Title: The Hate U Give
Author: Angie Thomas
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Age Range: 15 and up
Staar Carter’s life changes forever when her best friend is murdered in front of her when she is ten. Fast forward a few years, and Staar tragically witnesses the murder of her friend Kahlil by a police officer during a routine traffic stop. The media quickly gets wind of the fact that Kahlil was unarmed, and the case gains national attention. Staar struggles with her desire to hide from the spotlight, and the need to speak out for justice. Ultimately, she must decide which is more important- her life returning to normal, or fighting for equality in an age of social injustice.
I could not put this novel down. I even bought the audio book to supplement my print copy so that I could listen in the car. Staar Carter is a character that all teenagers can relate to, regardless of race. Her story compels the reader to stop and think about the world today, and the overflowing evidence of the social injustices surrounding minorities, especially African Americans, in the United States today. The plot is beyond engaging. and heartbreakingly real. Every reader (15 and up) should give this one a read. It will jump start your brain, and make you dream of a better future. Note: There is some content that may not be appropriate for all readers. Though it is all handled tastefully, there is a considerable amount of violence and gang/drug references throughout this novel. Consider reading it with your child, as there are many excellent discussion points along the way.
“Angie Thomas has written a stunning, brilliant, gut-wrenching novel that will be remembered as a classic of our time.” (John Green, bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars)
“Though Thomas’s story is heartbreakingly topical, its greatest strength is in its authentic depiction of a teenage girl, her loving family, and her attempts to reconcile what she knows to be true about their lives with the way those lives are depicted—and completely undervalued—by society at large.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“Pair this powerful debut with Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely’s ALL AMERICAN BOYS to start a conversation on racism, police brutality, and the Black Lives Matter movement.” (School Library Journal (starred review))