Read stories about people who are not like you

The Hate You Give

I am uncomfortable reviewing The Hate U Give. It’s a YA book about a black teenager who lives in a not-great neighborhood whose friend is killed by a police officer one night on their way home from a party. I am a middle-aged white woman who lives in the suburbs. I don’t know this world for squat.

It’s why I read it though. Diversity matters, inclusivity matters. Reading books about people who are not like me is the point. How else do I learn? And so I picked it up. And I learned more about Tupac and the Black Panthers and what it is like to have society constantly tell you how terrible you are when you are not terrible at all.

Which, it should be said, is not the point of the book – it’s not an explainer for white people, nor should it be. The author says:

But then I just took a chance and asked him if the topic of Black Lives Matter was appropriate for a young adult book.

So here’s what I am comfortable saying: I learned. I would have read it in one sitting but I started it at 8pm and┬ásleeping is more important than a good book. So I read it in two sittings. It is compelling.