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Black Lives Matter in this gripping novel

A united community in a predominantly Black neighborhood is center stage in this poignant novel about a young girl who must figure out how to straddle dual identities while fighting systemic racism.

Black Lives Matter Protester with a bullhorn
The Hate U Give Book Cover

Title

The Hate U Give

Author(s)

Angie Thomas

Genre

Social Justice | Young Adult

Angie Thomas has expertly taken us on a journey through the mindset of her protagonist. There are two Starrs in Thomas’s debut novel. While she lives in Garden Heights, a predominantly poor Black neighborhood, she attends a private high school in a predominantly white one. Surrounded by privilege by day, at night she comes home to police sirens, drive-by shootings, and hardened criminals. But her love for her community is front and center in this beautifully written young adult novel.

Her two worlds are on a collision course after she witnesses the murder of her Black childhood best friend at the hands of a white police officer. Therefore, Starr must set aside beliefs about her community and systemic racism to speak her truth and recount the events that lead to the shooting to a grand jury. The author delicately weaves a Black Lives Matter protest that her parents don’t want her to attend.

Starr is a confident, popular, and athletic teenager who has all the makings of a raging hero. Although, she possesses a keen sense of just and unjust, it sometimes pits home Starr against school Starr. Consequently fighting system racism along the way.

The story is a riveting page turner. It’s got dynamic and sympathetic characters, whom you might want to thrash a time or two. Excellent read.

The Hate U Give is also a feature film directed by George Tillman Jr. and stars Amandla Stenberg, Regina Hall, Russell Hornsby, Anthony Mackie, and Issa Rae. Stream it on Amazon Prim today.

For more on social justice, read my post on anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.

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About the author(s).

ANGIE THOMAS was born, raised, and still resides in Jackson, Mississippi as indicated by her accent. She is a former teen rapper whose greatest accomplishment was an article about her in Right-On Magazine with a picture included. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Belhaven University and an unofficial degree in Hip Hop. She can also still rap if needed. She is an inaugural winner of the Walter Dean Myers Grant 2015, awarded by We Need Diverse Books. Her debut novel, The Hate U Give, was acquired by Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins in a 13-house auction.

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