Parent reviews for The Hate U Give

Common Sense says

Powerful story of police shooting of unarmed Black teen.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 44 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 155 reviews
Adult Written byAbbyMariena September 24, 2020

MATURE CONTENT - Ideal for High School Teens & Adults

This book is best for Mature teens and NOT intended for middle school classrooms!!

Very frequent foul language with continuous F*** as the casual way the teenagers speak throughout. If students are listening to audio book in a classroom setting, it will be common for them to hear continuous comments like "F***ity, F***, F***, F***........ " OR "Sh**, Bit**, next time invite me." OR "I see that Bit** tho. Bought to handle her A**", and lots of N words. Language is present on each page as a way they speak. If this language is listened to within a classroom it may give students the impression that this is normal and acceptable language to use while at school or give them the impression this is how teenagers should speak.

As a teacher I know the influence we have on students and I would advise this book to NOT be included at the middle school level. If chosen for high school I would suggest a need to really carefully discuss each topic and balance out the meaning as the book portrays a very one sided view. Some school districts have actually chosen to prohibit this book due to it's explicit language and sexual references.

Please be aware the Main theme is - "THUG LIFE" represents :
The
Hate
U
Give

Little
Infants
F***'s
Everyone

In general, there are many sexual references, talk about Hoes at the school, being 'horny', 'grinding', use of condoms at a party, as well as a part where "his hands in my pants". This story happens in a hood with gang shootings, drug dealers & violence.

Overall, it does have an important meaning and lesson behind the book and the author is a singer/songwriter from this culture who is trying to create awareness and impact on these issues. I would highly recommend it is shown to the appropriate audience and would suggest 15+.

This title contains:

Language
Parent Written byMBCG June 28, 2018

A Bit Too Much

Mature content , not for Middle School readers. Important topic presented with a very one-sided view that should be carefully dissected and discussed with HS readers. Foul language and sexual references that are not necessarily “normal teenage” banter. Exposure for younger teenage readers to this provocative behavior isn’t ideal, and could falsely give an impression that it is acceptable conduct. It’s not.
The book drags on, and could have had the same impact on the readers in 100 fewer pages. Good first book for the young author.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Language
Adult Written byHope20 October 5, 2020

Heavy language

This book illustrates a lot of hate, anger and blame. It's also unfortunate the author is presenting this culture in this way including using very frequent foul language when the characters communicate with each other especially when directed at young readers. This may feed racial polarization and continue this stereotype into the next generation instead of creating new representations. It's unfortunate that the author feels this is the best way to keep teenagers engaged and entertained.

There is 89 F&*$'s used within the book along with many other curse words. Alot of them are THUG LIFE theme which is saying that it's the hate that's given to little infants is what F***'s everyone. It's very common to just have characters say continuous F***, F*** , F***, or say that they are all F***'d. Near the end of the book they are chanting "F*** the Police, F*** the Police" over and over.

Being this is a current world issue I can see how teachers want to bring this to students attention. I would caution against bringing into the middle school level as these kids are so highly influential and the language presented in the classroom needs to be respectful and appropriate . This book can certainly de-sensitize kids to this vulgar language and make it seem appropriate to use.

This title contains:

Language
Adult Written byLori_10 October 3, 2020

Excessive Foul Language

This book would have been so much better if it didn't contain excessive foul language on every page. It's unfortunate this this was put in when it's a book directed at young teens and would have been more powerful and reached a larger audience if it wasn't so excessive.

These global issues need to be addressed but because of the high language content I would suggest directing this book at older teens. The movie is less offensive as a lot of the swearing had to be removed to maintain PG 13 rating.

This title contains:

Language
Parent of a 10 and 13-year-old Written byJackro10 September 24, 2020

MATURE CONTENT - Not for middle school

This book contains mature content ideally directed at high school students or older to read with and adult so they can understand the books meaning and also allow for discussion around the many different perspectives of this important topic.

Schools have such incredible influence on students and because this book was written by a young songwriter that used excessive frequent explicit language and sexual content throughout I would use with caution in the classroom. This is Not an ideal book for younger teens as it may give them the impression that this is acceptable behaviour especially when being presented by their teacher.

The main theme is THUG LIFE meaning "The Hate U Give Little Infants F***'s Everybody". Students need to be mature enough to understand this main theme . There are 90 F*CK's and a variety of over 200 other words that the author uses for shock value and impact. Lots of chanting of "F*CK THE POLICE" and "MothaF*cker..." . Please take this into consideration if using in the classroom. My hope is that educators find a more appropriate resource to teach the young about global racial issues that create positive change that take create more positive change.

I would recommend age 15+ for this book.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Language
Adult Written byKimJo October 2, 2020

Creates heightened racial polarization & stereotypes

Overall the themes in this book may create heightened racial polarization and risks preconceived vision of this culture and magnification of racial stereotypes to the next generation.

Best suited to be directed at high school level with an adult who can present all view points. Caution teaching in the younger classrooms due to high foul language and sexual references. May give the impression this is acceptable behavior when taught within the classroom.

Heavy topics involved sensitive global issues and should be addressed appropriately.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Language
Parent of a 10-year-old Written byKatie P. August 31, 2017

Amazing book that might just help you step into another's shoes.

Words cannot describe how wonderful this book was. It still comes into my thoughts two months after I finished it. Beautifully written and so poignant. I haven't read a book that impacted me as much as "The Hate U Give" did in a very long while.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byMaryjane10 September 27, 2020

Best for mature teens

Too much excessive foul language in every chapter which isn't ideal with this book directed at young readers.

