Dear Justyce

Dear Justyce

by

Nic Stone

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Dear Justyce can help.

Ms. Mays Character Analysis

Ms. Mays was Quan’s most beloved teacher in middle school. Unfortunately, she went on maternity leave right before Quan took an important test, and when Quan was falsely accused of cheating on said test, his life went downhill without Ms. Mays around to support and advocate for him. Quan thinks of Mrs. Mays often and how his life might’ve turned out differently had she been around to help him.

Ms. Mays Quotes in Dear Justyce

The Dear Justyce quotes below are all either spoken by Ms. Mays or refer to Ms. Mays. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Choices vs. Fate Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Crown Books edition of Dear Justyce published in 2020.
January 12 Quotes

The minute that van drove away with him in it, I felt...doomed.

It’s why I stopped talking to you. Everybody else too, but especially you. I woulda never admitted this (honestly don’t know why I’m admitting it now...) but I kinda looked up to you. Yeah, you were only a year older and you were dorky as hell, but you had your shit together in a way I wanted mine to be.

I knew if I could just be like you, my dad would be proud of me.

Related Characters: Quan Banks (speaker), Justyce, Daddy, Ms. Mays
Page Number: 26
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 2: Downhill Quotes

“And best believe your father is gonna hear about this. Might even send him the evidence of your indiscretion.” Quan could hear the paper crinkle as she surely held it up in the air. “Cheating. I can’t even believe you—”

And that was all he heard. Because in that moment everything crystallized for Vernell LaQuan Banks Jr.

It didn’t matter what he did.

Staying focused didn’t give Quan any control at all.

Related Characters: Mama (speaker), Quan Banks, Daddy, Ms. Mays
Page Number: 36
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 4: Defiance Quotes

Delinquent Junior,”

Dwight had been calling him for years.

Was that who he was for real?

There was no denying the impulse to take what wasn’t his. Was the D in his DNA for delinquent? The Jr. shorthand of “Junior” for just repeating?

Maybe Daddy had been wrong. Ms. Mays too.

There was no way out.

No way up.

Maybe a way through...but he had no idea what to.

Could he really be anyone different than who he was?

Who even was he?

Related Characters: Quan Banks, Dwight, Daddy, Ms. Mays
Page Number: 65
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Dear Justyce LitChart as a printable PDF.
Dear Justyce PDF

Ms. Mays Character Timeline in Dear Justyce

The timeline below shows where the character Ms. Mays appears in Dear Justyce. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2: Downhill
Identity, Support, and Community Theme Icon
Family, Loyalty, and Belonging Theme Icon
...Math Class, which is difficult but not impossible since it’s taught by Quan’s favorite teacher, Ms. Mays . A week before the test, though, Ms. Mays goes on maternity leave. Before she... (full context)
Chapter 4: Defiance
Identity, Support, and Community Theme Icon
Family, Loyalty, and Belonging Theme Icon
Survival, Poverty, and Violence Theme Icon
...for years now, and Quan wonders if that’s who he really is. Maybe Daddy and Ms. Mays were wrong, and there’s no way out. (full context)
March 12
Choices vs. Fate Theme Icon
Identity, Support, and Community Theme Icon
...high school, influences are extra important—and that’s the time that Quan lost both Daddy and Ms. Mays . Trey wasn’t a good influence, but he “saw” Quan. Now, Quan wonders if his... (full context)
Snapshot: A Boy Meeting a Man (2016)
Identity, Support, and Community Theme Icon
Family, Loyalty, and Belonging Theme Icon
...seat. From his perch on a sofa, Quan realizes that the room smells just like Ms. Mays ’s classroom did. She’d used one of those plug-in things that disperses fragrance, and Quan... (full context)
Identity, Support, and Community Theme Icon
Family, Loyalty, and Belonging Theme Icon
...then asks what scent Martel has in his diffuser. It’s indeed the same one that Ms. Mays had. (full context)