The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas

It’s been three weeks and I am still thinking about this remarkable book. This story is told through the eyes of 16-year-old Starr Carter, who happened to be in the passenger seat of her childhood best friend and former crush Khalil’s car when he was shot and killed by a local police officer. Starr has a lot going on: negotiating her private school identity with the poor neighborhood she lives in, telling her father about her white boyfriend, and no17-angie-thomas-hate-you-give.w710.h473.2x.jpgw grieving the death of Khalil and deciding whether or not to reveal the fact that she was the “Girl Who Survived” this horrific incident.

Thomas was inspired to write the novel after the murder of Oscar Grant and the ensuing Black Lives Matter movement, and she effectively portrays a range of perspectives on police brutality while flushing out full, engaging characters. Starr’s narration at once intense, authentic, and hilarious. I laughed out loud when Starr describes her Grandma, and I cried thinking about the weight of Starr’s responsibility to herself and her community. The Hate U Give is a beautifully crafted story that manages to address a myriad of timely issues: the difficulty of navigating two separate worlds, the ways in which the media often vilifies and tries the victim, and the struggle between truth-telling and self-preservation. Stone skillfully reveals the complexity of these issues with both levity and depth. This book should be required reading for adults and young adults.

If you want to know more, check out Angie Thomas’ interview on NPR!

Review by Ms. Irby


Watched by Marina Budhos

Watched by Marina Budhos

Watched-When Naeem first arrived in the US he did all the right things – obeyed his parents, worked hard at school, hung out with the good kids. But now that he’s a senior in high school things aren’t going so well. Not only is he totally behind in school, but his so-marina_budhos_author_photo_credit_franck_goldberg_78c1833de7b4fc88870335fcc53a3df9.nbcnews-ux-2880-1000called friend sets him up to take the fall for a crime. Waiting to be booked Naeem is approached by two police officers who have a
proposal – instead of going to jail, he can pass information to the police about people in his community. Watching what people do doesn’t seem so bad, Naeem even thinks he is probably keeping people safe. But as he gets to know
both the watchers and the watched, Naeem realizes that playing for both sides is a sure way to get caught in the middle.

Review by Ms. Rosenkrantz

Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern

Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern

The thing I liked least about this book was the title. Th18599754e thing I liked most about this book was THIS BOOK! Say What You Will is what happens when Wonder gets to high school. This book affirms that we are all lovable and unlovable, regardless of where we are as people31a25S68fDL._UX250_ on the able-bodied, able-minded spectrum. Amy and Matthew begin to get to know each other when Matthew is hired by Amy’s parents as her peer-helper, because Amy needs help with many things – she has cerebral palsy, uses a walker and a computer voice box, and can’t eat solid foods. On the other hand she is hella smart, creative and determined to be a part of the high school experience. Matthew, while his body works just fine, has a mind that is constantly tricking him into doing things over and over again, counting and ordering and clearing. He has undiagnosed OCD which separates him from his peers. Their story is complicated, but isn’t love always?

Definitely check out this book if you enjoyed John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars or Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park.

Review by Ms. Rosenkrantz

Graffiti Moon

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

Image result for graffiti moonSenior year and graduation is over.  Daisy, Lucy and Jazz want a little adventure and fun.  Lucy thinks that it will come in the shape of the mural artist known as “Shadow”; if only she can find him.  Jazz wouldn’t mind finding his partner “Poet.” Daisy just wants to forget about her boyfriend who stupidly egged her after school.  Instead they wind up hanging out with Ed, Leo and Dylan (Daisy’s dumb boyfriend).  Told in alternating chapters by Ed and Lucy a story unfolds of loneliness, longing, fear and unanswered questions – and it all happens in one night. The characters are smart and funny as well as realistic and honest.

Review by Ms. Brenner