I teach 11th grade English at Oxford High School in Oxford, AL. We are situated along interstate 20 between Birmingham and Atlanta. My kids are amazing! My classes are inclusion, so there are many IEP's in action. My students are 49% African American or Hispanic. However, I feel every student could relate to The Hate U Give.
I firmly believe that representation matters, and in order for my students to engage in quality reading, they need to be able to see themselves in the texts.
Instead of novels with middle-class white males only, I wanted my students to also see young people of color, from a variety of backgrounds and struggles with which my students could identify. The book The Hate U Give would help teach them that nothing will ever change unless we all stand up for what we believe in, and until we treat everyone as equals.
My school has a large number of free and reduced lunch students. My kids are reluctant readers because they struggle to see themselves in what they read. These books will show my students something they can relate to, something they see in the news almost daily, and it will help them relate to uncomfortable situations and show them that they do need to stand up for what they believe in.
Starr faces what many high school students face on a daily basis!
She sets the bar for them and because of her and what she encounters, they can learn how to maturely handle racism.
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