Leaders Are Readers: Book Reviews

Book reviews by members of GSAL 2008 Society

‘The Hate U Give’ by Angie Thomas

Reviewed by Benjamin Bissett (Year 8)

The Hate U Give is a novel written by Angie Thomas based on the Black Lives Matter campaign. It is the story of how a girl named Starr recovers and fights for justice after she witnesses one of her best friends being shot and killed by the police. The Black Lives Matter campaign began in 2012 following the acquittal of a white police man after the shooting of African-American teenager Trayvon Martin.

I really enjoyed this story as I didn’t know anything about the Black Lives Matter movement before I read it. There were tense scenes throughout the book, particularly when the police were involved or when there were riots taking place. Another interesting dimension to the story was that every day, Starr left her neighbourhood and went to school in a privileged white neighbourhood. She almost seemed to live a double life and it made me realise that some people’s lives are not as straightforward as my own. At times, it was hard to put down!

I do not recall anything that I didn’t like about this book because I found the topic so interesting. I think it was great way to educate people of my age group about a major problem for black people in America today.

Overall, I think the book was a great read and I would recommend it to a lot of people in my age group because I think it delivers a message as well as tells a great story. I would give it a five-star rating because there were no faults and it was a very enjoyable book that also gave information about a real-life problem. BB



‘Double Cross’ by Malorie Blackman

Reviewed by Yuan Xu (Year 8)

This book was written by Malorie Blackman, an excellent author and possibly my favourite. The book is in a series called the noughts and crosses series, but I don’t think you would need to have read the other books in the series (this is book 4 – the last one) to enjoy this one as they are all individual stories. The books are set in a world where the Africans have gotten more technologically advanced and had taken the Europeans as their slaves. The story first book starts around 50 years after slavery was abolished and this book around 20 years later. Although the noughts (the white) are no longer slaves to the crosses (blacks) tensions still remain.

There are multiple main characters with each chapter alternating between their thoughts. The entire story is in first person which, in my opinion really lets the reader connect more with the characters as all their thoughts are more clear and you can view particular events in different characters’ perspectives. 

The main characters are, in this book, Toby (a white boy who is around 16) and Callie (the daughter of Sephy and Callum from the first book. She is mixed race). 

I really enjoyed the book and would give it a 5/5 so I really recommend the book and, if you enjoy it, the series. YX


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