Angie Thomas deserves our endless thanks for this urgently relevant book. She's told a heartbreaking, nuanced story about what happens when a young Black person is killed by the police, and how deep and far the ripple effects spread. When Starr Carter sees her friend Khalil shot, she is forced to choose between staying silent and protecting her family, or speaking up and fighting for Khalil's memory. All of the difficult questions that come up in this book are carefully and thoroughly considered, with incredible love, hope, humor, and courage. If you're feeling understandably discouraged by our current nightmare political reality, pick up this book--however old you are--and let Starr and her family, friends, and community remind you of what we're fighting for, and why.— From Christina
When an unarmed black teenager, Kahlil, is shot and killed by police during a traffic stop, his childhood best friend, Starr, is the only witness to his death, aside from the cop who killed him. After Khalil’s death, Starr is thrown into a world in which hashtags bring recognition but not justice. She is forced to confront the reactions and inactions of white society and the reality of the injustice that plagues black life in this country. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this fictional story is a poignant and necessary exploration of police brutality and racism in today’s America.— From Kim
A National Book Award Longlist title with eight starred reviews #1 New York Times Bestseller
"Absolutely riveting " --Jason Reynolds
"Stunning." --John Green
"This story is necessary. This story is important." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Heartbreakingly topical." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"A marvel of verisimilitude." --Booklist (starred review)
"A powerful, in-your-face novel." --The Horn Book (starred review)
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil's name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.
But what Starr does--or does not--say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.