Books To Read After “The Hate U Give”

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is a powerful novel that left a deep impact on its readers. At its core, it is a stirring commentary on racial justice, personal identity, and societal issues.

In this novel, we follow the life of Starr Carter, a teenager who finds herself in the midst of a turmoil when she witnesses a tragic incident – the shooting of her childhood friend by a police officer. As the story unfolds, readers are confronted with the harsh realities and experiences that come with being Black in America.

If you’ve just turned the last page of this thought-provoking novel and are searching for your next read, you’ve landed at the right place. This blog post is dedicated to recommending books that carry similar themes and deliver powerful messages just like The Hate U Give.

Let’s dive into the literary world that continues the discussion started by Angie Thomas.

“On the Come Up” by Angie Thomas

Brief Overview of the Book

On the Come Up is another remarkable work by Angie Thomas. This novel revolves around the life of Bri, a sixteen-year-old aspiring rapper. The story is set in Garden Heights, the same neighborhood we got acquainted with in The Hate U Give.

How It Aligns with the Themes in “The Hate U Give”

Bri’s life isn’t easy – she is grappling with personal ambitions, societal expectations, and the economic hardship faced by her family. Just like Starr Carter in The Hate U Give, Bri’s character is a testament to resilience and strength in the face of adversity.

Her journey to fame is fraught with challenges as she becomes the target of stereotypes and prejudice. Thomas again crafts a narrative that lays bare the nuances of racial identity, societal pressure, and the struggle for self-definition. If you appreciated the grit and complexity of Starr Carter, you are likely to feel a strong connection with Bri and her story in On the Come Up.

“Dear Martin” by Nic Stone

Overview of the Plot

Dear Martin is a compelling novel written by Nic Stone that delves into the complexities of race in modern America. It tells the story of Justyce McAllister, a brilliant Black teenager attending a predominantly white prep school. As Justyce navigates these contrasting environments, he begins to question the world around him, leading him to start a journal addressed to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Similarities and Contrasts with “The Hate U Give”

Similar to The Hate U Give, Dear Martin takes an unflinching look at the issue of racial bias and police violence. Justyce’s experiences force readers to confront the realities of racism, while his letters to Dr. King provide a unique narrative device that ties the story to the broader history of civil rights in America.

However, Dear Martin stands apart in its exploration of the conflict between Justyce’s personal experiences and the principles of non-violence advocated by Dr. King. This conflict provides a deep examination of the varying perspectives within the Black community itself. If you were moved by The Hate U Give‘s exploration of contemporary racial issues, Dear Martin is a worthy successor to add to your reading list.

“All American Boys” by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

A Brief Summary of the Book

All American Boys is a collaborative novel written by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely. The narrative is told from two perspectives – Rashad, a Black teenager, and Quinn, a white teenager. The story unfolds when Rashad becomes a victim of police brutality, an incident witnessed by Quinn who happens to be a friend of the involved officer.

The Discussion of Race and Police Violence as Parallel Themes to “The Hate U Give”

All American Boys tackles head-on the issues of race, privilege, and police violence – much like The Hate U Give. Yet, the unique dual narrative brings an additional layer to the conversation, highlighting the different lived experiences based on race and the struggles with bystander responsibility.

The novel does a commendable job of exploring the uncomfortable complexities of racial tension and systemic injustice, mirroring the thought-provoking themes of The Hate U Give. If you were gripped by the honest depiction of society in Angie Thomas’s novel, All American Boys promises a similar journey of self-reflection and awareness.

“Long Way Down” by Jason Reynolds

Introduction to the Book’s Unique Narrative Style

Long Way Down is a captivating novel by Jason Reynolds, notable for its distinct narrative style. The entire story unfolds over just 60 seconds, as told in verse, making it a gripping and intense read. It follows the story of fifteen-year-old Will, who is grappling with the shock and anger of his brother’s sudden death due to gun violence.

How It Deals with Similar Themes as “The Hate U Give”

While Long Way Down doesn’t directly delve into police violence like The Hate U Give, it does provide a heartbreaking exploration of the cycle of violence, revenge, and the unspoken rules that govern certain communities.

Just as The Hate U Give challenges readers to understand the aftermath of violence from the perspective of those living it, Long Way Down delivers an emotional and raw portrayal of grief, and the devastating personal impact of gun violence. If you appreciated the emotional depth and the exploration of societal issues in The Hate U Give, Long Way Down promises to take you on a similarly profound journey.

