Stone’s story

Writer Nic Stone visits West


Lucy Bernick

Nic Stone standing in the West Library in front of her book display. The library has these books for any student or staff to check out.

Lucy Bernick, Reporter

With the motivation of beating the other Davenport schools, the students of West came through with the most registrations of the Davenport public library reading tracker. To reward this accomplishment, award winning author Nic Stone from Atlanta, Georgia visited Davenport West High School to speak about how writing became her life. Stone held a book signing in the auditorium and she also spoke to the students about her experiences as a black woman that shaped her and her books. She shared how as a child the books she read set a negative standard on people of color, since the protagonist was always white.


“I started writing because when I was young I never saw books with characters like me… and then I started having children, and I wanted my children to have a different experience,” Stone said.


This pattern in the books she read continued throughout her schooling years, so Stone decided she needed to change the standard. Stone’s first book Dear Martin came out on October 17, 2017 and its sequel Dear Justice was chosen as an NPR best book of the year. 


“I find her books relatable because they really talk about black struggle… and black love which you don’t see a lot, especially in literature,” Junior Leaha Anderson said.


She felt inspired by the people around her and her personal experiences to shine a light on the topics that are often left in the dark.


“My kids at this point are my biggest inspiration…and I have a lot of author friends who are also very inspiring,” Stone said. “Jason Reynolds is a really good friend of mine and I find him wildly inspiring”.


After transferring to Spelman, an HBCU, Stone got to finally enjoy what it was like to be surrounded with people who she could share her experiences with and feel seen.


“I went to a historically black college, Spelman college, it’s an all black female school in Atlanta, Georgia and it is like wonderland, I loved it,” Stone said. “I went to this really great school that introduced me to a lot of stuff that I wasn’t exposed to in my public school. And I’m really glad I went there, because it helped me to see that there was nothing wrong with me”.


Stone wants her readers to recognize that there is nothing wrong with them either. Everyone is in charge of their own path and their future is up to them.


“I really want my readers to realize that who they are and who they become in the world is up to them. I think you’re in charge of your own story and your own identity,” Stone said. “What you do with the story you’re living has an impact on the world”.


Stone has inspired so many people to be their own person and fight for what they believe in. She believes that every person influences the world in one way or another; and it’s up to them to decide what they do with that.