We have all become  aware  that many schools are not introducing their students to classic literature as was once the norm.  Below, you will find information that was sent to one of our readers for their 7th grade child (13 year old)  to read as a school assignment. The book – “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas has been acclaimed and is being made into a movie and is the reading and discussion assignment for a 7th grade class. This book was inspired by  the Black Lives Matter movement and discusses police brutality, promoting  activism, and of course, white supremacy and  systemic racism.  In short, this is how students are being indoctrinated by our schools.  Of course, the school also did not miss the opportunity of mentioning Donald Trump and his coded messages through the use of language.  We need to be aware of what our  children and grand children are being taught and I personally find this very disturbing.    Nancy    
A review by Social Justice Books


Greetings 7th grade families,

Thank you so much for your trust, and support as we dive into our novel study of “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas this quarter. Students will need their own copy of the book to start reading by March 1st. Please let us know if you need us to provide a copy of the novel for your student by February 23rd. We have copies that students can check-out from the school, to be picked up on distribution days.

Understanding that this learning process is emotional, uncomfortable, and yet extremely powerful and relevant growing experience, we want to be as transparent and communicative as possible about what themes discussed in the novel, when these discussions will tentatively take place, and assignments you can expect for your students to be doing in the class.

What students have done in class

Since the beginning of the 2nd quarter, we have read, discussed, and dug in depth about lasting implications of slavery on the United States through close readings of excerpts from The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. While the beginning of the quarter was spent breaking down the enduring power of Douglass’ words, we began to discuss what current day systems still persist as a result of the systems he wrote about. Students drew connections to newly emerging political agendas and the changing nature of white supremacy and other systems of oppression in the present day. One example was analyzing similar use of language by Claude McKay in “If We Must Die” and Donald Trump. Students first read the poem to understand McKay’s message about the suffrage of African American activists. Then, the class watched a clip from 13th and drew connections between Trump’s use of language and McKay’s. In that same period, we discussed the coded message being sent by the producer of the documentary and Trump through his words. In these discussions, students drew connections between Douglass’ experiences and those of people who continue to be marginalized in the present day.

Norms about language and sexual content

When doing our unit about Frederick Douglass’ and slavery, our classes created norms around the use the “N” word in the text, therefore students are already aware of norms about language that some people might find offensive. We will discuss how language is an intentional choice, and sometimes a part of cultural differences. Furthermore, we will look closely at how Thomas chooses to use language, and how it contributes to the novel and her purpose.

We will skip reading Chapter 22 in class, due to some mild sexual pressure present in the chapter. In this chapter, Starr is feeling overwhelmed with all that is happening, and she implies to Chris that she is ready to have sex. Chris tells her that she is not in an emotionally stable place to make that decision, and instead supports her through her emotions about all she is experiencing. I will summarize for students parts that are relevant to the text (such as Starr feeling that she must break up with Chris because he is White). Students and families can use discretion around reading the chapter, but no student will be penalized for not reading. We will not talk about any sexual content in ELA, and students with questions will be referred to Kendra, our school’s health teacher.

The book at a glance

Due to the sensitive nature of the books themes within our current society, I want to emphasize that I take it very seriously that our class discussions and reflections be thorough and care driven. Therefore, I want to let you all know that the scheduling is flexible, to allow us time to have detailed and in depth class conversations and individual reflection, without rushing material that students will need time to process. We will finish reading the novel and complete a final project in Quarter 4. I will never move ahead of the listed schedule, but there is the chance that we might move slower than the information provided to give students more processing time. Below you will find a tentative, week by week list of topics, themes, and discussions we will have with the novel.

Day of the week

Structure of class


Ch. Summary/Review of Reading


Discussion Day* (camera on or writing assignment)


Asyronchous reading


Quiz/Reading Comprehension/ Analysis


Asyronchous reading

Week of

Chapters to be read

Themes/Topics in class

Beginning of Q2

Building context for the novel

Norms around classroom discussion

Language as a intentional choice/ cultural difference

Systemic racism (vocabulary)


1, 2, 3,4,5

Police brutality- a nationwide problem

Author’s Purpose

Themes in the novel

Chapter summaries

Quiz on chapters 1-5


6, 7, 8, 9

Dueling identities and code switching

Police brutality- a nationwide problem

Character tracking

Chapter summaries


10, 11, 12, 13

Dueling identities and code-switching

Power of community

         -why do people riot? 

Stereotypes and language (the power of things you say)/ microaggressions


14, 15

Cycle of poverty and racism

       -13th clips related to Maverick’s lesson

Stereotypes and language (the power of things you say)/ microaggressions

Power of community and activism

      -what does activism look like as a middle school student?

3/29- 4/6



4/7- 4/9

16, 17

Remote Learning Days


18, 19, 20, 21

Cycle of poverty and racism 

Power of community and activism

Character development (static vs. dynamic characters)


22, 23, 24, 25, 26

Power of community and activism 

     -enduring power and how stories are told (looking at Khalil’s character)

Socratic seminar-


Wrapping Up/Final Book Reflection

-How can we be activists

Author’s purpose

-Moving forward: Writing their own statements of beliefs and guiding principles



Leave a Reply

Search All Posts