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The Hate U Give

Many 16-year-olds think nobody understands them, but Starr Carter is sure of it, because she's two people on purpose. During the school day, she's "Williamson Starr," one of a handful of black students at her suburban private school, "approachable" to her friends and her white boyfriend. When she goes home to Garden Heights, a predominantly black neighborhood, she's just "Big Mav's daughter who work in the store." Starr is well-practiced in keeping her worlds apart, but when she witnesses her childhood friend Khalil's murder, after a cop pulls them over for a broken taillight, the split becomes simultaneously more necessary and nearly impossible.

In her debut novel, Angie Thomas creates what might be one of the decade's most vivid voices in YA fiction. Readers who recognize the first half of rapper Tupac's acronym for THUG LIFE in the title of the book--The Hate U Give--will thrill to the representation of Starr's multiple worlds; those who aren't familiar with Tupac's oeuvre will learn more about his work, and much more besides. Though the appalling scenario depicted here is sadly familiar, Thomas's clear and honest writing moves beyond sound bites to represent the real people and communities behind the headlines. --Stephanie Anderson, assistant director of selection, BookOps