November 21, 2017

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The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas | SLJ Audio Review

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redstarTHOMAS, Angie. The Hate U Give. 9 CDs. 11:40 hrs. HarperAudio. Feb. 2017. $39.99. ISBN 9781470827137. digital download.

Gr 9 Up –Starr has learned to adapt her personality to fit two worlds. “Garden Heights Starr” helps her ex-gangbanger father in his neighborhood grocery. “Williamson Starr” has a white boyfriend, and is one of the few black students at a tony prep school in an exclusive part of town. When gunshots ring out at a Garden Heights party, Starr and her friend Khalil leave. Soon after, Khalil makes an innocent but unanticipated move at a traffic stop, and Starr witnesses his death by a white officer. In the ensuing weeks and months, Starr deals with reactions: her own, her family’s, and those of her inner-city neighbors and upscale private school friends. Starr’s first-person narration creates an immediacy that draws listeners into the anger and grief.she is feeling, while also acknowledging that Khalil may have been involved with drugs and that gang activity is driving families out of Garden Heights. Debut author Thomas populates her story with true-to-life characters—flaws and all. Starr’s family members are particularly well-drawn. Bahni Turpin perfectly captures dialect, cadence, and slang, providing each individual with nuanced tones. At times, Starr’s voice is thoughtful and gentle; at others, it is spitting out four-letter words in frustration and outrage. ­VERDICT A thought-provoking, highly current, and worthy addition that will enhance most high school collections.–Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TX

This review was published in the School Library Journal August 2017 issue.

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