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The first of five selections for our summer 2017 study of Young Adult books, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is an up-close look at how one 16-year-old girl and her community are impacted when her friend is killed by a police officer.
Here is my video reflection, followed by a few notes:
- I think this is an incredibly important book that can be used as a springboard for talking about race relations, law enforcement, and the Black Lives Matter movement.
- I appreciated the fact that we get to know characters who are so often represented by stereotypes. I appreciated the opportunity to get to know people like DeVante and Khalil and hear the stories of how they ended up getting involved with gangs and selling drugs, which painted a much more complex, nuanced picture of how some young people end up doing these things.
- I wish there could have been more discussion of the rioting, and of the characters’ understanding of it. Thomas helps us understand other complex issues by having the adult characters explain things to Starr, but I felt like the riots weren’t explored enough, and this is an issue that I think white America still needs help understanding.
- I wonder how teachers might address concerns from students and families who see the book as biased, or who feel more sympathetic to officer one-fifteen? Some students (and teachers) may relate more to characters like Hailey…how do we address this in our classrooms in a way that helps everyone grow?
- I would also like to know how you would address the profanity and sex in the book, which was not graphic but still present? How do you all handle this in regard to letting students read these books and responding to objections from parents? What age would be appropriate for reading this book?
- Interview with Dena Simmons
- Interview with José Vilson
- Interview with Monique Morris
- Article on Code Switching
- Book on a similar topic: All American Boys, by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Be respectful of other people’s opinions; the subject matter of this book will bring up strong opinions and feelings, and everyone is encouraged to share honestly, but any comments that are abusive toward other commenters will be removed.