#ThursdayReads: Angie Thomas

Angie Thomas was born, raised, and still resides in Jackson, Mississippi. Her debut novel The Hate U Give is a #1 New York Times Bestseller and was acquired by the Balzer + Bray imprint of HarperCollins Publishers in a 13-house auction. It has received starred reviews from 8 literary journals, one of the highest amounts received for a young adult novel, and will be published in over 20 countries. The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly both called it required reading. Film rights have been optioned by Fox 2000 and Temple Hill Productions with George Tillman attached to direct and Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg attached to star.

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Thomas’s searing debut about an ordinary girl in extraordinary circumstances addresses issues of racism and police violence with intelligence, heart, and unflinching honesty. Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter navigates between the poverty-stricken neighborhood she has grown up in and the upper-crust suburban prep school she attends. Her life is up-ended when she is the sole witness to a police officer shooting her best friend, Khalil, who turns out to have been unarmed during the confrontation – but may or may not have been a drug dealer. As Starr finds herself even more torn between the two vastly different worlds she inhabits, she also has to contend with speaking her truth and, in the process, trying to stay alive herself.

Thomas holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Belhaven University and an unofficial degree in Hip Hop. She is an inaugural winner of the Walter Dean Myers Grant 2015, awarded by We Need Diverse Books.

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