The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give

by Angie Thomas
4.7 42


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The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Eight Starred Reviews!

"Absolutely riveting!" —Jason Reynolds

"Stunning." —John Green

"This story is necessary. This story is important." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Heartbreakingly topical." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A marvel of verisimilitude." —Booklist (starred review)

"A powerful, in-your-face novel." —The Horn Book (starred review)

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

A Note from the Author:

The story behind The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

I remember the first time I saw Emmett Louis Till.
I couldn’t have been more than eight years old. I came across his photo in a Jet magazine that marked the anniversary of his death. At the time, I was convinced he wasn’t real, or at least that he wasn’t a person. What was supposed to be a face was mutilated beyond recognition. He looked more like a prop from a movie to me; a monster from some over-the-top horror flick.
But he was a person, a boy, and his story was a cautionary tale, even for a black girl in Mississippi who was born more than three decades after he died. “Know your worth,” my mom would say, “but also know that not everyone values you as much as I do.”
Still, Emmett wasn’t real to me. There was no way I’d ever have to worry about anything like that happening to me or to someone I knew. Things had changed, even in Mississippi. That was history. The present had its own problems
I grew up in a neighborhood that’s notorious for all the wrong reasons. Drug dealers, shootings, crime, insert other “ghetto” stereotypes here. While everything they showed on the news was true, there was so much more that you wouldn’t see unless you lived there. It was my home. My neighbors were family. The neighborhood drug dealer was a superhero who gave kids money for snacks and beat up pedophiles who tried to snatch little girls off the street. The cops could be superheroes too, but I was taught at a young age to be “mindful” around them. So had my friends. We’d all heard stories, and though they didn’t come with mutilated photos, they were realer than Emmett.

I remember the first time I saw the video of Oscar Grant.
I was a transfer student in my first year at the college I’d later graduate from. It was in a nicer part of town than where I lived, but only ten minutes away from it, and it was very, very white. A majority of the time, I was the only black student in my creative writing classes. I did everything I could so no one would label me as the “black girl from the hood.” I would leave home, blasting Tupac, but by the time I arrived to pick up a friend, I was listening to the Jonas Brothers. I kept quiet whenever race came up in discussions, despite the glances I’d get because as the “token black girl,” I was expected to speak.
But Oscar did something to me. Suddenly, Emmett wasn’t history. Emmett was still reality.
The video was shocking for multiple reasons, one being that someone actually caught it on tape. This was undeniable evidence that had never been provided for the stories I’d heard. Yet my classmates, who had never heard such tales, had their own opinions about it.
“He should’ve just done what they said.”
“He was resisting.”
“I heard he was an ex-con and a drug dealer.”
“He had it coming. Why are people so mad?”
“They were just doing their job.”
And I hate to admit it, but I still remained silent.
I was hurt, no doubt. And angry. Frustrated. Straight-up pissed. I knew plenty of Oscars. I grew up with them and I was friends with them. This was like being told that they deserved to die.
As the unrest took place in Oakland, I wondered how my community would react if that happened to one of our Oscars. I also wondered if my classmates would make the same comments if I became an Oscar. I wasn’t an ex-con or a drug dealer, but I was from a neighborhood they were afraid to visit, the same neighborhood they once jokingly said was full of criminals, not knowing that’s where I lived until months later.
From all of those questions and emotions, The Hate U Give was born.
I’ve always told stories. When I can’t find a way to say the words out loud, I create characters who do it for me. The Hate U Give started as a short story my senior year. It was cathartic at the time, and I thought I was done telling Starr and Khalil’s story because I foolishly hoped Oscar wouldn’t happen again.
But then there was Trayvon. Michael. Eric. Tamir.
And there was more anger, frustration, and hurt for me, my peers, and the kids in my neighborhood who saw themselves in those gentlemen. So I expressed those feelings the best way I knew how, through story, in hopes that I would give a voice to every kid who feels the same way I do and is not sure how to express it.
But my ultimate hope is that everyone who reads this book, no matter their experiences, walks away from it understanding those feelings and sharing them in some way.
And maybe then, Emmett Louis Till can truly become history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062498533
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/28/2017
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 256
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.90(d)
Lexile: HL590L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Angie Thomas was born, raised, and still resides in Jackson, Mississippi. She is a former teen rapper whose greatest accomplishment was having an article about her in Right On! magazine. She holds a BFA in creative writing. The Hate U Give is her first novel. You can find her online at

