Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Daily Booktalk: Teen Tuesday: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Our Teen Tuesday feature really is best for teens, eighth grade and up but not limited to a YA audience because it's a timely, urgent, intense, important and beautifully written book. The Hate U Give is Angie Thomas' debut novel. It's the first-person narration of sixteen-year-old Starr Carter who, though she lives in run-down, poverty-stricken Garden Heights, attends a mostly white, private school 45 minutes away. Her parents work very hard to provide this education for their three children. They are strict and loving and often laugh-out-loud funny. Starr is grateful, but admits she splits herself into two different Starrs to fit into each world. She reconnects with a close friend, Khalil at a neighborhood party and, when gunfire erupts, the two leave the party in Khalil's car. It isn't long before he's been pulled over and it's not long after that when he's shot in the back by the white police officer, who claims that Khalil was reaching for a gun. In fact, he ducked back inside the car to check on Starr. 

This 400+ page book debuted on the New York Times bestseller list back in February, where is has mostly remained. It also received six starred reviews from the professional review publications (a rare feat) and has been optioned for a movie starring Amandla Stenberg as Starr. The book started out as a short story written for the author's senior thesis. It expanded though and was set aside for a while because it was emotionally draining for the author to write. The Hate U Give lives up to the hype. It is also a spectacular audiobook, narrated by Bahni Turpin. 

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