Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and the her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.
Read the book, watch the movie, or do both. Just make sure this important story isn’t missed.
The main character, Starr, is only nine years old when her father gives her The Talk – instruction on how to behave when (not if!) she has a negative encounter with police. From here, it is clear how differently young black Americans can be treated and why this needs to be discussed. When her friend does not follow these rules, he is shot by a police officer and Starr’s segmented life begins to unravel. The choices and emotions she is faced with as the story progresses makes for an intense look at themes of racism, violence, family, and the effects of history on future generations.
Angie Thomas’ book is in our YA collection but both the book and movie are also recommended for adults. If you are a parent wondering if they would be suitable for your child, check out the reviews and information on Commonsense Media.
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