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The Hate U Give 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 42 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is real. I have lived, loved, and known these characters. What real people do in real life!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you only read one book this year, please let it be this one!
Anonymous 23 days ago
If you only read one book this year, please let it be this one! and Take a Barnes $10 Off coupons code from
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Important work
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beautifully written!
Sarah_UK1 More than 1 year ago
(I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.) "Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right." This was a YA story about a girl whose best friend was shot and killed by a cop. Starr was a strong character, and even though she didn't think she was brave, she showed guts when it was needed the most, and spoke out about what happened even though she was afraid. The storyline in this was about Starr's best friend Kahlil being shot by a cop after he pulled them over. Starr being the only witness was then asked to make a statement to the police, and then to a grand jury. What was awful was that this wasn't the first friend Starr had witnessed being shot though, after her friend Natasha was gunned down by a drive-by shooting in the neighbourhood at the age of 10. Kahlil's murder was justified by people because he was a drug dealer from a bad neighbourhood though, which wasn't fair or the full truth at all, especially when the officer who shot him thought that his hairbrush in the car door was a gun and shot him because of it. Overall, this was an important story, and its sad that the scary things that happened to people in this book happen to real people in the real world everyday. 7 out of 10
Anonymous 11 months ago
This book really takes you into the mind of the ccharacter, you live like her, breathe like her, think like her, and you cry with her. I loved every part of it because when theres tragedy theres beauty and comfort in the fact that you have family and friends backing you up.
ssummersknight More than 1 year ago
This book is so incredibly important. It's human and honest and so beautifully, simply written. It had me laughing, crying, and really, REALLY thinking. The hip hop references (especially the Tupac ones) were fantastic and the references to important names/events were critical I think. I learned a lot. Everyone should read this book. Everyone.
AvaJae More than 1 year ago
Whenever you have books that are really, really hyped, you run the risk that the hype might inflate everyone's expectations so much that the book has trouble living up to them. That wasn't remotely the case with Angie Thomas's THE HATE U GIVE I'd actually started THE HATE U GIVE a little earlier than I'd originally planned because the other book I was reading wasn't grabbing me as much as I'd like. That wasn't an issue here—I was immediately sucked into Starr's voice, and world, and the characters of her life. THE HATE U GIVE juggles several conflicts in Starr's life—the conflict inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, of course, with witnessing Khalil's murder, but also her half-brother and friend living with an abusive father—the neighborhood's most dangerous gang leader, a friend who gets into a dangerous situation, Starr juggling the disparity of going to a private school where she's one of the only Black kids and then going home to her neighborhood, that as dangerous as it can be is her home, her secretly dating a boy from her school, and her PTSD from witnessing her best friend's death. Not to mention the conflict of trying to decide whether to speak up or whether to hope no one outside of Starr's family ever learns she's the one who witnessed Khalil's death. All of these conflicts in Starr's life may seem overwhelming—and for her, at times, they are—but the way they're written always makes sense as one conflict blends into another into another. Altogether it creates an incredibly compelling plot that keeps you turning the pages, because truly, there are no dull moments. Then there's the voice. Starr's voice is so powerful, and honestly, THE HATE U GIVE serves as an excellent example of why #ownvoices books are just better when it comes to portraying different marginalized groups. From the constant code-switching, to the cultural nuances, to even the way Starr thinks just felt so incredibly raw, like I was reading a real person's thoughts transcribed unfiltered onto the page. I had the undeniable sense while reading that this book wasn't written for me—and that was a good thing. To say THE HATE U GIVE is eye-opening and unforgettable is an understatement. I'm not at all surprised it debuted #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and I fully expect to see it win loads of awards, because this book is that powerful and that good. All in all: read it. And any time you hear someone disparaging the Black Lives Matter movement, give them this book. I really do believe it could change hearts, minds, and lives. Diversity note: Most of the characters, including the protagonist, Starr, are Black.
Anonymous 26 days ago
Couldn,the put the book down. So many characters, but could kept up with all them. Great plots and sub-plots. Great read! and take a extra 15% off promo code from
Anonymous 28 days ago
This book is amazing! It tells the story so clearly. This really is a big deal right now and it should be spoken about. I wouldnt recommend this book to anyone under 13 tho. There is cussing in this book not to mention violent scenes. And you just might not understand. But this book is definately a great read and gives plenty of insight on whats going on in the world today.
