English 341: It’s Like This

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Destinee Garcia: Blog 7 (YA & Millers Chapter 5)

Destinee Garcia: Blog 7 (YA & Millers Chapter 5)

A. In Chapter 5 of “Reading in the Wild” the section of keeping track of your reading life really resonates with me. In the text, students are to read 40 books of various genres and visually track their progress. I think this is something I should start doing now to challenge myself. By doing this I can focus on the genres I tend to avoid and try to a way to enjoy these books.

B. What I’ve learned about myself as a reader is that I find myself so consumed with social media and filling my empty space with un-necessary knowledge and the knowledge I should be seeking, is that in books. My reading preferences have changed from spiritual books to young adult novels and history books. I will continue to grow as a reader by keeping books on me and allowing myself access to them. As a teacher of reading I am going to start growing my teacher library now.

C. The young adult novel that I chose to read was “The Hate U Give” By Angie Thomas. I definitely loved this book and enjoyed the writing style. The relevance of this book is what kept me intrigued and wanting to keep reading. The message of police brutality was an important root of this story and really shines light to a real, raw form of activism. I would recommend this book to everyone who is interested in activism and books with a female lead. I feel strongly that non-African Americans need to read this book because of the perspective we receive from Starr and how she deals with police brutality. This book offers us a point of view that most of us do not have nor will.

The main character is Starr Carter who is a 16 year old black girl who lives in the poor neighborhood of Garden Heights.  She attends a predominantly white school across town and feels the tension of both worlds. She feels that she is too “ghetto” for her white school and “Too good” for her poor neighborhood.

She interacts well with students at her school and is even dating a white male. Starr is a basketball player that gets along well with her teammates. When interacting with her friends and family in Garden Heights it becomes filled with learning legal rights, what and what not to do in terms of safety as the stakes are higher there. After she witnesses her childhood best friend Khalil being murdered by a police officer her worlds start to clash. At home, people are protesting in Khalils honor and bringing awareness to police brutality. At school, no one is talking about the case and her good friend even defends the cops choice to shoot.  To summarize the book, Starr learns to find her voice amongst her role in her clashing worlds. She becomes stronger and proud to be in the situation she is. Starr learns how to use her voice to shine.

“As long as I play it cool and keep to myself, I should be fine. The ironic thing is though, at Williamson I don’t have to “play it cool” — I’m cool by default because I’m one of the only black kids there. I have to earn coolness in Garden Heights, and that’s more difficult than buying retro Jordans on release day. Funny how it works with white kids though. It’s dope to be black until it’s hard to be black.” – Starr Carter

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