'The Hate U Give' is Next Selection for One Book, One Community Project

Angie Thomas
Photo Courtesy Angie Thomas website

Angie Thomas

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas, a novel based on the author’s life in Jackson, Mississippi and inspired by issues related to the Black Lives Matter movement, is the 2018 selection for the University of Arkansas One Book, One Community project.

The 2017 novel is still a New York Times best seller on its “young adult” list since coming out over a year ago.

The novel tells the story of 16 year-old Starr Carter, who lives in an inner city neighborhood while attending a suburban prep school. These separate worlds collide when she is the only witness when a police officer shoots her best friend – who was unarmed, but may have been dealing drugs. Starr must decide whether to speak out, even if it puts her world and her life in danger.

“This is a novel that eloquently weaves together a number of contemporary themes, while at the same time forcing the reader to confront a national controversy,” said Kevin Fitzpatrick, chair of the One Book, One Community committee. “I think we’ve all learned that “young adult” is a marketing label that does not necessarily reflect literary quality. The committee members agreed that this book could fit nicely into a college curriculum, while also appealing to a wider audience of readers across the Northwest Arkansas community.”

Fitzpatrick said the committee made an extra effort this year to select a book in time for faculty to have the opportunity to add it to the reading lists for their courses.

“We hope that the U of A faculty who are offering courses that address current social isssues, contemporary literature, race in society, and related subjects will add this book to their curriculum for the fall semester. We encourage high school teachers in the Northwest Arkansas community to consider it as appropriate reading for their students as well,  to create important conversations around this part of the 21st century social narrative in America.”

Angie Thomas has lived her life in Jackson, Mississippi. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Belhaven University. She is an inaugural winner of the Walter Dean Myers Grant 2015, awarded by We Need Diverse Books. Thomas is a former teen rapper and takes the title for her book from Tupac Shakur’s “Thug Life” concept. Her book has been made into a feature length film which has a planned mass release to the public sometime this fall.

Thomas will speak at the U of A on Thursday, Oct. 25 and at the Gathering of the Groups at the Fayetteville Public Library the following day as part of the One Book, One Community program.

Contacts

Kevin M. Fitzpatrick, Committee Chair
Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice
479-575-3777, kfitzpa@uark.edu

Steve Voorhies, manager of media relations
University Relations
479-575-3583, voorhies@uark.edu

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