Better suited for 16+ readers as heavy topics that should be discussed for deeper meaning and different perspectives.

Positive parts are learning to find your voice to speak up for what is important to you.

This title contains:

Positive role models
Language
Parent of a 11-year-old Written byMlatshaw February 10, 2020

First 5 min- cursing, drugs & condoms

Worst commonsense score ever! It says 13 and up but I would say 16. In less than 5 minutes of listening we heard 3 curse words, talk about drugs, grinding, and condoms. Rated it low for that reason only since didn't keep listening. May be a good book, but we will wait several more years to read.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byDawn M. May 5, 2018

Helps give perspective

This story...just wow...Every Caucasian person should read this book. It gives this perspective that we just don't deal with. I highly recommend that you LISTEN to it instead of read. I did both and the audio just grabs your attention. Thank you Angie for breaking it down like you have...it's real and raw...powerful and healing too. We have so much work to do as a people..Black and White!

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent Written byKirstin W. May 24, 2018

Better for mature teens and adults

I love the tone and complexity this book presents! There is lots of foul language, and it broaches the topic of "going all the way" and sex, and pulling out condoms during a make out session, his hands in her pants...which my 10 year old is not quite ready to read about. So there is a bit of teenage angst talk around sex and being "horny" so I'd say 14 maybe. But love the overall theme and have been listening to it on audio, letting my 10 yr old listen in to the appropriate chapters while we drive. I think the overall story is eye opening for most! This story happens in a hood with gangs, so there is gang talk, drug dealers, addicts, gang shootings, aggressive behavior and language. So, I say great messages in some ways, but read it first. The good message has to do with a girl from the hood who lives in two worlds, and understands both, but struggles with the differences.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Sexy stuff
Language
Adult Written byJune E. November 1, 2017

Most important book of the decade

Racism isn't dead. I've purposely worked to raise my kids in a race inclusive environment so that race isn't what they see. My kids don't describe other kids by race as I do in my mind. It used to be overt. Now it's death by a thousand tiny cuts that happen in many ways and in all the days. The only way to end it is to discuss it. This will become required reading in my house and I feel it should be the same in schools.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Adult Written byMatthewr10 October 7, 2020

R Rated Book

Parents please be aware: This book has 90 F-words in it that are said regularly and if translated directly to a movie would be R rated. In order to make this into PG 13 movie they were required to have a maximum of 2 F-words and remove the mature content.

Parents be aware the book is much more mature than the movie.

This title contains:

Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byLoveTheChildren September 27, 2020

Very Mature Content

I feel this book would have made more impact without all the frequent foul language and could have been used as a teaching tool to bring greater awareness to these issues for more students. I would use caution if used in the classroom setting as exposure to young teens to foul language and sexual references within a classroom setting may suggest it is acceptable and I would suggest a minimum high school level for these reasons. I would also allow time for deep discussion on books meaning and ensure all points of view are taken into consideration.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Violence & scariness
Language
Adult Written bymary j. April 18, 2018
Amazing!!! The website says it should be for 14 and up but I think that it should be at most 12 to be able to read this. It is truly an amazing book. My daughter is an advanced reader ( she is almost 13) and she loved it! at fist I was iffy at the rating of 14, but I read all the comments and all said 13. I think that common sense rates the books at least a year nighter because higher is better than lower. I think there are a lot of mature 13 year olds that can read 14 plus books. If you are saying no because of the rating look at common sense and look at the comments, and I think that you will be surprised that it is most likely appropriate. So........, this is a great book truly heartwarming!

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byfvtshdcfrterte4w5w3 October 11, 2018

The Hate U Give review

It is not good for kids because it is a lot of gun violence and a lot of profanity for a book made for teens
Adult Written byKidsFirst10 September 28, 2020

Finding your voice

Good book about learning to find your voice and stand up for what matters to make positive change. Author is trying to have impact but the excessive foul language and sexual references also risks further stereotyping of this culture that isn't ideal when trying to shift perspectives and bring more equality for the next generation.

THUG LIFE theme and content is best suited for high school level. Ideally readers would be able to understand the deeper meaning and discuss all view points on this sensitive topic.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Language
Parent Written byMomof2inCO November 5, 2018

Mixed feelings about this one

I think it was a good book, very thought provoking and good for family discussions about race and violence in our societies. I believe the author wanted it to be a very realistic portrayal of this subject in every day life, so there is no sugar coating and it doesn't tie up neatly at the end. I just thought for kids it's a bit much, very heavy on the language, I think there was an F bomb or at least one cuss word in almost every paragraph of this book, lots of use of the N word, and too much talk about teen sexual angst for me to feel good about handing it over to a 12 year old to read. For age 14 and up probably fine though.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Language
Adult Written byMissKay1114 March 7, 2018

Emotional and important read

This book is important for adults and middle/older teens to read. It is emotional and difficult to read at times. Strong language, drug references, violence. I would recommend an adult reading this at the same time as a younger teen to allow for conversations. I was so engaged in the story that I finished it in 24 hours.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Language
Adult Written byamgarcia.johnson March 20, 2019

Valuable for teaching about the violence and racism that some youth experience

I think this book is a good, detailed account of what many young minorities face in the U.S. It is compelling, passionate, and heart-breaking, but a valuable lesson on how some citizen-police encounters turn out. It is also reflective of the violence and systemic racism that many lower-income neighborhoods experience. The author did a great job of displaying how violence and police use of force are very controversial and damaging to families and communities. I definitely think it is a book most people should read, especially the younger generations.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages

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