Hi dear friends,
Our book of the month in the Banned Book Club was The Hate U Give by Angy Thomas
It was a re-read for me but I loved it the second time even more than the first time!
But first, why was this book on our list or in other words, why has it been banned?
Following The Boston Globe post that you can find HERE
“Representatives from the Katy Independent School District said Monday that the book has been pulled from school library shelves, but it has not been officially banned. A review process is currently underway regarding the book’s status after a parent complained of “pervasive’’ inappropriate language in the book.”
So basically it has been banned from a texa school due to foul language and use of drugs in the book.
Now you all should know that this book has around 150.000 ratings on Goodreads ….
For those who lived under a rock (kidding here but ..barely) this is the synopsis
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban 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. Khalil was unarmed.
Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.
But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.
And now ladies and gents…my Review
5 stars (again)
This time around I knew what to expect but what stroke me once again was how Star was divided between two worlds and the hard choice she had to make.
As I said in my first review this was Starr’s story.
And what a story!
She was torn between two worlds: her home world in her “colored” neighborhood and her school’s world in a “white school”.
Struggled to maintain dual personality: one at home in Garden Heights with some slang and typical food and the one at her “white people” school well behaved, following others, etc. It must have been exhausting and confusing for Starr. Who was she really?
With this topic also comes the problems of interracial relationships and all the preconceived notions about it. How people judge you if you dare loving someone with another skin color. Starr is dating “white” Chris and she can’t help noticing other people looking their way when they’re walking on the street. He should be with a white, blonde and rich girl. Not with black and poor Starr.
Now I have to say that Chris was a model boyfriend! God did I love that boy!
For every doubt Starr had about their relationship Chris made it with his unwavering love and determination to show her how incredible he was. Praise for Chris as he did not have one preconceived thought about Starr and he stood his ground. He wanted Starr and no one else! How he’ll show his support and determination in the end!
The book also broaches very contemporary topics as fearing the ones supposed to protect you due to their biased views on your personality if you have the “wrong” skin color! Or killing someone based on fear and the action you expect from such “kind” of people.
The roots of the problem are fear. “White” people have preconceived ideas about poor black people (and that could be any minority really) that make them perceive these people as threat. Once the fear is present accidents happen or even willing shooting.
When you have desperate poor people kept in poverty as they only are offered menial and underpaid jobs these people get angry. It does not ask for much to ignite a spark and have the powder keg explode.
This is also about courage and finding your voice. Starr has witnessed something traumatizing. Her childhood friend was killed under her eyes when he did nothing wrong. She’s been threatened as well. She now fears those meant to protect people. Police officers did not play a good role in this story neither did the “white justice”. Starr was the sole witness but telling the truth was dangerous for her and her family. What would I do being in her shoes? Would I be brave and honor my friend’s memory asking justice? Risking my life and my family’s security? Would I stay silent to protect those I love? But then how would I live with a guilty conscience?
Starr does not think she is brave as she is frightened. What her parents tell her is being brave is not being fearless but doing the right thing even when we are frightened.
Starr felt real, true to many black teenagers. She took me by the hand and made me follow her in every ordeal she experienced.
Some favorite quotes
“Whoa, wait a second,” Momma says. “Are y’all putting Khalil and Starrr on trial or the cop who killed him?”
“There are pictures of me and him from years ago and one with us and Natasha. All three of us smile, trying to look gangster with our peace signs. The Hood Trio, tighter than the inside of Voldemort’s nose. Now I’m the only one left.”
“That’s why people are speaking out, huh? Because it won’t change if we don’t say something?” “Exactly. We can’t be silent.”
“Brave doesn’t mean you’re not scarred, Starr, ”she says. “It means you go on even though you’re scarred. And you’re doing that.”
Have you read it? Do you get why a school decided to ban it?
Happy Friday and thanks for reading!