“The Hate U Give” #TeachHateUGive

A1 The Hate U Give is important for students so they know their lives are reflected in text, and their experiences are real and validated. It’s important for both students and teachers to read this book because it reflects what is happening in our society, and it is a powerful window or mirror for all of us. The Hate U Give counters stereotypes and encourages empathy as well.

A2 The scene that stood out the most to me, personally, was the scene where Starr finally speaks up the riot. It was such a turning point for Starr, finally using her voice when she had struggled with the decision to speak up or stay quiet.

“What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent during those moments you shouldn’t be?” – Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give

A3 Angie Thomas gave us characters that had depth and weren’t one-dimensional caricatures. One big example of this is Starr’s friend, Hailey. Hailey’s character showed that not all racism is blatant and outright. Many of Starr’s friends in her neighbourhood seemed real to me, portrayed as not the black stereotype, but as people.

A4 It’s important for both students of colour and white students to read this book because this book brought to light different perspectives that aren’t usually read. The Hate U Give gives students of colour a chance to see themselves in a good way in the books they read. This book gives white students a chance to see from different perspectives, to teach them empathy and understanding.

A5 Many teachers agreed that this was a very important book to use in their classrooms. The Hate U Give makes it clear how politics intersects with all aspects of life, not just as an isolated topic. Some teachers are using the book as a read-aloud in class with discussion afterward. Many others pair the book with current events, social action and writing assignments, or literature circle groups with discussion amongst themselves.

A6 This book reflects the lives of high school students universally – the struggle of fitting in or standing up, friendships, and parents. This book deals with identity, community, family and friendship, prejudice, privilege, roles and responsibilities, and social action. The complexities of the characters gives a powerful window into the lives of young adults. This book shows the process of becoming who you want to be, identity reconciliation, self-acceptance – a universal struggle for all.

A7 The Hate U Give gives us texts that students can use to connect to the real world, right now. One teacher suggested pairing the book with American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang, Sports Taboo by M. Gladwell, Moth Story by Hasan Minhaj, or Stick Fly by Lydia Diamond. Another suggested The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. Many others suggested using texts from the real world – newspaper articles, documentaries, and more.

A8 It’s important for students to be aware that The Hate U Give is a story that has happened to many in real life. Once they have read the book and understood the themes, students who are interested should further pursue this. One teacher suggested having their students capture stories of police brutality or racial profiling and share them widely. Students should have honest conversations with people who’ve had different experiences from them. But most of all, students should keep reading; reading is an act of activism, and this encourages students ideas and possibilities themselves.


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