The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
April vacation week may be over (for better or worse), but don't let that get you down. Book club is Wednesday! Please join us to discuss The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.
Drop us a line and let us know if we can hope to see you!
1. Did you like this book?
2. Why create Starr as a partial outsider / partial "queen" of her neighborhood? How does that unique combo contribute to the importance of her voice?
3. What do you make of the title and reference to Tupac -- "The Hate U...Give Little Infants F---s Everybody"? (17) What is the significance of that name "thug"? ("You said it yourself, he thought Khalil was a drug dealer," Daddy says. "A thug. Why he assumed that though?" 52)
4. These days kids are asked to juggle their online identities (hashtags, Tumblr) and their real identities. Was there any equivalent inner struggle pre-internet?
5. This book is mostly dialogue. What do you make of that stylistic choice?
6. Who is Thomas's intended audience? Does she have an agenda? (I was particularly thinking of Starr's conversation with her dad - p167-171 - and again on p181: "If they [Starr's parents] break up, it'll be one more thing One-fifteen takes from me." Plus, mentioning the hard decision about whether moving away from Garden Heights means abandoning your people and the cause.)
7. Beyond the story, what do you make of Thomas's "rally cry" in the acknowledgements to "Be roses that grow in the concrete"? (According to Epicreads.com "Tupac penned a poem called “The Rose That Grew From Concrete.” It’s a metaphor for young people who grow up in bad situations but are still something to be in awe of. Angie attempted to make Starr, Seven, and all the characters in The Hate U Give roses in their own ways.")
8. When Starr finally spoke out in the interview were you proud of her or fearful for her? (p286-290)
9. What do you think of Starr's mom and how protective she is ("then Momma on top of us..." p317) compared to Tara Westover's mom who chooses not to act?
10. What did you make of Iesha? Was she always standing up for Seven -- or did she only help after Seven yelled at her at his graduation party?
11. Many of the characters serve to introduce a new point of view. Is there a point of view missing from the story that you wanted to hear? (Chris's parents? Maya's mom?)
12. How did she decide the timeline for the events -- When it Happens / Five Weeks After It (six weeks for grand jury) / Eight Weeks After It / Ten Weeks After It / Thirteen Weeks After It -- The Decision. Any basis in how long these cases typically take? (From a quick search of a couple of the cases, it seems this is a possible timeline, though most take much longer.)
13. Are police officers trained in making non-fatal shots in self-defense?
14. How does milk treat burns and smoke damage? (Some sites say the fat and protein content can soothe skin, but other sites warn that bacteria in milk can cause a skin infection.)
15. Is Starr going to be charged for throwing tear gas? How are arrests decided at protests?
16. How real were her characters and how natural the transition to the the list of names at the end, ending with Emmett Till! (1955, Money, MI)
Oscar Grant (2009), Oakland, CA
Aiyana Jones (2010), Detroit, MI
Trayvon Martin (2012), Sanford, FL
Rekia Boyd (2012), Chicago, IL
Michael Brown (2014), Ferguson, MO
Eric Garner (2014), Brooklyn, NY
Tamir Rice (2014), Cleveland, OH
John Crawford III (2014), Beavercreek, OH
Ezell Ford (2014), Florence, Los Angeles, CA
Sandra Bland (2015), Waller County, TX
Freddie Gray (2015), Baltimore, MD
Alton Sterling (2016), Baton Rouge, LA
Philando Castile (2016), Falcon Heights, MN
Thanks again to Lara for hosting our discussion of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas! The library just sent me a notice that the DVD is waiting for me -- I am excited to watch it this weekend and compare it to the book.
Thank you to Katie for introducing Angie Thomas' next book On the Come Up which seems to be a more personal tale.
Join us next month as we discuss Becoming by Michelle Obama.
Hope to see you there!
The Tipsy Mamas' Book Club is co-hosted by Corinne Foster and myself, though the spirit of our discussions is flavored by many readers.