“Ghost Boys” by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Overview of the Plot

Ghost Boys is a poignant novel written by Jewell Parker Rhodes that centers around twelve-year-old Jerome, who becomes another victim of a police shooting. But the story doesn’t end with his death, instead, it takes a turn into the realm of the supernatural. Jerome returns as a ghost, joining a group of other “ghost boys” who also fell victim to similar circumstances.

How It Touches Upon Themes of Racial Injustice and the Aftermath of Violence

Much like The Hate U Give, Ghost Boys deals directly with the harrowing issue of racial injustice. Jerome’s posthumous perspective provides a unique angle to reflect on the impacts of his own death, the historical repetition of such tragedies, and the rippling effects on his community.

While the narrative may be steeped in the supernatural, its implications are deeply rooted in the harsh realities of our world. If The Hate U Give stirred your conscience with its depiction of the aftermath of police violence, Ghost Boys is likely to evoke similar feelings, offering another lens through which to consider the consequences of systemic racial injustice.

“I’m Not Dying with You Tonight” by Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal

Brief Introduction to the Book

I’m Not Dying with You Tonight is a collaborative novel by Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal. The story unfolds over the course of a single night, from the perspective of two girls – Lena, who is Black, and Campbell, who is white. Both are stuck together when a high school football game spirals into sudden chaos and violence.

Discussion on How It Explores Race, Class, and Violence from Two Different Perspectives

Just like The Hate U Give, this novel puts societal issues under a microscope, specifically race, class, and violence. However, it provides a dual perspective, creating a multifaceted narrative that allows readers to understand and empathize with diverse experiences.

The book portrays how Lena and Campbell navigate their predicaments, confronting their own biases and stereotypes in the process. If you appreciated the complexity of characters and thought-provoking social commentary in The Hate U Give, I’m Not Dying with You Tonight will offer another compelling exploration of these themes from two distinct viewpoints.

“This Is My America” by Kim Johnson

Introduction and Synopsis of the Book

This Is My America is a thought-provoking novel by Kim Johnson. The protagonist of the story is seventeen-year-old Tracy Beaumont, who has been writing letters to an organization that helps wrongfully convicted inmates. She’s doing this because her father is one such inmate, sentenced to death row for a crime Tracy is sure he didn’t commit.

The Book’s Exploration of Racial Injustice and the Criminal Justice System, Mirroring Some Themes in “The Hate U Give”

Much like The Hate U Give, This Is My America provides a profound commentary on racial injustice. But it delves deeper into the intricacies of the American criminal justice system and its impacts on Black families.

Through Tracy’s unwavering fight for justice, the novel sheds light on the systemic flaws and biases in legal processes, showing how they can shape and alter lives. If you were captivated by the societal critique and strong character portrayals in The Hate U Give, This Is My America promises to continue this conversation with its poignant narrative and deep exploration of injustice.

“Tyler Johnson Was Here” by Jay Coles

Brief Description of the Book

Tyler Johnson Was Here is a stirring novel written by Jay Coles. It tells the story of Marvin Johnson, whose twin brother, Tyler, goes missing after a party. When Tyler is found dead and a video surfaces of him being shot by a police officer, Marvin’s world shatters.

The Exploration of Themes like Racial Profiling and Police Brutality, Similar to “The Hate U Give”

Tyler Johnson Was Here shares the heartbreaking theme of loss and police violence with The Hate U Give. Through Marvin’s narrative, the book explores the profound personal impact of such tragedy and the systemic racial profiling that often leads to these fatal incidents.

Coles’ novel provides an emotionally intense portrayal of grief, family bonds, and the struggle for justice. If The Hate U Give resonated with you because of its honest representation of these themes, Tyler Johnson Was Here is likely to evoke a similar response, presenting another powerful depiction of the human aspects within societal issues.

“Monday’s Not Coming” by Tiffany D. Jackson

A Brief Introduction to the Plot

Monday’s Not Coming is a gripping novel by Tiffany D. Jackson. It revolves around the life of Claudia, whose best friend Monday Charles has disappeared. But when Claudia raises concerns, she’s met with apathy and disbelief. The story unfolds as Claudia refuses to give up on finding out what happened to Monday.

How It Explores Societal Negligence and the Vulnerability of Minority Communities

While Monday’s Not Coming does not center around police violence like The Hate U Give, it tackles the theme of societal negligence, especially towards minority communities, and the vulnerability of individuals within these communities.

Through Claudia’s determined quest for answers, readers are confronted with the harrowing reality of how easily marginalized individuals can slip through societal cracks. If you found value in the examination of societal dynamics and the human stories within larger issues in The Hate U Give, Monday’s Not Coming provides a compelling exploration of similar themes.

