In THE HATE U GIVE, Starr Carter is a teen between two worlds: her school, which is rich, fancy, and white; and her neighborhood, which is poor and black. She navigates this differing terrain every day of her life until her worlds collide when she witnesses the fatal police shooting of her best friend, Khalil, an unarmed black teen. Khalil's death goes viral, and Starr is caught in the middle between the protesters in the street and her friends at school. With the eyes of the world on her, Starr has to decide: Will she say what happened that night? Will it matter?
The characters in the book are rich, complex, and fully developed. They feel like family, friends, and neighbors, and they give those unfamiliar with life in urban centers an understanding that the setting may be specific but the human condition is the universal. The tragedy and triumph of Thomas' stellar work is that it's very real and heartbreakingly familiar. Teens will enjoy the book for its unfiltered look at life, death, grief, and social and political commentary, while parents and teachers will enjoy the book's well-written and thorough approach to a complex social issue.