This YA Book About Police Brutality Just Became A Top Seller

“The Hate U Give” explains the Black Lives Matter movement from the perspective of a teen.

On the night of Nov. 9, 2016, and into the morning of Nov. 10, Twitter was inundated with parents wondering how they would explain President Donald Trump’s unpredicted win to their children when they woke up.

Dan Kois wrote on Slate that morning, “I want to hide our ashen faces and give them the long historical view and say: It’s going to be OK. That would be hard, if still easier than being honest.” Kois, and the many others who wrote on the topic, seemed torn between his instinct to protect and his desire to be frank.

But for some parents ― particularly, those alarmed by police brutality against unarmed black teens ― protection and frankness don’t feel so opposed.

Which is why a book geared toward young adults that address state violence directly ― The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas ― is an important and timely new title. Its story follows 16-year-old Starr, a black girl who witnesses the shooting of her childhood friend by a police officer. Both Starr and her friend Khalil were rashly and wrongly judged to be connected with gang violence; for the remainder of the story, Starr copes with grief and guilt.

Thomas said the YA book is inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, which began in 2012 as a response to the murder of Trayvon Martin. Today, New York Times Book Review editor Pamela Paul shared that The Hate U Give is the top title on the paper’s bestseller list for Young Adult Hardcovers.


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