Monday, July 10, 2017

THE HATE U GIVE by Angie Thomas: Week One Discussion & Challenge

Welcome to the first week of discussion for THE HATE U GIVE by Angie Thomas!  I am so excited to start discussing this one with you, but first I have got to know what your initial thoughts are about the book.  Are you enjoying it?  Do you feel it is a page-turner?  Does it make you have certain feelings or thoughts while reading it?

Now, for the official discussion questions.  This month, I have decided to try something a little different.  I have listed one question per chapter.  I wanted to break down this book into a little more detail, and it gives the extra added perk of being able to answer questions at your own reading pace.  As per the usual chatter, I encourage you to answer any or all of the questions, whichever may strike your discussion fancy.

CHAPTER 1:  Our main character Starr writes, "Funny how it works with white kids though.  It's dope to be black until it's hard to be black." (11)  What do you think she means with this statement?

CHAPTER 2:  Starr had two talks growing up:  the birds and the bees and the other being what to do if she was ever stopped by a cop.  She hoped Khalil had that talk too.  Comment.

CHAPTER 3:  The day after the shooting, life goes on as usual.  How do you find Starr coping?  How about those around her?

CHAPTER 4:  Starr wakes to find her Daddy and Uncle Carlos fighting about whether she should report her evidence from the night of Khalil's death.  Take one side of this argument and share your own thoughts on what Starr should do.

CHAPTER 5:  We get to see the other side of Starr - Williamson Starr.  Out of the blue, both worlds collide as she is talking to her boyfriend, Chris.  She has a flashback of the night Khalil dies.  Discuss both the separation and the collision of her worlds.

CHAPTER 6:  This chapter ends with "This gonna be some bullshit."  What feelings does this incite?

CHAPTER 7:  "Chris didn't pull us over, he didn't shoot Khalil, but am I betraying who I am by dating him?" (106)  What thoughts and/or feelings does this quote leave you with?

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WEEKLY CHALLENGE

As I mentioned in the introduction post, each week I am going to leave you with a challenge.  Some of these challenges will encourage you to act.  Others will simply encourage you to ponder.  Hopefully, all of them will challenge you to consider where you are currently at, what you believe, and how you can make this world a little better place.

This week, share other books addressing social justice topics.  You may share by listing titles in the comments.  You can share recommendations on social media or give personal recommendations.  Then, take it one step further and consider . . . What will you do to take those social justice issues beyond the book?

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Next week, we will be chatting about Chapters 8-12.  Don't forget to share your thoughts, comments, and challenges using the hashtag #12mos12rals!

5 comments :

  1. Between the World and Me is a wonderful read that will definitely make you think; I also recommend Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine.

    CHAPTER 1: Our main character Starr writes, "Funny how it works with white kids though. It's dope to be black until it's hard to be black." (11) What do you think she means with this statement?

    Perhaps similarly, when new kids came to our school, they were automatically considered cool because no one knew them. Being black is foreign in her school; she's a mystery to them, and they think she can make them seem cooler. But it's more than that, it's a comment on how people treat you one way to your face but behind your back they may be thinking something else...like her "friend." In many ways, she also has to be careful to stay in the right identity that is considered "cool" and not stray too far from what "white" people consider to be acceptable "black" behavior. (This really makes me angry, by the way -- can't people just be themselves)

    CHAPTER 2: Starr had two talks growing up: the birds and the bees and the other being what to do if she was ever stopped by a cop. She hoped Khalil had that talk too. Comment.

    It is really disheartening to know that this is a conversation black families must have with their children even today. This came up in Between the World and Me as well. The most discussion I ever had about the police was to respect them and do what they told you.

    CHAPTER 3: The day after the shooting, life goes on as usual. How do you find Starr coping? How about those around her?

    Starr is trying to go on like nothing has happened, but you can see that the event has hit her hard. She witnessed something that is absolutely horrific and devastating. Until this point, she may have thought she'd been leading two lives -- one at home and one at school -- but now it is a reality to her. It shakes her confidence and leads her to pay closer attention to her school life and the interactions she has. Her community is stunned and angered. They want justice.

    CHAPTER 4: Starr wakes to find her Daddy and Uncle Carlos fighting about whether she should report her evidence from the night of Khalil's death. Take one side of this argument and share your own thoughts on what Starr should do.

    Starr definitely should step forward and speak about what happened. It's a hard choice to make given the drug dealers, etc., but unless brave voices speak out and share all of the facts, nothing will change ever. Those stories will go unheard and disappear from the larger narrative. Society cannot improve without full participation and accountability.

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    1. Serena ... Between the World and Me is one that I've been eyeing for so long. I really just need to grab it and read!

      You know, I can relate what you say about the new kids at my school (but I went to a little school, so anything new was quite an anomaly!). And, I agree that acting a certain way to fit in makes me angry too. But, it is a reality! I know I did it for a while before finally breaking away. I felt free when I did, but I see so many kids feeling that they have to do this.

      I've got so much more to stay, but I'm going to comment below with more of my thoughts!!

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  2. Definitely adding to my TBR

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    1. Cal ... I'm only a little way in, and I definitely recommend it!

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  3. First things first, I have to share one of my favorite books that I read this year and I want to shout from the rooftops that everyone reads it ... The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. It is so important for so, so many reasons. Now, for the questions ...

    CHAPTER 1: I think Starr means that there are parts of being black that are glorified and everyone wants in on the action, but when it gets hard they turn away. They don't want to deal with the repercussions of our history or the large population living in poverty and violence to name a few.

    CHAPTER 2: Unfortunately, I have heard this too often, and it breaks my heart and angers me. Some people don't want to believe it, but recent events really make me wonder if more families are having this conversation more and more.

    CHAPTER 3: I don't think anyone knows exactly how to cope. They try to go on as usual, but they are all discovering how impossible that is going to be.

    CHAPTER 4: I think she needs to share. An injustice was done and needs to be righted (as much as it can be at this point). BUT, she needs to have a support system both in and out of the police force. It's a difficult situation without the already complicated situation.

    CHAPTER 5: The separation of her worlds has really helped her cope and survive two very different worlds. And now, those walls that she has built are breaking down little by little. With this collision, she doesn't know what to think. Everything she has known is being questioned. And, I think those walls are going to fall even more and more issues are going to arise before any of this is finalized.

    CHAPTER 6: I felt so sick at the end of this chapter. I was angry because I could see what they were seeing. Judgments and decisions seemed to be already made without having the entire story. And, my heart broke a little bit because this family was already suffering and the end of this chapter was telling me that only more suffering is about to come.

    CHAPTER 7: The quote leaves me with so many mixed feelings. One, she begins to generalize her boyfriend to the cop, despite knowing that he was not like that. Yet, she brings up a legitimate question of betrayal. I almost feel like her body is truly ripping apart from all of this internal and external conflict. And, I just want to figure out a way to hold her together until she can figure it out.

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