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The Hate U Give tells fictional story that could be ripped from the headlines

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

The Talk of Iowa Book Club has been reading the young adult novel The Hate U Give, one of the most banned books in the United States, including in Iowa.

Angie Thomas’ 2017 debut and New York Times bestselling novel, The Hate U Give follows Starr Carter, a 16-year-old who witnesses the killing of her childhood friend Khalil by police. The book follows the fallout of Khalil’s death as Starr straddles living in Garden Heights, a neighborhood plagued by gun violence, and attending a private, predominantly white school in the suburbs.

Three expert readers join Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe to share their thoughts and discuss how the characters in the fictional novel connect to their own lived experiences. Guests also share how the novel impacted them after the murder of George Floyd and the protests of 2020.


  • Caleb Rainey, poet, spoken word artist
  • Sheritta Stokes, teacher in the Waterloo Community School District, co-founder and curriculum director for the 1619 Freedom School
  • Jayne Abraham, student journalist, Pleasant Valley High School graduate
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Caitlin Troutman is a talk show producer at Iowa Public Radio
Natalie Dunlap is a rising junior at the University of Iowa majoring in journalism and minoring in gender, women's & sexuality studies. She is from Iowa City and in her free time enjoys getting coffee and reading downtown with friends.