‘The Hate U Give’ by Angie Thomas
While in college, Angie Thomas was inspired by the news that has since become all-too familiar: the death of a black man at the hands of police officers. ‘The Hate U Give’ began as a short story and over time grew into what would become her highly successful young adult debut novel.
The story concerns Starr Carter, a 16-year-old, a bright, gifted African-American girl attending an elite, nearly all white private school. Starr’s world, and her place in the national spotlight, begins when she wittnesses her childhood friend being killed by a white police officer. As the case gains more attention Starr becomes more and more vocal about the events of the shooting. Things intensify to a violent climax when a grand jury decides not to indict the officer.
Central to the plot is the tight-rope walk Starr must take while trying to navigate her place in her community reeling from yet another senseless death, and her idenity in the elite school whose pupils and administrations can never appreciate why she decides to speak out against police biases and rampant white supremancy.
Why It’s Banned: The book is often challenged for its use of profanity, drug use, sexual content and the notion it is “almost indoctrination of distrust of police,” (Source).
Why You Should Read It: ‘The Hate U Give’ was published in 2017, before the George Floyd murder and the heightened awareness of police brutality and biases that are now highly publicized. For anyone who can’t or want see thoses biases, this book is an important, and perhaps necessary inside look into lives that experience these realities every day.