As a mama of three littles, I read far less than I want to. My book time is typically reserved for The Berenstein Bears and whatever comes home in the leveled reading book bag from one of my elementary aged kids. When I finally take the time to read, it has to be a book that holds my attention, keeps me awake, and changes the person that I am. I like books that make me think, and question my understanding of the world.

I got just what I asked for in the book The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. This fictional yet realistic story follows the life of teenager Starr, a high schooler growing up in a black neighborhood but attending private school in the swells of a white suburban community. The book takes you through her days, as she struggles with when and where to show her true self. Add in a white boyfriend, a murdered best friend at the hands of a cop and a subsequent move out of the neighborhood that she has always called her own. The author does an amazing job at bringing characters to life and personifying their reality. For some, this will be a reminder of the world they already know. For others, it will be an eye opening account of the realities of systematic racism. On more than one account I found myself wanting to scream in agony about all of the injustices this storyline highlighted, and my heart breaking knowing that the world we live in has a long way to go. I would suggest this as a great read to anyone who isn’t afraid to start the conversation and be accountable for their inner thoughts and beliefs.

Rumor has it: This may be made into a film. I will be front and center waiting to buy tickets on premiere night.

Angie Thomas was born, raised, and still resides in Jackson, Mississippi as indicated by her accent. She is a former teen rapper whose greatest accomplishment was an article about her in Right-On Magazine with a picture included. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Belhaven University and an unofficial degree in Hip Hop.She is an inaugural winner of the Walter Dean Myers Grant 2015, awarded by We Need Diverse Books. Her debut novel, The Hate U Give, is a #1 New York Times Best Seller. Film rights have been optioned by Fox 2000 with George Tillman attached to direct and Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg attached to star.

What else have I read in the last few years? Check out my suggestions on books that are just plain good.
Photo Credit: Mojitos and Munchkins