The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas


16 year old Starr Carter is doing her best to live between two worlds.  She reveals only parts of herself in the poor urban neighborhood where she lives, and the suburban, very white prep school she attends. Her struggle to be true to “both” Starr’s,  is  destroyed when she witnesses the murder of her unarmed, childhood friend, Kahlil, by the police.  Besides being traumatized, by the incident and the loss, Starr is then thrust into the realities and struggles of her poor community, as well as  the expectations and bias of friends, family and society.

As the nation tries to vilify  her friend and justify the actions of the police officer, Starr realizes that she must make a choice. She can stay shielded in the comfort of family, and distraction of her basketball team, and friends, or she can stand up to injustice, speaking up for Kahlil, both she realizes are uncomfortable and potentially dangerous.

Age - YA
Genre - Realistic Fiction
Text Structure - novel
Lexile Level  - N/A

Themes - Injustice, police killing of black males,  prejudice/racism, Protest/black lives matter, complexities of urban life, cultural identity, friendship, family love/pride, acceptance, taking a stand


Ethnicity: black
Age: intergenerational
Gender: girl
Socio-Economic: poor/working class/middle class/wealthy
National: USA


  • rich with authentic representations of the complexities of black life and culture.

  • Surface level  culture is easily identified with the beautiful cadence, and intonation of African American Language, as well as careful attention to  food, music, celebrations, games, and  dress.

  • consistent presence of rich, nuanced examples of  unspoken, and unconscious rules of black  culture that make this novel both a wonderful read and excellent choice for CLR teaching.

  • Some of the deep culture rules evident in the novel - conversational patterns, facial expressions, body language, patterns of handling emotions, ideals of child rearing, tone of voice, nature of friendships, concept of  past and future, notions of leadership and problem solving roles in relation to age, sex and class.


Set it Off (Into the Text)

1. Images Journal Prompt + Turn & Talk + Train (7-10 minutes)

Project the images(or similar images) and ask students to choose one or more to respond to in writing.  After 3-5 minutes of writing, have students Turn & Talk at their seats to share with a partner, followed by Train, to share some responses with the class.


 2.  Thinking On Your Feet (10-15 min)

(Sample Statements)

  • Saying Black Lives Matter is prejudiced

  • Police need better training for working with urban communities/people of color

  • Police are just doing their jobs when they shoot and kill people

  • Black males should just cooperate with police and they will not get killed

  • White people are treated differently by police than black people

  • Police should work together with urban communities to solve problems

I gave this a 7-10 on Responsive Dots. What would you give it?