The Hate U Give
by Angie Thomas
Thomas, A. (2017). The hate u give. New York: Balzer Bray. | a professional style review
In Angie Thomas’s debut novel, we are introduced to Starr Carter an African-American sixteen year old who lives between two worlds, her poor, black neighborhood where gangs, drugs, and gun violence are the norm, and her rich and predominantly white prep school where she changes the way she speaks and acts so as not to stand out. These two worlds that Starr has kept separate come crashing together when she witnesses her childhood friend, Khalil, being shot and killed by white police officer. As the sole witness, she is brought before a grand jury to tell the story of what happened so that they can decided whether or not to indict the officer. At the same time, protests and rallies are occurring throughout Starr’s neighborhood, and her schoolmates only see Khalil as a thug and drug dealer as portrayed by the media. Starr struggles with the loss of her friend and the rising tensions in her neighborhood and between herself and her friends.
VERDICT With quotes and scenes that echo the Black Lives Matter movement and the protests that have been occurring across the country, Thomas creates a believable and heartbreaking story that shows the aftermath of a police shooting. With a few characters, Thomas paints the difficulties of dealing with drug addiction, racism, poverty, and interracial relationships. As this novel is great learning tool, so too are the graphic novels March, written by Congressman John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, and illustrated by Nate Powell, which detail the Civil Rights movement though Congressman Lewis’s eyes.
- Publication date: February 28th, 2017
- Page count: 464
- Reading Level: Grade 9 and up
- ISBN: 9780062498533
- Price: $17.99
Nichijou (My Ordinary Life)
by Keiichi Arawi
Arawi, K. (2016). Nichijou, Vol. 1. New York, NY: Vertical, Incorporated. | a teen style review
Need a break from the fast paced action of Soul Reapers, Ninjas, and Pirates? Want something with a light humor and illustrates the life of a normal and ordinary life of high school students? Then try Nichijou, by Keiichi Arawi! Okay, “normal” and “ordinary” might not be the right words to use to describe this manga. You see your average everyday students like the cheerful Mio Naganohara, the energetic Yūko Aioi, and the stoic Mai Minakami. You then have characters like Nano Shinonome, a robot who tries to hide the fact that she is robot despite the fact she has a giant key sticking out of her back, and the wealthy president of the drama club, Sasahara, whose butler follows him around school. There are scenes that seem like could happen in your own school, such as a game of rock-papers-scissors, and then you see something truly bizarre, such as the principal fighting against a deer. Truly, this Ordinary Life is anything but.
- Publication date: March 29, 2016
- Page count: 200
- Reading Level: Grade 6 and up
- ISBN: 9781942993308
- Price: $10.72