Through a tightrope balancing act, Starr Carter has managed to keep her two worlds apart: there’s Garden Heights, the neighborhood she’s grown up in that she won’t let anyone but herself call “ghetto,” and then there’s Williamson, the predominantly white prep school she attends. In Garden Heights, she’s freer with using slang and showing attitude; at Williamson Prep, she carefully measures her slang and limits her attitude so she doesn’t come across as a “sassy black girl.” But when a white police officer shoots and kills Starr’s childhood friend Khalil right in front of her, Starr finds the two worlds she’s worked so hard to keep apart suddenly colliding beyond her control. Khalil’s death becomes national news, tension rises between rival gangs in Garden Heights, Starr’s parents argue about whether to stay in Garden Heights or move their family to a safer neighborhood, the police want Starr to give a statement about what happened to Khalil, and Starr has to face many uncomfortable questions. Is it true that Khalil was dealing drugs, and did he really join a gang? Is it a betrayal to all the black men in her life that Starr has a white boyfriend? Can she really trust any of her Williamson friends? How can she be proud of where she comes from when so many tragic things have happened there to people she loves? And most important of all, will Starr have the courage to make her voice heard when it matters most?I don’t need to point out that many of the issues Starr faces in this book have been front and center in recent media and online discussions: systemic racism, police brutality and racial profiling against black men, lack of affordable housing and job opportunities for people of color, the cycle of poverty and limited economic opportunity that pressures many black men into gangs and drug dealing, code switching between racial cultures, the challenges of interracial relationships, and the damage that racial slurs can do. But just as a picture is worth a thousand words, a compellingly written novel is worth a thousand blog posts. In The Hate U Give, author Angie Thomas paints a powerful picture of what it’s actually like to see your best friend killed by a police officer and the tremendous courage it takes to live with that. Besides tragedy, though, there’s also a lot of heart and even some humor sprinkled throughout Starr’s story. Starr is so much more than what happens to her, and her journey to prove this is a deeply moving read.