Angie Thomas’s novel about racism in the US wins Waterstones Children’s Book Prize
Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give tells the story of a teenager who witnesses the fatal shooting of her unarmed friend by the police.books Updated: Mar 23, 2018 11:51 IST
African-American writer Angie Thomas’s debut novel The Hate U Give has won the £5,000 Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2018. The novel, inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, is the story of Starr, a teenager, who witnesses the fatal shooting of her unarmed friend by the police.
First written as a short story, The Hate U Give takes its title from the late rapper Tupac Shakur. The novel was inspired by a real-life police shooting in 2009. Angry at the death of several black Americans by police officers in 2015, Thomas decided to turn her short story into a full-length novel.
Presenting the winner of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2018: @angiecthomas’s powerful novel The Hate U Give. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a moving story about inequality and a girl’s struggle for justice.— Waterstones (@Waterstones) March 22, 2018
Essential reading https://t.co/9dBv4eHEQW pic.twitter.com/Aml9OIvwuI
“I want to help people understand why we say black lives matter,” Thomas is quoted as saying in a BBC report.
James Daunt, the managing director at Waterstones, feels Thomas’s book is not just for young adults. “Ours is a children’s prize, but there is no upper age limit to being stunned by beautiful writing of this visceral power. It is an extraordinary achievement, and it triumphs in a year of wonderful quality and creativity in children’s publishing,” The Guardian quotes him as saying.
The Hate U Give has also been nominated for the 2018 Carnegie medal. A movie based on Thomas’s book, starring Amandla Stenberg as Starr (Rue from The Hunger Games movies) is in the works.
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