funerals to watch others grieve. His grief is so fresh that he takes comfort in watching others who feel the same.
Matt’s dad doesn’t handle his mother’s death well and turns to drinking, something he had trouble with when he first met Matt’s mom. He ends up getting into a horrible accident that puts him in the hospital.
Just when Matt thinks he can’t take any more bad news, he meets Love, a girl who lost her mother as a child and has just lost her grandmother too. Love and Matt start a friendship that could hint at a romance as they learn about each other.
I fell in love with Matt. I loved this character who grew up near the ‘hood but had a great family support system up until his mother’s death. I loved how he would remember all the good times he had with his mother. It was good to see how he dealt with his grief and how even though it doesn’t get easier, you do learn to live with it a little more each day. Matt is a very deep character who has many sides to him that make me love him more throughout the book. He isn’t your stereotypical African American teen going through life in a bad neighborhood. Even his best friend has a mother who is trying her best and has raised her son to care about her and treat her with respect. This is a great addition to any YA collection. It’s a great story that happens to have diversity which makes it even better in my opinion.