8 starred reviews - Goodreads Choice Awards Best of the Best - William C. Morris Award Winner - National Book Award Longlist - Printz Honor Book - Coretta Scott King Honor Book - #1 New York Times Bestseller
Absolutely riveting --Jason Reynolds
Stunning. --John Green
This story is necessary. This story is important. --Kirkus (starred review)
Heartbreakingly topical. --Publishers Weekly (starred review)
A marvel of verisimilitude. --Booklist (starred review)
A powerful, in-your-face novel. --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.
Want more of Garden Heights? Catch Maverick and Seven's story in Concrete Rose, Angie Thomas's powerful prequel to The Hate U Give.
- ISBN-13: 9780062498533
- ISBN-10: 0062498533
- Publisher: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen
- Publish Date: February 2017
- Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.9 x 1.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Page Count: 464
- Reading Level: Ages 14-17
Facing down prejudice
When Starr was 12, her parents taught her the facts of life. Her mother explained the mysteries of sex, while her father instructed her on how African Americans behave if stopped by police. Four years later, Starr remembers her father’s words when she and her childhood friend, Khalil, are pulled over. But when Khalil makes an innocent move, the policeman shoots. Starr watches in horror as Khalil dies in the street. The media picks up the story, depicting Khalil as a gang member and drug dealer. Starr, who attends a prestigious, predominantly white high school, is repulsed by the sensationalism and initially tries to deny her involvement. But she learns that such silence grants free reign to racist justifications for violent policing of her tight-knit black community.
Starr’s life is rife with contradictions. Her neighborhood friends live in a world where violent death is a real threat, while her wealthier school friends view Khalil’s death as an excuse to skip school. Starr’s father is a former gang leader who is dedicated to improving their community, while her uncle is a police detective who lives in a safer neighborhood.
In her debut novel, Angie Thomas breathes life into the incidents that inspired the Black Lives Matter movement, with nuanced characters and complex subplots. Like Kekla Magoon’s How It Went Down, the novel explores the ambiguity of perspective, but in this case, it’s always from Starr’s deeply personal viewpoint.