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

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

This encore edition looks back at the Talk of Iowa Book Club conversation on the 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.

In this encore edition of Talk of Iowa, Three expert readers join 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.

This episode was originally produced in July 2022.


  • 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
Talk of Iowa Books & ReadingTalk of Iowa Book ClubRace
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Caitlin Troutman is a talk show producer at Iowa Public Radio