Thug Life

The blog title refers to my latest read- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.  My library social media feeds have been bringing up this book repeatedly, so I had to check it out.

Verdict is- the hype is well-deserved.  After finishing, I couldn’t help but imagine how incredible it would be to read with a class if I was still teaching English.  The conversations among students would be amazing because there is SO much to discuss.  The story includes the main plots of police brutality, gang life (including the various reasons someone may become involved in it), family, friendship, depth of character and conversations, pop culture (the shoes, the TV references, music).  Themes such as standing up and speaking out for what is right, coping through life’s tragedies, self-identity, and so much more!

These characters jumped off the page for me with the writer’s attention to detail.  One example is Starr’s cute superstitions while watching LeBron play basketball.  I found myself laughing at so many of her family’s exchanges.  Yet, while being able to laugh, there is the plot of Starr as witness to her friend’s brutal murder at the hands of a police officer.  She must figure out how willing she is to become a visible and vocal witness of this murder, and how it will affect her friendships at the mostly white school that she attends.  The main story is hope for justice and equality.

This book will make you think and feel on so many levels.  It’s a conversation starter and it’s a conversation that I would enjoy having with students, adults or anyone interested.

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