Vermont Reads 2020

The Hate U Give

by Angie Thomas

Vermont Reads 2020 Extended through June 2021

Vermont Reads 2020 logoDue to the twin pandemics of Covid-19 and systemic racism, we are extending Vermont Reads 2020: The Hate U Give until June 2021, the end of the academic year.  

Angie Thomas’ bestselling YA novel about the Black Lives Matter movement is finding an even wider audience now than when it was first published in 2017. The powerful themes of The Hate U Give have been brought into sharper focus for millions of Americans by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbury. 

Our work with the book began with a powerful training on reading and racism led by Latinx scholar Dr. Laura Jimenez of Boston University in February. About 30 cultural leaders from around the state gathered in Montpelier to develop their facilitation skills to lead active community conversations about racism, bias and equity through The Hate U Give. One participant noted, “I was forced to think and get uncomfortable in all the best ways. Dr. Jimenez was both empathetic and unswerving in her directness.” 

A month after this training session, Covid-19 upended everything we had planned for 2020. The pandemic disrupted our ability to hold in-person Vermont Reads programs. For many months we could not ship books or offer programs in schools, churches, and community centers. 

But this summer, several schools held socially distanced Humanities Camps based around Black Lives Matter and The Hate U Give. At the Maple Run School in St. Albans, camp director Tess Bradshaw told us, “This group of students is going to change the world for the better, and we are proud to have had the privilege of working with them.”   

In early October, we teamed with the Vermont Library Association to host a Zoom conversation between Dr. Jiménez and the Vermont State Librarian, Jason Broughton. We’ve placed a video of their conversation below. 

We encourage you to watch the video and then contact us about your Vermont Reads community project. We’ll work with you to provide expert facilitation so that your project can be a catalyst for action against systemic racism, even in the midst of the pandemic. 

Video: Let’s Talk Antiracism

Dr. Laura Jiménez joins Vermont State Librarian Jason Broughton to examine ways to lead effective discussions centered on diversity and antiracism.

Jiménez and Broughton use our Vermont Reads 2020 choice, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, as a catalyst for the conversation. The free event was co-sponsored by the Vermont Library Association.

Dr. Jiménez is Department Chair for Language & Literacy Education at Boston University. She studies literature and literacy through a social justice lens, and focuses on the ways teachers understand the systems of inequity and privilege at play in education, and their own roles within those systems.