The Hate U Give is a funny, tragic and politically relevant novel featuring a smart and honest adolescent narrator whose words jump off the pages and into your heart. Starr Carter is a 16 year old girl who navigates two very different worlds; Garden Heights, the poor and mostly black neighborhood that has been her lifelong home, and Williamson Prep, her mostly white and snobby school. Because of this, Starr feels like an outsider amongst her friends from home and her friends from school. Going to school “means flipping the switch in my brain so I’m Williamson Starr… Basically Williamson Starr doesn’t give anyone a reason to call her ghetto. I can’t stand myself for doing it, but I do it anyway.” Starr is a thoughtful and mature narrator whose observations will appeal to all readers, but especially to those young people who can relate to her code-switching experience.
As if her double life wasn’t hard enough, Starr’s world gets turned upside down after she witnesses a police officer fatally shoot one of her best friends. Starr, along with her friends and family, are affected by the investigation and subsequent media frenzy. Starr is forced to face the harsh politics of her community and her country. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, The Hate U Give is a novel that is uniquely of our time. This book is for readers who enjoy stories about the realistic hardships of life, such as death, sadness and anger, but Starr’s unique narration mixes in plenty of hilarious anecdotes and joyful moments.
Thomas, Angie. The Hate U Give. New York: Harper Collins, 2017.