Powell's anniversary list: 1971-2021
Hot new releases and under-the-radar gems for adults and kids.
The Hate U Give has left such an indelible mark on YA fiction and the culture at large that it is hard to believe it was only published four years ago. This powerful, nuanced, and inspiring story of personal struggle amidst injustice and societal upheaval was both propelled by, and a catalyst for, current events. It wasn’t the first young adult book to speak truth to power — YA is a genre primed for such statements — but in speaking directly to the moment it opened the door for an explosion of YA fiction unafraid to demand action and young readers determined to do the same. It lives up to every accolade and bit of hype it has received. Recommended By Sarah R., Powells.com
I can't stop telling people to read The Hate U Give. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, the novel is about Starr Carter, who is the sole witness to a blatant injustice and now has to navigate the aftermath. Her struggle between speaking up and preserving her (and her amazing family's) safety is painful, but it is an important and timely narrative that needs to be discussed by everyone. Recommended By Brianna B., Powells.com
Y'all. This book is so, so, so good. Not only does it paint a realistic picture inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, it is also about family, friendship, dating, socioeconomics, and coming of age in the cross-cultural world that is America. I'm telling you, read it, especially those of you who, like me, didn't grow up in a black home. Angie Thomas is a force to be reckoned with, and this book hits readers where it hurts. Oh, and an extra .5 stars for her main character who is obsessed with Harry Potter.
5.5 stars. I don't care if that's not a thing. Recommended By Andy A., Powells.com
It's rare I'm able to get through an entire novel in just one day, but The Hate U Give is a book that's impossible to put down. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, The Hate U Give follows Starr Carter after she witnesses a childhood friend shot to death by a police officer. As Starr navigates the fallout in both her all-black neighborhood and her mostly white high school, author Angie Thomas brings a deep, nuanced look into the anti-Black violence beyond police brutality. With a strong voice and complex characters, The Hate U Give is an engaging, emotional look into a polarizing issue. Recommended By Carrie L., Powells.com
Engrossing, painful, galvanizing, and necessary, The Hate U Give is a powerhouse of a book, destined to become a classic and deserving of every bit of praise it’s received. I suggest buying three copies — one to keep, one to ruin (either with tears or by hurling it angrily across the room), and one to share. Recommended By Tove H., Powells.com
For the past several months, I've been recommending The Hate U Give as "the Black Lives Matter YA book" — because this is a powerful, nuanced introduction to the movement, and that's more than enough reason to recommend it! But this book stuck with me for so many other reasons. I loved all of the characters, and especially the protagonist, Starr. Her coming-of-age story is touching and believable; I haven't rooted so hard for a character in a long time. This book should be required reading. Recommended By Ashleigh B., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Angie Thomas' searing debut about an ordinary girl in extraordinary circumstances addresses issues of racism and police violence with intelligence, heart, and unflinching honesty. Soon to be a major motion picture from Fox 2000/Temple Hill Productions.
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.
"This story is necessary. This story is important." Kirkus (Starred Review)
"A powerful, in-your-face novel." Horn Book (Starred Review)
"Beautifully written in Starr’s authentic first-person voice, this is a marvel of verisimilitude as it insightfully examines two worlds in collision. An inarguably important book that demands the widest possible readership." Booklist (Starred Review)
"Angie Thomas has written a stunning, brilliant, gut-wrenching novel that will be remembered as a classic of our time." John Green, bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars
"As we continue to fight the battle against police brutality and systemic racism in America, The Hate U Give serves as a much needed literary ramrod. Absolutely riveting!" Jason Reynolds, bestselling coauthor of All American Boys
"Starr's voice commands attention from page one....Thomas’s story is heartbreakingly topical." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
About the Author
Angie Thomas was born, raised, and still resides in Jackson, Mississippi. She is a former teen rapper whose greatest accomplishment was having an article about her in Right On! magazine. She holds a BFA in creative writing. The Hate U Give is her first novel.
Powell's Staff on PowellsBooks.Blog
At first the blurbs didn’t really bother us. It’s the inside of the book that counts, after all, and some authors are downright craftsmen of succinct hyperbole...