The Hate U Give is released everywhere today, October 19th, and many critics are calling it one of the best films of the year. The film is based on a novel of the same name by up and coming young adult novelist Angie Thomas. THUG has changed the game in young adult fiction by showing the realities of being black in modern America; here are five books you should read after watching the movie.
Allegedly by Tiffany Jackson
Synopsis: Mary has been accused and convicted of killing a baby, but must overturn it to keep her unborn child.
Why: How the juvenile system and mental health care has failed young black girls through the eyes of one such girl.
Dear Martin by Nic Stone
Synopsis: A black teenager uses a journal to Martin Luther King to grapple with his new school and the trials of being black and male.
Why: Connects the seemingly far away figure of MLK to the modern plight that black teenage boys face
Pride by Ibi Zoboi
Synopsis: A modern Pride and Prejudice retelling set in a neighborhood in Brooklyn
Why: Tackles themes such as gentrification and identity using a classic plot with diverse characters.
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Synopsis: In a fantasy world based on Nigerian myths, a young girl must face her fears and her powers to bring magic back to her kingdom.
Why: Tackles systematic oppression and colorism in a non-Western fantasy setting – It’s also being turned into a movie by 20th Century Fox!
On The Come Up by Angie Thomas
Synopsis: Another novel by Thomas, coming out February 2019, about a young black girl who uses rap to deal with the struggles of poverty.
Why: Takes rap music, a central part of black American life, and gives it a place in the YA genre.
BONUS: When They Call You A Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors, Asha Bendele, Angela Davis (Forward)
Chronicles the conception of the movement that has inspired so many conversations, articles, and novels. It also tells the story of how black people are set up to fail from birth and has a Forward written by one of the most important icons of the modern black liberation movement, Angela Davis.
While this is not a young adult novel, or even a work of fiction, this is a must read for anyone who wants to understand the BLM movement.