“The Poet X” by Elizabeth Acevedo

Overview of the Book

The Poet X is an inspiring novel by Elizabeth Acevedo. Told in verse, it follows the journey of Xiomara Batista, a young Afro-Latina girl growing up in Harlem. Xiomara grapples with her religious mother’s expectations while discovering her voice through slam poetry.

How It Resonates with Themes in “The Hate U Give”

While The Poet X does not deal directly with police violence, it shares with The Hate U Give the theme of self-expression and finding one’s voice in a world that often tries to silence marginalized individuals.

Xiomara’s powerful, heartfelt poetry serves as a means to challenge and navigate the complexities of her intersectional identity, her faith, and societal norms. If you appreciated the strength and resilience of Starr Carter as she found her voice in The Hate U Give, you’re likely to be moved by Xiomara’s poetic journey to self-understanding and affirmation in The Poet X.

Additional Recommendations

“Dear Martin” by Nic Stone

Dear Martin tells the story of Justyce McAllister, a Black Ivy League-bound student who begins a journal to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. after he’s racially profiled by the police. The book provides a candid exploration of racism and how to confront it, making it a valuable read for fans of The Hate U Give.

“Anger Is a Gift” by Mark Oshiro

This novel follows Moss, a Black teenager in Oakland who becomes an activist after a violent encounter with the police. Anger Is a Gift explores themes of police violence, activism, and community, providing a meaningful continuation of the conversation started by The Hate U Give.

“The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie

In this book, Sherman Alexie narrates the struggles of a Native American teenager who leaves his school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white high school. It’s a powerful story of identity, racism, and resilience that resonates with The Hate U Give‘s themes.

“Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You” by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

Stamped is a remix of Ibram X. Kendi’s “Stamped from the Beginning.” It provides a timely and accessible exploration of the history of racist ideas in America, offering context that complements the contemporary issues depicted in The Hate U Give.

“On the Come Up” by Angie Thomas

Angie Thomas’s second novel, On the Come Up, centers on aspiring rapper Bri, who faces racial stereotyping and economic struggles. Like The Hate U Give, it offers a poignant exploration of racial identity and societal challenges.

“Piecing Me Together” by Renée Watson

This novel tells the story of Jade, a Black girl from a poor neighborhood who attends a predominantly white private school on scholarship. It explores themes of identity, race, and socioeconomic disparity, similar to The Hate U Give.

“American Street” by Ibi Zoboi

American Street follows Fabiola, a Haitian immigrant who, after her mother is detained by U.S. immigration, has to navigate the challenging landscape of Detroit’s west side. This book offers an insightful perspective on the immigrant experience and structural inequity, resonating with the themes in The Hate U Give.

“How It Went Down” by Kekla Magoon

This powerful novel explores the aftermath of the shooting of a Black teenager by a white man through the perspectives of multiple community members. It’s a compelling exploration of racial tension and tragedy, mirroring themes in The Hate U Give.

“March” Trilogy by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin

This graphic novel trilogy, co-written by late civil rights leader John Lewis, recounts the struggles and victories of the Civil Rights Movement. It provides historical context to the contemporary issues highlighted in The Hate U Give.

“The Boy in the Black Suit” by Jason Reynolds

In this novel, Reynolds tells the story of a Black teenager dealing with his mother’s death and finding community support. It’s a heartfelt exploration of grief, resilience, and personal growth, offering a different yet equally compelling narrative to The Hate U Give.


Exploring literature that tackles the complexities of race, identity, and systemic injustice is a powerful way to broaden our understanding and empathy. Each of these novels offers a unique lens on these themes, continuing the conversation started by The Hate U Give.

From exploring racial bias and police violence, to unraveling the impacts of systemic racism on the criminal justice system, each book offers a profound exploration of the realities that many individuals face every day. While these narratives may be challenging to read, they are important in illuminating the struggles and injustices faced by marginalized communities, much like Angie Thomas’s groundbreaking novel.

Whether you’re a young adult reader or simply young at heart, these books will provide thought-provoking insights and foster a deeper understanding of the world around us. As we turn their pages, let’s carry their lessons into our lives, working towards empathy, understanding, and ultimately, change.

rj adams books

R.J. Adams

My first job was at Barnes & Noble, so books and reading have been a big part of my life for as long as I could remember. My Kindle is jam-packed with books I likely will never get around to reading and my To Be Read pile is even longer!

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