These two YA novels are brutal and wonderful at the same time. I loved both of them and have so many students I want to hand them off to.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas - Starr witnesses the death of her friend, Kahlil, when he is shot by a police officer on their way home one night. Starr's recollection of events is much different than the officer's who tries to defend his choice to shoot Khalil. Starr is the only witness to the crime, trying to deal with her grief and the way the events are being portrayed by the press. Thomas writes this book in such an honest way. The language is rough, but I felt it was accurate to the teens in this situation. The novel was inspired by the Black Lives Matter Movement, and may very well end up on required reading lists in high schools. Such an important story. Amazon has nearly one thousand five star reviews - and this book is so deserving of every one of those.
Dear Martin by Nic Stone- Honestly, this book felt as amazing to me as The Hate U Give. Written in a boy's perspective, Justyce is a black teenager attending a mostly white prep school. He's smart and has a lot going for him, yet he is becoming quickly aware that the color of his skin matters more than he ever thought possible. Stone covers some tough topics: affirmative action, filling quotas, guilt based on the color of skin - she doesn't shy away from anything. This is another novel that could easily make it's way onto required reading lists. I found myself nodding my head to the points brought up in this novel and still can't stop thinking about it.
These two books nicely compliment each other. They cover some tough topics and do it well. Be sure to add these to your TBR list.