Hard topics are just that: hard. But here’s the thing, I never want that to stop me from engaging and discussing important topics and issues. As I’ve said so many times before, fiction is one way to open that door and this book… Y’all. Please read it.
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.
But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.
This is definitely one way to debut into the publishing world! I can see why this has been on the NYT Bestselling list for weeks. This book is formative, educational and too important not to read. Thomas does an excellent job of bringing a story we too often see on the news. The characters are real and the story fully draws you in.
And even with such a heavy topic, Thomas did an excellent job of keeping the story focused on the people. You couldn’t help but to become connected to each one and their relationships with each other. There were actually plenty of times I laughed at one liners from Starr or her parents and other family. She kept bringing it back to being human.
I definitely recommend this book for all to read. I think it would especially be an excellent book club selection. It’s great for discussion.
Have y’all heard of this book?
(Heads up: Some language)