People are looking for more books like The Hate U Give because of how timely its portrayal of racial relations is.
Initially written as a short story in response to the 2009 police shooting of Oscar Grant, Angie Thomas’s critically acclaimed debut novel, The Hate U Give, was successfully expanded into a novel to better understand the Black Lives Matter movement.
Protagonist Starr Carter, a 16-year-old from a predominately white private school, has to walk a tightrope between her white school and her predominantly black neighborhood. When Starr is the only witness to a fatal shooting involving her black friend Khalil and a white police officer, these two worlds collide.
As a result of the shooting, a wave of protests and riots erupt, and Starr is forced to take a stand for what he believes in and put an end to the cycle of violence.
The following selection of books, like The Hate U Give, will open our eyes to a world we may not be familiar with, bringing to light some previously unheard voices and the heartbreaking struggles they face on a daily basis.
Books like The Hate U Give
Girl, Woman, Other, by Bernardine Evaristo
Bernardine Evaristo’s Booker Prize-winning novel Girl, Woman, Other follows the journeys of a diverse cast of twelve characters as they attempt to find their place in the world.
Despite the novel’s lack of an overarching plot, the lives of the characters all intertwine at some point through friends, family, location, and social media.
Evaristo has chosen twelve different voices to explore and portray, including non-binary Morgan, lesbians Amma and Shirley, and 93-year-old Hattie, all of whom are black British women.
Girl, Woman, Other is a wonderful alternative to The Hate U Give because it features a wide range of voices and experiences, making it an excellent choice for anyone looking for a new book to read.
Feminism, race, sexuality, politics, success, and relationships are all explored in this beautifully written novel that blends prose and poetry.
What if you’ve already read this book? You can find more books like this one on our recommended reading list.
Middlesex, by Jeffery Eugenides
The Virgin Suicides, Jeffery Eugenides’ debut novel, was a huge success, and Middlesex is a breath-taking sequel. Readers of books like The Hate U Give are sure to be enthralled by Cal’s story, which examines gender prejudices and stigmas.
“Middlesex” is the story of a Greek-American family over several generations, with a focus on the unique Calliope Stephanides. The doctor who examines Callie in the emergency room after she has an accident at a friend’s house pronounces her genetically male despite the fact that she shows all the outward signs of femininity.
Callie’s doctor and parents pressure her to undergo cosmetic surgery and hormone injections in order to maintain her appearance as a woman. It’s a long and painful journey of self-acceptance that begins with cutting her hair and taking the name Cal, but she refuses to live as someone she’s not.
It’s a heartfelt story by one of today’s most lyrical authors, Middlesex, which teaches us that our appearances aren’t the only things that define us.
Favorite works by Jeffery Eugenides Take a look at our collection of titles that are similar to The Virgin Suicides.
Dear Martin, by Nic Stone
Nic Stone is the author of this piece.
Those who enjoyed The Hate U Give’s examination of race relations will likely enjoy Nic Stone’s Dear Martin as well.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s teachings and legacy are questioned by Justyce McAllister after he is wrongfully arrested. To Dr. King, Justyce writes a series of letters describing how racial profiling has affected him personally.
In the eyes of the world, all Justyce has going for him is the color of his skin, and he is treated as if he were a criminal because of it. He is an excellent student who is on track to attend an Ivy League school.
When confronted with a reality we wish wasn’t true, Dear Martin is an important, relevant novel that can be difficult to read.
The House on Mango Street, by Sandra Cisneros
The House on Mango Street was written by Sandra Cisneros as a response to her own feelings of displacement. For she, like her protagonist Esperanza Cordero, is a Mexican-American who grew up in Chicago’s Hispanic neighborhood. Similarly to Starr Carter in The Hate U Give, Esperanza is torn between her family’s roots and her desire to fit in with the rest of society.
We get a glimpse into Esperanza’s day-to-day life and various occurrences through her understandings, observations, experiences, and questions, which are sprinkled throughout the book’s vignettes.
Despite being published in 1984, Sandra Cisneros’ heartbreaking and breathtaking tale of growing up is still relevant today, especially in our globally migrating world, and is taught widely in many schools and colleges.
The House on Mango Street has many of the same themes as The Hate U Give, including acceptance and finding one’s place in a conflicted world.
How We Fight For Our Lives, by Saeed Jones
What if you’re different in more than one of these ways? Do you get double the hate for that? According to Saeed Jones’ memoir, How We Fight For Our Lives, it appears so.
Jones recounts his experiences of discrimination and struggle as a young, black, and gay man. Through a series of vignettes, Jones gives readers a glimpse into his childhood, his tumultuous relationship with his mother, his sexual experimentation, and his eventual acceptance of who he is as a gay man. Jones’ writing style is reminiscent of The House on Mango Street.
Race, humanity, sexuality, and the power and vulnerability we need to expose in order to become and accept our true selves are just some of the topics Jones explores.
If you enjoyed The Hate U Give and want to read something similar, look no further than How We Fight For Our Lives.
Small Great Things, by Jodi Picoult
Jodi Picoult’s Small Great Things, even though she is white and wrote a book on a prejudice she knows nothing about, is still a work of remarkable achievement despite its critics.
Those looking for books similar to The Hate U Give will find the novel’s focus on racism, prejudice, privilege, justice, and injustice compelling.
Ruth Jefferson, a black labor and delivery nurse with over two decades of experience, is the central character in Small Great Things, a true story based on real events. As a result of the white supremacist parents’ disapproval, one of Ruth’s patients is reassigned.
When Ruth is alone on the ward and their baby goes into cardiac arrest, she is torn between her duty as a nurse and the hospital’s orders, and she hesitates to administer CPR because of this.
Within a short time, Ruth finds herself at the center of an investigation into the baby’s death. What hope does she have in a white public defender who has no idea what she is going through?
Acclaimed author Jodi Picoult delivers a heartbreaking look at humanity in her debut novel, Small Great Things.
Long Way Down, by Jason Reynolds
Readers of books such as The Hate U Give are likely to enjoy Long Way Down by author Jason Reynolds, who has been cited as an inspiration by Angie Thomas.
As Will rides the elevator down from his 8th-floor apartment, he decides whether or not to take revenge on the man responsible for his Brother’s murder in one minute-long poetic burst.
Each floor of the elevator brings a new person who is somehow connected to him and his brother, reshaping his decision-making process.
Long Way Down is a literary work of art that engages the reader on many levels and offers a unique vantage point on a difficult subject. To explore the themes of duty, honor, and revenge as they relate to the senseless killings perpetrated by teenagers using guns, Reynolds goes in search of the truth about this epidemic.
Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson
Mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and sexual assault trauma are also addressed in Speak. At a summer party, Melinda Sordino meets Andy Evans, a charming high school senior, just as she is about to begin her freshman year of high school.
Andy rapes Melinda at that party.
It is difficult for Melinda to express what happened to her or even how she is feeling, so she retreats into her own thoughts and avoids interacting with others.
In the eyes of her parents, teachers, and peers, her silence is a way to get attention, which only worsens her feelings of loneliness. Is David Patrakis going to be the catalyst that finally gets Melinda to speak up? Mr. Freeman, her beloved art teacher? Or what if Andy begins a new relationship?
As she examines the effects of trauma and the ways in which victims are treated, Laurie Halse Anderson takes us on a harrowing journey. Those looking for more books like The Hate U Give will find much to be moved by in Speak, which depicts the fear and personal strength that go into speaking up and the devastating consequences of not doing so.