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A stunning debut

10 Apr

If you follow YA, you’ve probably heard of The Hate You Give  by Angie Thomas. Maybe you’ve even read it. It you haven’t, you should. It deserves all the buzz it is getting.

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Goodreads Summary: Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Maybe you’ve even read it. If you haven’t, you should. It deserves all the buzz it is getting. I couldn’t put it down.

There is a lot to love about the book. There is no slow build up. By page 12 you are right in the main problem. The scene with the police officer is so realistically written, I felt tense reading it, as though I were really there.

I loved Starr and she was a wonderfully written character, but the minor characters are equally well drawn. Starr’s parents are fabulous. So many YA novels have absent parents, but hers are an integral part of the story.  Her uncle, a  police officer, helps the reader see how complicated the issue of police and race really are. Starr’s school fiends will give non-African American readers an opportunity to wonder Have I ever done that? 

I bet this one will be a real contender for the Morris Award. But we won;t know that until late January.

 

 

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