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Teen Blog

Book Review: The Hate U Give

Posted on 4/8/2022 by James U.

Remember the Black Lives Matter protests back in 2020? For me, that was the first protest and movement that I actively paid attention to. Around this time I was in 8th grade and as a group assignment, we chose to read The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.

The Hate U Give front cover

The Hate U Give is about Starr Carter. Starr is a black teenage girl living in a low-income area called Garden Heights. She goes to Williamson Prep for high school. With her high school being a majority white school she can sometimes be the only black person in a room. Starr has a white boyfriend named Chris. While Starr comes from a poor family, Chris comes from a rich one. As a child, Starr knew Khalil Harris and she grew up with him.

One day, Starr is at a party, and guns are fired. Everyone runs away including Starr. While running Khalil, who was at the party, finds her and they both go to his car. As they drive, Khalil is pulled over and is questioned, and pulled out of the car. Khalil then reaches inside the car to talk to Starr and he is then shot by the police officer. Starr witnessing everything is distraught. She freezes as she watches her friend die. The rest of the story shows how Starr handles the situation. We see Starr struggle with the trauma. We also see how Starr talks to police investigators and the media about what happened that night and how the police and the public pick sides in strange ways. Starr learns more about racism from police officers and people who she thought were her friends. We see Starr change as a person as she picks sides and makes decisions that change her relationships and life.

We also see the struggle black people have because of systemic racism and poor funding. One example is Khalil. While his mother was struggling with drug abuse, his grandmother fell ill and Khalil had to pay for her treatment. Having poor education and being unable to find a job, Khalil fell into drug dealing in order to pay for the treatment. Another example is Garden Brooks. Being a poor area, some of the people fell into drug dealing with gangs in order to make money. These gangs are violent. We see multiple times of gangs threatening, shooting at each other, and killing. Many of the people in these gangs don't want to be a part but they need to in order to pay their bills. These people may also be put in prison where they can't help their families leading to more poverty.

The Hate U Give deals with issues like police brutality, racism, drug dealing, poverty among black people, and the things that cause it. It shows a story that is difficult. Many of the themes are not something we like to talk about. I recommend this book to everyone. It showed me the struggles black people go through in their daily lives. With this information, the future and current generations can work in order to resolve these issues like poverty, racism, and police brutality.

categories: book reviews
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