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The Hate U Give Book Review

Louisa Neuheisel and Jalyn Kelsey

The New York Times Bestseller The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, released this past February, addresses issues currently plaguing our nation.  Through the eyes of a sixteen-year-old girl named Starr Carter, you experience racism and police violence from a new angle.  Starr lives in a poor black neighborhood where her father works, but attends a fancy suburban prep school.   Everything is going well in her life until one day while leaving a party in her neighborhood, Starr’s childhood best friend Khalil, who was driving, gets pulled over by a cop.  Sitting in the passenger seat and scared out of her mind, Starr watched the whole situation unfold.  Khalil had been doing nothing wrong and following the rules, but when he turns to ask Starr if she is alright, he is shot three times and dead within the next few seconds.  Now Starr has to deal with a whirlwind of new problems including the protesting war zone that has become of her neighborhood, a whole school of people who don’t understand her situation, family troubles, and deciding what kind of action she should take, if any, all while trying to deal with the loss of her childhood friend.  This book was extremely well written and entirely captured the seriousness of the topic.  You could feel the suffering that Starr was going through and could find yourself cheering for her to do what she needed to do.  It was difficult to put this book down after I picked it up and I always wanted to read more.  You could easily relate to the book and understand Starr’s viewpoint.  The Hate U Give was an amazing book with a fantastic tie to current events.

But how do these current events apply to our school in general? We don’t have police shootings and murders next door. We live in a fairly peaceful area and don’t have to live with the tragedies that Starr did. However, we can make this relevant by looking at how Starr acted differently at school and at home. She felt that she had to act a certain way to be accepted. Starr assumed that she would be excluded if she acted like herself. I am sure there are people at our school that have to fight to be included, or people who have already lost that fight and don’t have any friends. They could be super nice and no one would know because they’re slightly different. This difference could be their hair, clothes, race, or beliefs. Starr fought every day to be accepted and there are kids at school that do the same. So, the next time you see someone excluded or being picked on, instead of being the “cool” kid that just watches, stand up for them and become friends with them.  Because just maybe they needed you as much as you needed them.