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Book Review: The Hate U Give

Updated: Oct 30, 2018

By Rachel Reynolds

The Hate U Give is a well written story following an African-American teenager who has no choice but to face the reality of racism and police brutality in her everyday life.

Unfortunately, since the book confronts such current and real racial issues, The Hate U Give has found resistance in some communities across the United States. Parents and teachers believe that kids should be sheltered from the reality within our unjust society. This includes banning books that are often written by or about the LGBTQ community and/or people of color because their experiences do not fit the lives of white, middle-class Americans.

The Hate U Give is being banned or “challenged” because of its explicit language and harsh content. The book is genuine and real. Having read it, I believe that this book is important and necessary for everyone, especially kids our age. We need to be educated on these things, not isolated from our own community.

This book is among many other popular books that have received pushback due to explicit language, harsh or sexually inappropriate content, derogatory terms and implications, etc. For example, some classics such as To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, have all been banned for some possible cause of discomfort to society. And they are now all considered necessary classics.

Specifically in Katy, Texas, students are fighting back by signing petitions for the restoration of the book. Not only are parents and teachers worried but in South Carolina, a police department has requested that The Hate U Give be taken off the high school reading list because they believe the book teaches students not to trust the police.

There is quite some controversy over this book and its content... but it is popular for a reason! It’s an amazing, well-written book and I’d strongly encourage students to read it before watching the movie.


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