Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

How I Heard About It:  This novel had lots of BUZZ on Twitter.  That is where I first heard about it.  The more my Twitter friends would comment about the novel, the more I wanted to read it.  While having drinks with Donalyn Miller here in the Twin Cities awhile back, she offered to send me a copy of the book.  She continues to amaze me with her generosity and kindness.  I finished the story last night and hope I can do this novel justice with my thoughts and ideas.  

What It Is About:  Starr exists in two different worlds. The first world is where she grew up in a tough neighborhood where poverty and crime hover over its residents.  The second world is her high school that she attends which is located "away" from the "hood".  For the most part, she keeps these two worlds separate and daily life is going alright for Starr.  That is until she gets a ride home from a party with a friend that she has known most of her life.  While in the car, they are pulled over by a white policeman and her friend is questioned and shot by the officer.  This event sends Starr, the neighborhood residents, and the kids at her school into a tail spin of questions, issues, disagreements, stress, and tension.  With Starr being the only "witness" she is throw into the middle of this media frenzy and she isn't sure she can handle it or make everyone happy with the information she has and shares.  

What I Thought Of It:  Sometimes when there is so much "press" about a book, it doesn't always live up to the hype, praise, and accolades.  That was not the case with this story.  The plot sucked me in from page one and didn't let go until I finished the last line.  I almost felt like I was reading a headline or watching the nightly news.  The development of this story ties so closely to what is happening in our country on a daily basis.  I appreciated that the author presented "both" sides in a kind, sensitive, and thoughtful manner.  There were many tough issues scattered amongst the pages, but Angie Thomas did a fantastic job of getting those real-life issues down in print.  The writing style was such that as a reader I felt like I was right there in the middle of everything that was going on.  As I read, I constantly kept thinking about how I felt, how I would react, and how I would respond to this in "real life".  Such an important book to be read.  

Who Should Read It:  Because this is such an important and timely novel, I believe all high-school students should be "required" to read it.  So much to think about, discuss, and figure out how to bring the people of our country together as one.  The novel is also absolutely perfect for adult readers.  This will definitely be a book I share with my fellow readers.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  5 STARS out of 5 Stars

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