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The Hate U Give Hardcover – February 28, 2017
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From the Publisher
The Hate U Give
- 8 Starred Reviews
- Junior Library Guild Selection
- New York Magazine - 11 Young-Adult Books for Stoking the Feminist Fire
- The Fader - 7 Writers of Color You Should be Reading in 2017
- Teen Vogue - 10 Diverse Books by YA Authors of Color to Read in 2017
- Entertainment Weekly - 20 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in 2017
- Bustle - 16 Young Adult Novels to Read in 2017, According to YA Authors
- Featured in the New York Times, Cosmopolitan, Essence, and more!
Meet 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 with a picture included. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Belhaven University and an unofficial degree in Hip Hop. She is an inaugural winner of the Walter Dean Myers Grant 2015, awarded by We Need Diverse Books.
A message that will resonate with all young people concerned with fairness - Bulletin Center for Children's Books.
A powerful, in-your-face novel - Horn Book.
Thomas’s clear and honest writing moves beyond sound bites to represent the real people and communities behind the headlines - Shelf Awareness.
A marvel of verisimilitude - Booklist.
From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—After Starr and her childhood friend Khalil, both black, leave a party together, they are pulled over by a white police officer, who kills Khalil. The sole witness to the homicide, Starr must testify before a grand jury that will decide whether to indict the cop, and she's terrified, especially as emotions run high. By turns frightened, discouraged, enraged, and impassioned, Starr is authentically adolescent in her reactions. Inhabiting two vastly different spheres—her poor, predominantly black neighborhood, Garden Heights, where gangs are a fact of life, and her rich, mostly white private school—causes strain, and Thomas perceptively illustrates how the personal is political: Starr is disturbed by the racism of her white friend Hailey, who writes Khalil off as a drug dealer, and Starr's father is torn between his desire to support Garden Heights and his need to move his family to a safer environment. The first-person, present-tense narrative is immediate and intense, and the pacing is strong, with Thomas balancing dramatic scenes of violence and protest with moments of reflection. The characterization is slightly uneven; at times, Starr's friends at school feel thinly fleshed out. However, Starr, her family, and the individuals in their neighborhood are achingly real and lovingly crafted. VERDICT 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.—Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal
“As we continue to fight the battle against police brutality and systemic racism in America, THE HATE U GIVE serves as a much needed literary ramrod. Absolutely riveting!” (Jason Reynolds, bestselling coauthor of ALL AMERICAN BOYS)
“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)
“Fearlessly honest and heartbreakingly human. Everyone should read this book.” (Becky Albertalli, William C. Morris Award-winning author of SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA)
“This is tragically timely, hard-hitting, and an ultimate prayer for change. Don’t look away from this searing battle for justice. Rally with Starr.” (Adam Silvera, New York Times bestselling author of MORE HAPPY THAN NOT)
“With smooth but powerful prose delivered in Starr’s natural, emphatic voice, finely nuanced characters, and intricate and realistic relationship dynamics, this novel will have readers rooting for Starr and opening their hearts to her friends and family. This story is necessary. This story is important.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
“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))
“Beautifully written in Starr’s authentic first-person voice, this is a marvel of verisimilitude as it insightfully examines two worlds in collision. An inarguably important book that demands the widest possible readership.” (Booklist (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))
“The Hate U Give is an important and timely novel that reflects the world today’s teens inhabit. Starr’s struggles create a complex character, and Thomas boldly tackles topics like racism, gangs, police violence, and interracial dating. This topical, necessary story is highly recommended for all libraries.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) (starred review))
“Thomas has penned a powerful, in-your-face novel that will similarly galvanize fans of Kekla Magoon’s How It Went Down and Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely’s All American Boys.” (Horn Book (starred review))
Top customer reviews
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Angie Thomas's book about 16-year-old Starr Carter left me speechless and crying for so many reasons, and I'm not sure I can even explain why adequately. Starr herself is written perfectly. She's a high school junior who loves basketball, used to have a massive crush on a Jonas brother, and collects sneakers. She also loves her family, even when they embarrass or frustrate her, is a good student at the private school she attends with almost exclusively rich, white kids (one of whom is her boyfriend), and helps at her dad's community grocery store when she can.
