The Hate U Give

This study guide will help you analyze the novel The Hate U Give (2017) by Angie Thomas. You can also find a summary of the text, as well as inspiration for interpreting it and putting it into perspective

Angie Thomas (b. 1988) is an African-American author who writes fiction for young adults. The Hate U Give was her debut novel. The book was developed from a short story she wrote in response to the death of Oscar Grant, a young African-American man who was shot dead by the police. The police officer involved was not found guilty of murder; protests were organized, some of which turned into riots. Thomas’ second book On the Come Up was published in 2019. The events of the novel are set in the same fictional neighborhood as The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give was a commercial success, and it also attracted controversy because of the use of strong language in a book for young adults and because of its difficult themes. In 2018, it was adapted into a movie version directed by George Tillman Jr. 


Here, you can read an extract from our study guide: 


Starr’s neighborhood Garden Heights is an important symbol in the novel. The name creates associations with nature and achievement, ironically highlighting how there is actually very little nature or prettiness in the neighborhood, which is unfairly trapped in cycles of poverty, crime, drug-use, and low achievement. Starr’s parents eventually move out of Garden Heights for the family’s safety, but they remain committed to helping the neighborhood to rebuild, to escape the gangs, and to fight for justice. 

Starr makes several references to the 1990s TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. In the TV show, Will, an African-American boy from a poor neighborhood, is sent to live with relatives in Bel-Air, a wealthy and mainly white area. Starr sees parallels between herself and Will, both of whom struggle to fit in at an expensive school. 

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The Hate U Give

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