Josie McCray was eight years old when her mother left. Now a young teacher, she guards her heart carefully but finds herself pulled to mentor a child in need.
Payton Runnells was 12 when his mother left. Now in foster care, he’s slow to trust anyone but senses that Josie might somehow understand the grief that grips him.
As Josie and Payton lower their walls and forge a friendship, they begin to open themselves up to all life has to offer.
MICHELLE SCHLICHER is the author of the novels THE BLUE JAY and GRACIE’S SONG. A graduate of Iowa State University, she subsequently worked for six years in communications and marketing.
"Absolutely riveting!" —Jason Reynolds
"Stunning." —John Green
"This story is necessary. This story is important." —Kirkus (starred review)
"Heartbreakingly topical." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"A marvel of verisimilitude." —Booklist (starred review)
"A powerful, in-your-face novel." —Horn Book (starred review)
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.
But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.
And don't miss On the Come Up, Angie Thomas's powerful follow-up to The Hate U Give.
"No one should be talking about the shocking twist ending. What we can talk about is...[Lockhart's] razor-sharp portrayal of a family for whom keeping up appearances is paramount and, ultimately, tragic." —The Chicago Tribune