However, her life is very different from the ones her friends at school live. Starr is the only black girl in her junior class, lives in a poor black neighborhood that sees more than its fair share of gang violence, is the daughter of an ex-gang member who served time in prison, and saw one of her two best friends killed in a drive-by when she was ten years old.
And on the night she is with her other childhood best friend, Khalil, when he is shot in the back by a police officer, despite being unarmed and not doing anything to provoke the officer in any way, she finds herself in the middle of all the fallout from the shooting while still grieving Khalil's death.
I'm more than a little ashamed to admit that I'm a privileged white woman in a tiny, primarily white community who has never really even given a ton of thought to the Black Lives Matter movement. I have heard the news, and I felt a piece of the injustice of it all, but prior to reading The Hate U Give, I had never really tried to imagine what the black community really felt. I'm still a privileged white woman in a tiny, primarily white community, which means that I will never really be able to understand what the black community feels, but I'm trying, and I'm trying so much harder than I ever did before.
As far as a review, I'm not sure what to say. This is young adult fiction, so I knew it wouldn't be the level of writing to which I'm accustomed. However, Angie Thomas still did an excellent job of creating living, breathing characters and thought-provoking text that made me grab my highlighter many times as I read. The teenagers spoke exactly as teenagers do without coming across as cliché at all, and I usually find that adult young adult writers either try TOO hard to make teenage characters sound like teenagers OR they make them sound entirely too grown up (I'm looking at you in The Fault in Our Stars, John Green. Yeah. I said it.). Thomas, however, nailed it.
Meanwhile, The Hate U Give is filled with the kind of profound statements that I never expected from young adult fiction, but they still felt completely natural and appropriate--statements that made me, as an adult, stop and question my own behaviors and thoughts. Statements like the following:
"I always said that if I saw it happen to somebody, I would have the loudest voice, making sure the world knew what went down. Now I am that person, and I'm too afraid to speak."
"The truth casts a shadow over the kitchen--people like us in situations like this become hashtags, but they rarely get justice."
"That's the problem. We let people say stuff, and they say it so much that it becomes okay to them and normal for us. What's the point in having a voice if you're gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn't be?"
When I finished this book a little while ago, I sobbed like I haven't at the end of a book in a LONG time. I sobbed for Khalil and his community, but more so for the list of real names at the end (that's not a spoiler...promise). There were plenty of moments in the book that made me chuckle a little that helped break up the heaviness of the book (especially when DeVante, Seven, and Starr start making fun of white people, because, let's be honest, everything they said was true), but the weight of the truth this book made me see hit me like a ton of bricks. I'm white. I never have to worry about one of my sons being killed by the police simply for their skin color. And I will never understand that particular reality. Instead, I have been living inside my safe little bubble where I believed that ALL police officers are good and ALL police officers are just trying to do their jobs and racism is really not THAT bad in our country. I never allowed myself to see that SOME police officers are downright racist, and SOME police officers are scared of young, black men simply because they are young, black men, and people of color ARE treated differently, and ANY racism IS that bad.
The Hate U Give started changing all that. It enabled me to step into the shoes of a 16-year-old black girl who saw her childhood best friend shot simply because he was young, black, and in a neighborhood with a bad reputation. It also enabled me to see that the lives behind the news headlines are so much more complicated than I am often led to believe, but Angie Thomas never did any of that in a way that placed all the blame on the police. The blame was definitely there, but Starr also acknowledges that there are still a lot of good police officers who don't agree with the actions of their colleagues, and although she helped me to understand the sentiment behind rioting, she also acknowledges that the damage done by rioting is usually to her own community only. And underneath it all, Angie Thomas makes it clear that Starr's community had its own problems from within that were not the fault of the police at all. Instead of placing blame on ANYONE, Angie Thomas is making readers see that there are definitely two sides to every story, and for most of us, we have only REALLY heard one of them.