September 11, 2017
When I sat down to write this post, the plan was to share the best books I’ve read this summer. But as I began drafting the blurbs, one continued to rise to the top because it made an impact unlike the others — a young adult novel, The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas.
The Hate U Give explores race and police brutality from the perspective of a black teenage girl, Starr. When we first meet her, Starr straddles two very different worlds: the poverty-stricken neighborhood where she lives and the privileged school she attends. She maneuvers between the two with a chameleon-like charm, putting on different hats to please different viewpoints and people. But when Starr becomes the sole witness to a white police officer shooting best friend, her worlds begin to collide. She struggles as she tries keep her neighborhood life away from her school life, only to realize that the best way to honor her friend’s memory is to speak up, speak out and be true to herself.
Born from the author’s own experience, the writing is gripping and raw, providing an in-your-face look at the many issues facing black teens and perceived notions they often have to overcome from from authority figures, the media and so many others.
The Hate U Give is eye-opening, thought-provoking and hopefully a spark for more conversations to happen around race in America. If you haven’t grabbed a copy yet, do it now.