RaRo 3 months ago
A very well written and riveting piece. I felt the pain, frustration, and fear the author was trying to convey. A very timely book that allows others to see a different side of a situation that they may not normally be knowledgeable about.
Sandy5 4 months ago
What can I say about this novel that has not been said already? I listened to this novel on audio and I realized a few things while doing so. One, while listening to this novel, I felt the power and the emotions of every character whose voice poured out of these CD’s. These individuals became alive inside my car and inside my house as this story unfolded and I couldn’t help but to become invested in their lives and become moved at what was transpiring. Every character was effected by the events that were played out, either negatively or positively and thence, I became angry/scared or I was laughing at their situations. I couldn’t help but to become emotionally involved in their drama. Two, I was constantly playing with the volume as I listened to this novel. I loved the energy and the fire in this novel. I wanted to feel it, I wanted to drown in it and as the characters spoke, their messages deserved special attention. They spoke from their hearts, it couldn’t get any more real and I’m glad that I chose the audio of this novel as I truly felt it spoke volumes. Three, as I finished up this novel I realized how important this novel is. The reality of what occurs and the way that it is presented is fantastic. I can think of lots of words to describe this novel and lots of items to discuss within this novel but the words perception, attitude and choices are the top picks for me. I absolutely loved this novel, I highly recommend the audio version, it is definitely moving.
Anonymous 5 months ago
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KateUnger 5 months ago
Before reading this book I listened to an episode of 88 Cups of Tea where Yin Chang interviewed Angie Thomas about The Hate U Give. Angie made some comments about writing diverse books that kind of rubbed me the wrong way, but I read this book anyway because it was a book club pick. I am so glad I did. And now I completely understand what Angie was trying to say. Writing diverse books is about so much more than just making a character have brown skin. It’s about telling real stories about what happens to people who live lives very different from the one I am living. This book is powerful. Starr lives in the inner city, the ghetto essentially, but she attends school in the suburbs, where she and her siblings are some of the only black kids. Starr doesn’t really fit in at home, and she doesn’t fit in at school. Actually, she considers herself to have two personas. At school she makes sure to always speak properly, she doesn’t talk to her friends about where she’s from, and she dates a white boy. One night, right at the beginning of the book, Starr attends a party with her brother’s sister (it’s complicated) and runs into a former best friend. When shots are fired, he drives her home. Except that they’re stopped by the police on the way, and the police officer shoots Khalil for basically no reason. After that Starr’s whole world is turned upside down. The police want to interview her, she’s afraid to speak out about what happened, and she learns some things about Khalil that she struggles to believe. I loved that this book jumps right into the active. It caused me to feel so many emotions. I was enraged at what happened to Khalil and Starr. I was astonished that kids in this country live the way the kids in this book live. I was saddened that racial injustice continues to exist in this country. I think this book should be required reading for every high school student. It’s beautiful and awful. Hopeful and depressing. It’s very well done and so, so important. I get it now, Angie Thomas. Diverse books need to be written by diverse authors. I cannot wait to read what you write next.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Great book!
Anonymous 5 months ago
Anonymous 5 months ago
Anonymous 7 months ago
Couldn't put it down! The author spoke our (African-Americans, Black people) truths. From being scared to move when stopped by a police officer to the anger that is felt at treatment that is so unjust. For those that gave it one star, open your eyes to our reality that we face daily. Our babies are cute to you when they're babies, but threatening to you when they turn 10 years or older. However, they/we matter always to us!
Clarissa Cruz 7 months ago
Loved this book. Amazing.
Anonymous 8 months ago
This is a timely read with relatable characters of many colors. A class set will be in my classroom this fall.
Mary_Books_In_Her_Head 8 months ago
The Hate U Give is raw, is painful, and is true. This novel speaks not to a one of a kind audience, but to a group of readers traditionally excluded from YA contemporary and it's mere existence speaks bounds for the future of the industry. I was impressed with Thomas' thoughtful characterization of not just the protagonist but her family and others with whom she is close. Thomas handles a topic like Black Lives Matter with incredible poise, and gives a perspective on the matter that I haven't found to be particularly popularized in the media. This novel is important and, phenomenal writing aside, is a novel that you should read. Read my full review on
Anonymous 9 months ago
This book is very relatable for today's world. It brings a new light to what's going on and makes you want to get up and fight for all the list lives and no mercy.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Anonymous 9 months ago
This book is amazing, and exactly what we need right now.