Monday, March 20, 2017

New Crop of Young Adult Novels Explores Race and Police Brutality | March 19, 2017

Book review | Race | Young adult novels

by Alexandra Alter


Students in Philadelphia waiting for an autograph from Angie Thomas, whose novel, “The Hate U Give,” won critical raves. Credit Mark Makela for The New York Times 
 
Angie Thomas started writing her young-adult novel, “The Hate U Give,” in reaction to a fatal shooting that took place some 2,000 miles away. But to her it felt deeply personal.

Ms. Thomas was a college student in Jackson, Miss., when a white transit police officer shot Oscar Grant III, an unarmed, 22-year-old African-American man, on a train platform in Oakland, Calif., in 2009. She was shocked when some of her white classmates said he had probably deserved it. She responded with a short story about a teenage girl who is drawn to activism after a white officer shoots her childhood best friend.

That story grew into a 444-page novel, as shootings of unarmed young black men continued.

Ms. Thomas worried that no one would publish a young-adult novel about such a raw and polarizing subject. Instead, 13 publishers bid in a frenzied auction. Balzer & Bray bought it in a two-book deal, and Fox 2000 optioned the film rights. Read more...
 
 

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