The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Audiobook Narrator: Bahni Turpin
Copyright Date: 2017
Reading Age: 14-17
Reading Level: Grades 9-12
Awards: William C. Morris Award Winner, National Book Award Longlist, Printz Honor Book, Coretta Scott King Honor Book, Goodreads Choice Awards Best of the Best
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Fiction
Starr Carter's parents have made sure she has options. She goes to a prestigious suburban high school, gets good grades, but still lives in the poor neighborhood where she grew up. She works in her father's neighborhood grocery store, and has a nice boyfriend. Starr has a typical teen life until the night she witnesses her friend Khalil get killed by a police officer. Khalil was unarmed, but that isn't how the media is portraying it. Will Starr choose the safety of anonymity or will she tell the truth of her friend's final moments?
The Hate U Give is about a police shooting of an unarmed Black man. It is about racial profiling and the risks of living in an impoverished neighborhood. It is about gang members and privileged kids going to prestigious suburban schools and people who have spent time in prison but have worked to create a good life for themselves and their family. It is a book about the complicated lives of a family who are Black, who have a dream of safety that may never be attained but which they will continue to work towards. It is also a book about a character named Starr Carter whose parents have tried really had to give a good life. Starr is naive at the beginning of the story, bringing the reader for the series of horrific experiences she begins to have after leaving a party with a friend. Things go from the scary aspects of a shooting at a party to her friend being murdered by a police officer. Suddenly, the way Starr has always viewed the world is shattered. As she loses her innocence and privileged expectations of a system that doesn't operate in the way most Americans interpret it to be, the reader, too, learns about the harsh realities of racism in law enforcement and the inability of juries to convict officers who have done wrong. As Starr becomes empowered, so too, will the teens reading it, hopefully striving to make a difference where they can.
Starr Carter's life changes the night of a party when she witnesses a police officer shoot and kill her friend Khalil.
About the Author
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. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Belhaven University and an unofficial degree in Hip Hop. She can also still rap if needed.
Angie is an inaugural winner of the Walter Dean Myers Grant 2015, awarded by We Need Diverse Books. Her debut novel, THE HATE U GIVE, started as a senior project in college. It was later acquired by the Balzer+Bray imprint of HarperCollins Publishers in a 13-publisher auction and debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, winning the ALA’s William C. Morris Debut Award and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award (USA), the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize (UK), and the Deutscher Jugendliterapreis (Germany). THE HATE U GIVE was adapted into a critically acclaimed film from Fox 2000, starring Amandla Stenberg and directed by George Tillman, Jr.
Angie’s second novel, ON THE COME UP, is a #1 New York Times bestseller as well, and a film is in development with Paramount Pictures with Angie acting as a producer. In 2020, Angie released FIND YOUR VOICE: A Guided Journal to Writing Your Truth as a tool to help aspiring writers tell their stories. In 2021, Angie returned to the world of Garden Heights with CONCRETE ROSE, a prequel to THE HATE U GIVE focused on seventeen-year-old Maverick Carter that debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list.
(About the author and photo can be found here. )
Discuss the idea of protest and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Starr adapts her personality to fit her environment. Speak to the need to do this.
Challenge issues: LGBTQIA+, underage drinking, drug use, violence, police brutality, sexuality, strong language
Challenge Issue Resources:
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Why Included -
It's a powerful story about how easily things can go wrong and how important it is to stand up for truth. This fast-paced and emotional read with have teens invested in the story and identifying with Starr's struggles to be heard and her wish to stay safe in a world that doesn't want to offer those things.