When people ask me why I love reading so much I sometimes struggle to come up with an answer. It’s such an obvious thing to me that I don’t really think about the “why”. But if I had to think about it I would say it’s because it’s made me a more compassionate and understanding person. You can’t spend hours reading in another person’s footprints without at least attempting to see the world from their point of view.
This is one of the reasons why it’s so important for young people to read books from a diverse perspective. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is an exceptional example of the power of the written word to permanently alter the way we see other people.
Starr Carter is a smart kid who is balancing her life at a fancy, predominantly white school with the life in her inner city neighborhood. These worlds come clashing together when Starr witnesses her childhood best friend’s death at the hands of a white police officer.
The characters in this book are so well developed and Starr is surrounded by family members and neighbors who add so many layers to the story. My favorite characters in the book are Starr’s parents. I can’t tell you how rare it is in YA books to have adult characters that are so complex and interesting and LIKEABLE.
This book is written from the perspective of a teenager and she and the other characters speak like teens often do. If you start reading this book and don’t feel like it’s for you at least finish the second chapter before you bail out. When I finished The Hate U Give I couldn’t get it out of my head for days. It’s one of the best books you will read this year.