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Sensational debut novel should be required reading for all age groups

kids' book of the week

The Hate U Give is exceptional. At 16, Starr Carter is torn between the neighbourhood she grew up in, where drive-by shootings, gangland territory battles and poverty are as normal as being made to work in her dad, Big Mav's, grocery store, and her almost exclusively white private high school in the 'burbs.

Trainer aficionado, basketball player extraordinaire, bright and witty sister, daughter, girlfriend and Jay Z's cousin (she dreams), Starr is also black and the only witness when her best friend, Khalil, is pulled over by a white cop and shot dead on the way home from a party.

Between her own fear, the silencing tactics of the police and local king (gang) lords getting involved, Starr must decide whether she can risk fighting for justice for Khalil.

The definition of 'unputdownable' (I read it in one sitting), Angie Thomas hones in on stereotypes, calls out white privilege and ignorance and throughout forges a dysfunctional, sprawling family that will steal your heart - from Starr's always-knows-everything momma and irritatingly protective older brother, Seven, to her steadfastly loyal Uncle Carlos and tough-yet-tender dad, who has her memorise the Black Panther's Ten-Point Program before she hits her teens.

Buy it for every human you know, read it, share it, remember it, stand up and demand more stories like Starr's are published.

Belfast Telegraph

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