Can’t decide what to read next? Need a new book to read? Check out what our teen volunteers have been reading!
The Hate U Give is a 2017 Young Adult novel that follows sixteen-year-old Starr Carter as she navigates between two worlds -- the poor, mostly black neighborhood where she lives, and the wealthy, predominantly white high school that she attends. The thin balance she has maintained is shattered when she witnesses the murder of her best friend at the hands of a police officer. This novel addresses racism, police brutality, activism and more as it tackles often taboo issues, such as weaponizing stereotypes against black people and the cyclical nature of racialized poverty.
This is one of the first YA novels I read before high school and I think one of the things I love about it is that it doesn’t gloss over topics other authors might simply reference, if at all. Author Angie Thomas is honest and straightforward about these issues and unfortunately, they have become all too familiar in today’s society. It is also from the perspective of a young dark-skinned narrator (although the film has been criticized for changing this crucial fact with its casting of a lighter-skinned actress in the lead role). Thomas has a wonderful writing style that is easy and enjoyable to follow. However, it does include uses of strong language/profanity, drug references and racism. - Salma G. (Sunset Teen Advisory Council)