Hello everyone and welcome to Episode Eight of Page Turn: the Largo Public Library Podcast! I’m your host Hannah. Today’s library tidbit is brought to us by Pete Summers the President of the Pinellas Genealogical Society.
The Spanish Language Book Review begins at 21:44 and ends at 27:40
The English Language Transcript can be found below
But as always we start with Reader’s Advisory!
The Reader’s Advisory for Episode Eight is The Pillow Book by Sei Shonagon. If you like The Pillow Book you should also check out: The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu, The Confessions of Lady Nijo by Lady Nijo, and As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams by Lady Sarashina.
My personal favorite Goodreads list The Pillow Book is on is Best Books to Read When the Snow is Falling.
Today’s Library Tidbit comes to us from Peter Summers. Peter is the President of the Pinellas Genealogical Society. He also maintains the PGS Newsletter and coordinates between the different volunteers, consultants, and with us the library. I’m really happy to have Pete on today.
Thanks again for coming on the Podcast and giving us such great information about PGS Pete. You can find more information about the Pinellas Genealogical Society at the following links:
Book Traveler, with Victor:
Hello everyone. My name is Victor and I am the Community Outreach Librarian here at the Largo Public Library. Today I am going to talk to you about a very popular book. Its movie version is currently in theaters. It is The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.
In short, the book is based on its protagonist Starr. Starr is a sixteen-year-old girl who lives between two worlds: the poor neighborhood of black people where she was born, and her school located in an elegant white residential neighborhood. The difficult balance between the two disappears when she witnesses the shooting death of her best friend, Khalil, at the hands of a policeman. From that moment, everything Starr says about the terrifying night that changed her life can be used as a weapon against her. And the worst part is that she is in the spotlight, putting her life at risk.
Since I read the synopsis of this book in English and saw that it was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, I knew that I would have to read it. It seemed to me like one of those obligatory readings and would be endlessly valuable. In addition, as the months went by, the popularity of this book began to increase and it has ended up becoming one of the biggest young adult books this year in the United States.
Starr is a sixteen year old girl who lives between two worlds: one is Garden Heights, the poor black neighborhood, where she was born and where her family lives. It is where her father has a small shop and where her childhood friends are. Garden Heights is her home, despite its tragedies and dangers.
The other world is Williamson, an institute of high society in the suburbs practically full of white people where Starr and her brothers study. There she has her own friends and a white boyfriend. Most of the time, she leads both lives separated and in each one she behaves differently according to the place where she is.
The parts of the book that show the conflict between the Starr of Garden Heights and the Starr of Williamson’s is just one of the sub-plots that appear in this novel. That same plot also affects her parents, her older brother Seven, and her uncle Carlos. Concepts such as home, community, wanting to feel safe (and the guilt of leaving others behind) and personal responsibilities are recurring themes that are being built and developed in a fairly accurate way. It is part of what makes these characters exist, concepts that come into conflict when a horrible tragedy takes them by surprise.
Everything changes when Starr witnesses the violent death of her best friend Khalil by a white policeman. His death becomes national news, but all they use to justify his death is that he is a “thug”, which opens the way to the search for justice, with Starr as the only witness. From the tragic event, Starr will be even more pressed between the two worlds and will have to decide whether to say what happened that night or to be silent forever. Whatever decision she makes, the affected side will not hesitate to do whatever it takes to protect their interests.
Starr starts out being neutral, but as the story progresses and after Khalil’s death, she becomes brave, but at the same time fears for her life and the lives of those around her. At all times we can feel the pressure that falls on her to be between two completely different worlds, and although she fits almost perfectly in both, it seems impossible to unite them.
This story is a mirror that shows us how a person can find themself between two completely different worlds, that although the logical thing is that they coexist in peace and harmony, they do it with constant confrontations and abuses of power by the police. In addition, it is a reflection of how important activism is, the strength of voices when they unite in the struggle for a just cause and the power we have to stop injustices through our actions. But what we should not forget is that the story of Khalil is real, it is the story of each shot that goes through the body of a black person every time a policeman acts from ignorance, so we should not close our eyes and think that it is fiction, because it is the reality we are living in.
It should also be noted that this book not only focuses on the main plot, but also there are other secondary plots that reinforce it, such as the importance of friendship and love, whatever the color of the skin.
In short, The Hate U Give is a cry of hope and strength for us to fight against those things that should have remained in the past. With a hard and realistic plot, but necessary and powerful, Angie Thomas debuts in young adult literature with a book that goes beyond the paper and brings out the activist in all of us. Without a doubt, one of the most talked about books this year.
Thanks everyone for listening some upcoming library events to keep track of:
December 3 Learn to Make Challah Bread at 6:00pm in Jenkins Room A
December 4 New York Times Online at 3:00pm in Jenkins Room C
December 4 Maintaining a Florida-Friendly Landscape at 6:30pm in Jenkins Room B
December 11 Android Tablets for Beginners at 3:00pm in Jenkins Room C
December 12 Ukulele Workshop – Strum & Sing Jam at 6:30pm in Jenkins Room A
December 15 Might Our Ancestors Have Met at 11:00am in Jenkins Room A & B
Remember the library will be closed December 24 and 25 for Christmas and we will be closing early (at 5:00pm) on December 31st and be closed on January 1st for the New Year.
Have a great month everyone, we hope to talk you again soon.
For everyone interested our intro music is by Break the Bans and the outro music is by Jahzzar, both artists can be found on Free Music Archive.