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The Hate U Give Book Summary

by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give

Angie Thomas


Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter navigates two worlds: the poor, mostly Black neighborhood where she lives and the wealthy, mostly white 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. As Starr grapples with her grief and trauma, she’s also thrust into the center of a national controversy, forced to find her voice and fight for justice.

Table of contents

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Author & Writing Background

Angie Thomas is an American young adult author, best known for her debut novel, The Hate U Give. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Thomas’s writing explores themes of racism, police brutality, and social justice. Her powerful storytelling and authentic characters have resonated with readers worldwide, making her a leading voice in contemporary young adult literature.

Key Takeaways

Code Switching

Starr constantly switches between her ‘Garden Heights’ self and her ‘Williamson’ self, highlighting the challenges of navigating different social environments and the pressure to conform.

Police Brutality and Racial Injustice

The central event of Khalil’s death exposes the systemic racism and police brutality faced by Black communities, prompting Starr to confront these issues head-on.

Finding Your Voice

Starr’s journey is one of self-discovery and empowerment, as she learns to embrace her identity and speak out against injustice despite fear and pressure.

Importance of Community

The book emphasizes the strength and support found within Starr’s family and community, showcasing the power of collective action in the face of adversity.

Grief and Trauma

Starr’s emotional journey through grief and trauma is realistically portrayed, highlighting the psychological impact of violence and loss.

Activism and Social Change

The story inspires readers to become active participants in creating social change and advocating for justice and equality.

Media and Public Perception

The book critiques the media’s role in shaping public opinion and perpetuating stereotypes, particularly regarding Black victims of police violence.

Hope and Resilience

Despite the darkness and pain, the book ultimately offers a message of hope and resilience, emphasizing the power of individuals to make a difference.

FAQ about The Hate U Give

Is The Hate U Give based on a true story?

While the book is not based on a specific event, it is inspired by the real-life experiences of Black Americans and the Black Lives Matter movement.

What is the significance of the title?

The title is taken from rapper Tupac Shakur’s tattoo, ‘THUG LIFE,’ which stands for ‘The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody.’ It reflects the cyclical nature of violence and hate in society.

What age group is the book appropriate for?

The book is generally recommended for ages 14 and up due to its mature themes and content.

Has The Hate U Give been adapted into a movie?

Yes, the book was adapted into a critically acclaimed film in 2018.

The Hate U Give Quotes

  • ”What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?"
  • "Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right."
  • "Brave doesn’t mean you’re not scared. It means you go on even though you’re scared.”