The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Rating: 5 stars
I can describe this book in three words: incredible, heartbreaking, and necessary.
Told through the eyes of 16 year old Starr, it describes a fatal police shooting and its aftermath. Starr’s childhood friend Khalil, a 16 year old African American, is shot during a traffic stop by a white police officer who claims he feared for his life, all while Starr was sitting in the passenger seat. Starr knows that her friend wasn’t threatening the officer and was unarmed, but the media and court of public opinion form their own story. As soon as a report describes her friend as an alleged drug dealer, any sympathy for his tragic murder disappears and some even think he deserved his death.
Starr can clearly see this effect in her private school, where she is one of two black students in her grade. Her classmates have the luxury of writing off the shooting as the result of her friend’s involvement in the drug trade (something they don’t even know for certain but have no problem accepting). Meanwhile, the residents of her predominately black neighborhood are already preparing for what they see as the inevitable outcome where the police officer faces no consequences for the murder.
While the media coverage intensifies, Starr has to decide whether or not to remain quiet or come out publicly as the witness and demand justice. She also has to come to terms with the fact that the police may not want the full story if it interferes with their version, and even a grand jury investigation may not be enough to get the justice her friend deserves.
I highly recommend this book for everyone. It’s an important story that needs to be read.