Kristen Dragotto, Staff Writer

Angie Thomas’s debut novel “The Hate U Give” has made its mark in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. It won both the Michael L. Printz Award and Coretta Scott King Award since its original publication in February 2017. A film based on the book is scheduled to be released in October of this year, which will make this book even more popular.

The book follows 16-year-old Starr, struggling between the two lives she lives; her roots from Garden Heights and the self she lives at her all-white private school. Living these two lives becomes inherently more complicated when she witnesses her longtime friend Khalil’s death, who is shot and killed by a police officer. In the aftermath of Khalil’s death, the reader can see what lengths Starr is willing to go to find justice for Khalil.

This book is a must-read for not only young adults but also for older adults. Thomas gives a once-in-a-lifetime perspective on the implications events like these have on others and communities; this book highlights the gray area in the life choices that people are forced to make and how that affects their futures. By doing this it brings attention to uplifting diversity, rather than disregarding the minority.

In relation to the Black Lives Matter movement, this book is a plea for justice to happen for people in the Black community.

Ryan Douglas addressed this in his article for the HuffPost called “Why Everyone Needs to Read “The Hate U Give” By Angie Thomas,” with his statement, “Here’s why THUG’s careful characterization is important: Black Lives Matter is a plea for all of America (not just its judicial system) to see black people as valuable, non-threatening human beings. What we need is for those who shy away from publicly championing this cause to pick up books from black perspectives, feel the pains and joys of black people, find where we connect and where we differ and ultimately join our fight.”

This book is a portal for the conversation that needs to happen amongst our youth as well as across all generations. It allows for connections to be made with this book and real-life events and in turn, start a conversation to change America from within, including how race and crime are viewed.

I encourage everyone to read this book. Not just because of its relevance politically or culturally. Nor do I recommend this because of its academic value. But because it gives the reader a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to step in the shoes and perspective of someone who they would never otherwise be able to understand. I especially encourage all my fellow white students to lay aside their privilege and read this book in an attempt to begin seeing the other side of a conversation we could not possibly understand—but with this book at least we have the chance. So read “The Hate U Give” and join the conversation.