Amber Randall, DCNF
More young adult novels are choosing to address issues like Black Lives Matter, racism and police brutality.
Newer teen novels put the issues at the center of their books, reports The New York Times.
“The Hate U Give,” written by black author Angie Thomas, debuted as a New York Times Young Adult bestseller and was met with a flurry of rave reviews.
Thomas’ novel deals with the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager. The novel’s main character, Starr, witnesses a police officer gun down her friend.
Another novel, “Tyler Johnson Was Here,” focuses on a black teenager who loses his twin to a police shooting. Author Jay Coles wrote the novel after George Zimmerman fatally shot Trayvon Martin in 2012.
“For me, specifically for black teenagers, it’s a reflection of what we’re facing right now,” Coles said. Little Brown Books for Young Readers recently purchased his novel.
Some librarians see the novels as a good way for students to learn about Black Lives Matter.
“Kids have so many questions, and they want to engage on these topics. We kind of shy away from the notion that this is a fact of life for our kids,” librarian Deborah Taylor said.
A few other teen books on police brutality and race relations are slated to be released later this year. “Dear Martin,” written by Nic Stone, discusses the lives of two black boys who are shot at by an off-duty police officer during a traffic stop.
“Ghost Boys,” due to be released next spring, centers around a black boy’s ghost and the other ghosts of black men.
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Preview of ‘The Hate You Give’: