April 2021: “The Hate You Give” by Angie Thomas

“The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas is novel with many layers and many points for discussion. It centers around Starr, a 16-year old African American girl who lives in a predominantly black neighborhood but goes to a predominantly white private high school. That duality is something that she has to face, going back and forth between two different worlds essentially, every day. 

One day, Starr witnesses a fatal shooting of her childhood friend, at the hands of a police officer. She then has to grapple with not only the personal incident itself but the fact that it exposes racism, a whole host of issues in both of her communities, and a range of social justice elements that are both impactful and deep. The author presents the story in a relatable way, with memorable characters and a story that will stick with you for a while. 

GEMs recommends this book because it is a very accessible book, a very quick read, and yet it is heavy and thought-provoking. It was written by a young woman (no doubt a GEM!) who we met at a lecture and book signing a few years ago. We highly recommend you give this one a try, and be prepared for a great discussion thereafter. 

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