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  • Writer's pictureDede Holverson

The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas

Updated: May 7, 2021

Reviews by Experts

“As we continue to fight the battle against police brutality and systemic racism in America, THE HATE U GIVE serves as a much needed literary ramrod. Absolutely riveting!” -- Jason Reynolds, bestselling coauthor of ALL AMERICAN BOYS

“Angie Thomas has written a stunning, brilliant, gut-wrenching novel that will be remembered as a classic of our time.” -- John Green, bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars

Mrs. Holverson says...

The Hate U Give reads like a true story set in our present time. At a 3.9 AR reading level, it is accessible for all.

It is about sixteen-year-old Starr Carter who has to navigate two separate worlds: her poor and predominately black neighborhood and the upscale, predominately white prep school she attends. Starr feels she must adjust everything from her language to her movements just to fit in.

The main conflict of the story occurs when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil by a white police officer. Khalil was unarmed, and readers are left to question rather his choices provoked the officer, or if the officer took extreme action against Khalil based on his skin color.

What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. She has to choose her words carefully because what she does—or does not—say could upend her community and endanger her life.

Throughout the story, some refer to Khalil as a "thug, a drug dealer, and even a gangbanger." Those familiar with Tupac Shakur easily pick up on the reference to "Thug Life", both an album and a tattoo on the chest of the well-known artist. THUG (The Hate You Give - little infants 'Fs' everyone") references the early violence and hate young African American children often experience that ruins their lives and disadvantages all of society.

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl's struggle for justice.


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