Margin Notes



the hate u give coverPublished in 2017, Angie Thomas’ debut novel The Hate U Give is written from the perspective of a young black teenage girl who makes the brave decision to speak out against violence by police officers against black individuals and the aftermath and chaos this creates. The book’s main character Starr struggles with staying in line with her life at a posh private school and doing the right thing, not only by her friend, but her community. This book takes a look at racially aimed violence by police officers and the outcry it sparks within society and how speaking out, while it is the right thing to do, will not always get you the justice you deserve.

Thomas’ fearless ability to take this controversial topic and bring it into a YA fiction novel truly amazed me because as I read this, I felt as if I was living through this with Starr and the pain she was feeling as she watched a police officer kill one of her best friends. Though fictional, she provided an in-depth look at the aftermath of such a horrific event – an event we often read about within the media but do not personally experience. This book, as white female, opens a window to a situation in which I cannot imagine experiencing. She writes this book in such a way that you do not feel separated from the main character or her experiences. I think this may be why it continues to be  the New York Times top selling YA book, because Thomas created a story based upon an extremely controversial subject and writes courageously about it. I think Starr, despite the tragedy of watching her best friend die due to racial profiling, is relatable to many young people today. She knows what is wrong with society and wants to help be a part of that change, and I think that is something people want to read about. They want a story about bravery, and not in the typical way.

Katie Morgan is a current student at UNB completing her B.Ed. as a pre-service teacher in high school English. As a guest blogger she is reviewing a YA novel for her teaching secondary English class.


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