The Boy in the Black Suit

The Boy in the Black Suit

Jason Reynolds

HB: Antheneum Books for Young Readers 2015

255 pp.   $17.99

Fiction: Grieving/Relationships

ISBN 978-1-4424-5950-2


The summer before Matthew Miller’s senior year of high school brings permanent changes to this first-person narrator and title character. Mixing scenes of love and humor with sadness and grief, author Jason Reynolds portrays a hard-working young man from New York who has just lost his mother to cancer and is struggling with coping.


After his mother’s death, Matt finds an odd solace in working for Mr. Willie Ray at the local funeral home. He doesn’t have to touch dead people—a question his best friend Chris Hayes asks right away—but he does like to sit in the back row wearing the black suit he got for his mother’s funeral and watch the grieving of others, which is how he meets Lovey. Through texts and a few odd dates, the two find they share a very important memory. Some language and content may make this text better suited for middle and upper adolescents.


Reviewed by Amanda Lickteig

Kansas State University

Manhattan, KS