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Teen SRC 2020 – The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

“What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?” – Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is genuinely one of the most influential novels speaking out against racism written in our time. Especially now, in the times of people using their voice to campaign for what’s right, this book brings a whole new light to the controversial issues that have existed for generations.

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this novel is about a sixteen-year-old girl named Starr Carter who lives in two different worlds- a poor neighbourhood where she lives, and a fancy prep school she attends. Starr navigates through many feelings of grief after seeing her childhood best friend, Khalil, murdered by the police. When his death makes national headlines, Starr faces a choice that can change the entire community that surrounds her- does she defend her friend when confronted by a horrendous amount of outside pressures?

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Teen SRC 2019- Black Enough edited by Ibi Zoboi

Black Enough

Black Enough edited by Ibi Zoboi

Powerful, unique, and true. Black Enough is written by many different authors, and edited by National Book Award finalist Ibi Zoboi.

There can’t really be a synopsis about this book, because it comprises of 17 short stories about what it is like being young and black in America. The stories are diverse, powerful, and brutally honest. Some are full of light banter, but others are heavy and emotional. Some of my favourites were Half A Moon by Renée Watson, Warning: Color May Fade by Leah Henderson, The Ingredients by Jason Reynolds, Whoa! by Rita Williams-Garcia, Gravity by Tracey Baptiste and Hackathon Summers by Coe Booth. I found something special in all of the stories, though, and Black Enough was a beautiful read.

Because the stories were short, it was a relatively light read, and I give this book a 9/10. The only thing that slightly bothered me was that after every story, I had to adjust to the next story’s setting and characters faster than I would have to if I were starting a new novel. That can’t really be fixed, but if you have a tendency to dive deep into a story and immerse yourself in it, (like me) you’ll need to take a break between each short story. Nevertheless, I think Black Enough is an important collection of stories that everyone should read.