12 Best Books Like The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas to Read Now


The Hate U Give, based on Angie Thomas’ YA bestseller, premiered in movie theaters earlier this month, lauded by critics as “the teen movie everybody needs to watch.” An interweaving web of the causes and effects of hate, The Hate U Give follows Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg), who must constantly balance her life in her low-income, predominantly black neighborhood and her mostly white high school. But her childhood friend Khalil is fatally shot by a white police officer who mistakes his hairbrush for a gun, and Starr must find a new way to navigate the two worlds she finds herself trapped between.

After seeing the movie, you might have rushed to read the book, or others like it. Here are 12 books to read if you loved The Hate U Give.

1

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

amazon.com
$7.40

The legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and the unending friction of racism are touchstones in this captivating debut, praised by Angie Thomas herself. Nic Stone tackles police brutality and racial inequality in this story about a young black boy who is accused of a crime he did not commit. Through a lens that alternates between victim and witness, readers look at the realities of unjustified killings that often result from internalized racism. (Crown Books for Young Readers)

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2

On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope by DeRay Mckesson

amazon.com
$17.51

Holding on to the golden belief of a better world—hope for justice, freedom, and resistance against racism—On the Other Side of Freedom is an honest and raw reflection of DeRay Mckesson’s beliefs and experiences as an activist for the Black Lives Matter movement. This eloquently written memoir details the fight against prejudices that have affected American culture and is a shining example of the importance of raising one’s voice. (Viking)

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3

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

amazon.com
$6.98

You know that saying, “Books change lives”? Well, this one definitely could. Reynolds and Kiely’s YA novel grapples with police brutality. Two American boys, one black and the other white, are confronted with the unspoken truths of racism—the ugly ideas and feelings we thought we had left behind. (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books)

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4

People Kill People by Ellen Hopkins

amazon.com
$13.51

Bestselling author Ellen Hopkins pieces together a fictional study of gun violence, bringing readers into the dark thoughts of several characters as the character of Violence itself wanders amongst them. Written in a combination of verse and prose, this book tackles controversies over immigration policy, racism, and gun control in a manner aimed at sparking passionate debate. (Margaret K. McElderry Books)

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5

That’s Not What Happened by Kody Keplinger

amazon.com
$8.49

Inspired by the school shooting at Columbine, Kody Keplinger’s recent release focuses on the aftermath of a shooting that claimed teen Sarah’s life. Six surviving teenagers tell their stories in this epistolary novel—their truth, not the truth. But with rumors barreling into something so far from reality, it becomes uncontrollable and somehow lost. This sensitive book is sure to evoke an even greater sense of urgency about gun control. (Scholastic Press)

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6

They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement by Wesley Lowery

amazon.com
$13.47

Washington Post writer Wesley Lowery brings together interviews conducted in some of the most policed edges of America: Ferguson, Cleveland, Charleston, and Baltimore. In this carefully drawn web, Lowery delves into these under-pressure communities following the death of unarmed black American Michael Brown. (Little, Brown and Company)

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7

A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti

amazon.com
$12.91

A vital and heartbreaking story that brings together the #MeToo movement, the effects of gun violence, and the struggle of building oneself up again after crisis, A Heart in a Body in the World follows young Annabelle as she attempts to outrun her traumatic past—literally. As she completes a 2,700-mile run across the country, Annabelle must deal with the guilt and sorrow that burrow deep within her. (Simon Pulse) 

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8

A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena

amazon.com
$10.48

Tanaz Bhathena makes a memorable debut with the story of Zarin, a 16-year-old free spirit heavily judged for being an outsider in present-day Saudi Arabia. In this heartbreaking novel, Bhathena takes readers on a multi-narrator journey that examines how societal standards affect young women, and how they are perceived in a male-dominated world. (Farrar Straus Giroux Books)

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9

American Like Me: Reflections on Life Between Cultures by America Ferrera

amazon.com
$17.10

Helmed by the award-winning actress and political activist we all know from Ugly Betty, this is a deeply intimate collection about public figures’ experiences growing up in America while still staying true to their international roots. Within it are many new perspectives on what it is like to live in and feel connected to a different culture while living in the United States. (Gallery Books)

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10

The Radius of Us by Marie Marquardt

amazon.com
$10.79

Author of the YA novel Dream Things True Marie Marquardt follows up with a tale of two teens with PTSD, creating a vivid portrayal of teenage relationships affected by societal ills. Marquardt, herself an immigration advocate, probes the devastating impacts of gang violence across geographic borders, and the legacy of racism that still lingers today. (St. Martin’s Griffin)

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11

Love, Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

amazon.com
$13.29

In this incredible debut novel, 17-year-old Maya Aziz, from an Indian-American Muslim family, confronts the ugliness of Islamophobia. She finds herself torn between her dream life, studying film in New York, and reality, where she is expected to fulfil her parents’ wishes of marrying an educated Muslim boy. Maya comes of age in a world where she has to find a balance between two cultures, and must make sacrifices to find where she truly belongs. (Soho Teen) 

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12

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez

amazon.com
$14.57

Erika L. Sánchez’s YA novel tells the story of a young woman growing up in a Mexican-American home, struggling to understand the constraints of her culture and the societal standards that she is expected to abide by amidst the poverty, racism, and neighborhood violence that affect many families. (Knopf Books for Young Readers) 

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