Angie Thomas Looks Forward to Readers' Love for ‘The Hate U Give' at the North Texas Teen Book Festival

IRVING — Angie Thomas knew the code. She knew how to use different words, expressions and inflections when she traveled from the struggling neighborhood where she lived to Belhaven University, the private college in Jackson, Miss., where she earned a bachelor's degree in creative writing. She listened to Tupac Shakur at home and switched to the Jonas Brothers at school. When fellow students made hurtful remarks, she kept quiet.Then a police officer in Oakland, Calif., shot and killed a 22-year-old unarmed black man named Oscar Grant III on the platform of a Bay Area Rapid Transit station in the early morning hours of New Year's Day 2009. Thomas was angry and frustrated when some of her white friends disparaged Grant and dismissed the tragedy as if the young man's death was his fault. She wrote a short story about a 16-year-old girl, Starr Carter, who gingerly juggles life in black-and-white worlds until she loses a dear friend, a young black man, to a police shooting."The only way I knew how to speak up was to write," Thomas says. That story evolved into the book, The Hate U Give, which became an immediate best-seller in 2017 and won the 2018 William C. Morris Award, the Michael L. Printz Award, a Coretta Scott King Award Honor and the Waterstones Children's Book Prize. Thomas will be among the 76 authors sharing her work at the North Texas Teen Book Festival in Irving April 20-21.  Continue reading...

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