The Hate U Give

by Angie Thomas

Starr’s childhood friend, Khalil, is driving her home when they are pulled... read more

Starr’s childhood friend, Khalil, is driving her home when they are pulled over by the police for a broken taillight. After patting Khalil down, the white officer tells him to stay put and walks back to the patrol car. Khalil opens the driver’s door and asks Starr if she’s okay. The police officer shoots and kills Khalil. Over the next 13 weeks, Starr struggles with shock, grief, anger, fear, rage, and indecision about whether to testify. Several issues complicate Starr’s thinking: worry about a local gang leader who intimidates through fear and violence; worry about jeopardizing her father, a current business owner and former gang member who changed his life trajectory while in prison; her strained friendship with two friends who aren’t African American at the private school she attends; her mixed feelings about her white boyfriend; her mother’s wish to move the family to a safer neighborhood; and her relationship with her police officer uncle. Starr and the other characters in this novel are vibrant and fully realized; her life and community are multifaceted and complex. It’s in Starr’s loves of Harry Potter, and her complicated feelings about her half-brother’s other sister, who gets more of his time, but has a less stable family life. It’s in the authentic moments of humor, and in the way hope lives side by side with fear and anger in a story that is so much more than its plot and theme. (Age 13 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2018

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