Well, this is it.
Over the past year I have read over 100 books and discovered many stores and authors who inspired and motivated me. I’m going to take some time over the next week to reflect on the last 12 months.
For this week, I will have one last weekly update for you, and the book I have to share is a wonderful one. It is such a great example of what fiction can do, and a fabulous diverse book at that.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
This young adult book had already been given a lot of great press, but I finally got around to it recently and I am so happy I did. It might be a young adult book but the messages Thomas is communicating in this book are for everyone.
This is the story is Star, a young black girl from a poor neighborhood called Garden Heights who attends a private, mostly white school. This is also the story of what happens when she and her good friend are stopped by the police and her friend, a young black male, is shot.
Everyone should read this, and let me tell you why. This book tells its story from a perspective that most of us have never encountered, but it does in a way that draws you in. I fact, this was recommended to me by a woman who also told me that she didn’t like “Oprah’s book club, angry black people” books. Issues with that statement aside, this book was able to draw her in and was something she enjoyed, despite the fact that it actually falls firmly into the category of books she said she didn’t enjoy.
As for me, I loved this book. I loved the characters, I loved the premise, and I was blown away by Angie Thomas’s ability to talk about issues of race in a way that always felt personal and relevant to the plot. While I definitely think this should become required reading for high school students, I also think it is important for adults to read it as well, for adults to get a sense of what it means to be a young black person in today’s society.
What went well
Well, I finished a great book, and I am still processing the fact that this project is done. I am excited to not feel the pressure to read at least a book a week, and also excited to keep blogging, reading and talking about diversity in literature.
What did not go well
The last month has been a tough one for me in terms of reading, and I have not been super motivated. The fact I finished this project in that head-space isn’t something I am super happy about, and it does make it hard for me to really comprehend what this has meant to me.
What I am reading next week
I’m not sure yet!