Book: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Genre: Young adult
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication date: 2017
Summary: Starr attends a nearly all-white high school, as a junior, many miles from her mostly black neighborhood of Garden Heights. The distance between the school and the neighborhood is more than physical. She’s invented complicated psychological structures to protect herself from the different dangers that each environment holds for her. But none of that protects her or her friend, Khalil, during a violent encounter with the police.
Thoughts: I’m way behind on book reviews and I normally write them in the order that I read them, but this one couldn’t wait. I finished The Hate U Give last night and I’m writing my review this morning because I want you (yes, you!) to drop everything and read this book.
I heard this book described as the first post-Ferguson novel. I live less than twenty miles from Ferguson in a St. Louis suburb that experienced its own moment of racial upheaval (I described that event and its aftermath in a post last summer).
My expectations were high for this book and it delivered — all the feelings, all the experiences, all the explanations. I love that Angie Thomas wrote this as a young adult novel. Not only does it broaden the age-range of the audience on the low end, it provides a natural way to educate the reader — we learn, right along with Starr, from the adults in her life.
I discovered, reading the acknowledgments, that I have only two degrees of separation from this author. I’m a beta reader for my friend from high school, Chris Owens. He was a beta reader for Angie Thomas when she was writing The Hate U Give. How cool is that?
Appeal: The acknowledgments include gratitude to Thomas’s film agent, so let’s hope The Hate U Give is on its way to becoming a movie. In the meantime, read the book! Modern American life is a test on this material. Be prepared.
Reviews: Lots of folks reviewed this book, so I’ll highlight the discussion at Book Bloggers International which hosted a read along of The Hate U Give this month.
Have you read this book? What did you think?