So, you just finished reading Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give. If you’re anything like me, you’re nursing an enormous emotional hangover and you aren’t ready to let that story go yet. Never fear! Here are your next steps.
I want to know more about Angie Thomas, this story, and how T.H.U.G. came to be
A great first stop is Angie Thomas’ interview with Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, which you can listen to or read here. Thomas speaks about some of her experiences with code-switching, responses to police brutality headlines, and love for Tupac, all of which informed her debut novel.
“And I looked at Khalil because I know Khalils. I see Khalils every single day. I grew up with Khalils who have made decisions that may not be the best. But at the time when Khalil is in his last moments of his life, his past should not have an effect on what happens to him in that moment. So Khalil is a combination of a lot of what we see with young black men, particularly, when they lose their lives.”
Angie Thomas also gave an interview with Deesha Philyaw of Ebony that delves deeper into the influence of Thomas’ background on her writing. It includes some particularly interesting discussion about Thomas’ choice to center a BLM-inspired novel on a black female instead of a young man:
“You see a lot of organizations—and this is not me criticizing, I’m thankful for these organizations—but you see a lot of organizations cropping up that are offering mentorships and emotional support for young Black boys in response to what we see, but Black girls are affected as well. Young Black girls are being criminalized as well. Young Black girls are more likely to be suspended than White girls. We’re seeing young Black girls attacked by police officers while they’re sitting at their desk at school…
“And I don’t see a lot of Black girls [as characters] in YA. They get overlooked so often, and they are frustrated. But you know what? They are also speaking out. I’m seeing young Black girls start their own movements and organizations and activism… We’re seeing Black girls find their voice, so why not give them a mirror to see themselves?”
You can also read this Publisher’s Weekly article about The Hate U Give’s journey from a short story and a tweet to a bidding war between a dozen publishing houses and a six-figure book deal.
This story is amazing. This should be a movie!
You’re in luck! If you somehow haven’t heard, Amandla Stenberg (known to YA fans as Hunger Game’s Rue and Everything, Everything’s Maddy) is Starring (get it?) in a film version later this year.
Fox 2000 optioned the film rights before the book was even published, and George Tillman is directing. We already have a trailer!
I want to read another YA novel that addresses police brutality and modern American racism
These three recent releases might be a good place to start:
Dear Martin – Nic Stone
American Street – Ibi Zoboi
Love, Hate, & Other Filters – Samira Ahmed
Angie Thomas is a brilliant writer. I want to read another one of her books!
Tragically, The Hate U Give is Thomas’ only novel at this moment.
But don’t despair! On the Come Up, Thomas’ sophomore title, is scheduled for release in early 2019. Look – it even has a cover!
In the meantime, you should follow Thomas on Twitter. She’s a delight.