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Jess, Witchford Wonders Carnegie

The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give is about a girl named Starr who is the daughter of a grocer/ ex-gang member father and a nurse mother. She lives in a poor neighbourhood called Garden Heights, in the USA. Starr is sixteen and has already encountered more violence than most people do in their lifetime. She attends a private school mostly filled with white children, so being one of the only black students makes her stand out, as well as her family and background, because Garden Heights is full of gangs, drug dealing and racism from police officers. She struggles to balance her two opposite worlds and when she is the only witness of the death of her best friend, Khalil, who is shot by a police officer, the balance is shattered. Starr must bear this heavy burden at school, along with friendship problems, and struggle with finding justice at home as well as the added danger of angered gang leaders and facing racism from police officers, putting her life in danger. She must either speak out for justice for Khalil, or remain silent when her voice is needed the most.
I loved this book! I thought that it addressed the issues of race and police brutality excellently, and by showing the story through a teenager’s eyes, the young adult audience could really understand how Starr felt, going through this agonising situation. The use of slang took a little while for me to get my head around, but once I understood it, it helped me picture the world Starr was living in. Also, I really liked how the title, The Hate U Give related to the lyrics from the song THUG LIFE because it helped tie the storyline together, as rap music is found everywhere in Garden Heights. The book really opened my eyes to the issues about racial equality in the USA.
I think that The Hate U Give would be suitable for readers aged 13 and above because there is quite a lot of violence, and references to drugs and sex which may be sensitive to younger readers. Overall, I found the story compelling and eye opening, about a world that is so different to my own.

Posted on: 15th May 2018 at 09:06 pm

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