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K-State Today Student Edition

March 6, 2018

K-State Book Network 2018 book selected, spring events announced

By Karin Westman

Angie Thomas The Hate U Give

The K-State Book Network is pleased to announce the book selection for 2018: "The Hate U Give" by Angie Thomas.

Thomas's best-selling and award-winning novel tells the story of a 16-year-old girl named Starr Carter. Starr has grown up in an urban, poverty-stricken neighborhood and now attends a suburban prep school. After she witnesses a police officer shooting her unarmed friend, she must find a way to share the truth of her experience for her family, friends, community and herself.

The 2018 selection emerged as the favorite following campuswide conversations and review by the KSBN selection committee, comprised of 48 faculty, students, and staff from colleges and units across the university's campuses.

"I'm excited by the selection of 'The Hate U Give,'" said Tara Coleman, chair of KSBN and associate professor, K-State Libraries. "This book was on the top of the list throughout the selection process because the students, staff and faculty on the committee felt the book offered an approachable way to talk about hard subjects. It will give students room to think deeply about the current issues we are facing as a society."

Adrian Rodriguez, associate vice president for student life, diversity and multicultural student affairs, agrees with Coleman.

"'The Hate U Give' is an exceptional common reader allowing our first year students to delve into the world of Starr Carter, a young black teenage girl who has lost two of her childhood friends to gang violence and now is faced with her own direct involvement in matters of police brutality, justice and activism. This book allows students and faculty to explore the harsh reality and experiences of many of our young students of color. 'The Hate U Give' will play an integral role in engaging students in conversations about intercultural learning and understanding, concepts critical to ensuring an inclusive culture and climate at Kansas State University," Rodriguez said.

"The Hate U Give" was an early favorite for students across campus, earning the endorsement of the Student Governing Association last fall when the finalists were announced. Jack Ayres, president of SGA, believes that the 2018 KSBN selection will allow K-State to advance the goals of #KSUnite.

"SGA supports the selection of 'The Hate U Give' because we believe it will be an excellent catalyst for continued civic discourse around the very issues which affect our community and others, nationwide. As we work towards greater cultural competency and commitments to our values of inclusion, the common book provides an effective avenue to move the needle on this initiative," explained Ayres.

"The enthusiastic student support for 'The Hate U Give' is unprecedented," noted Greg Eiselein, professor of English and director of K-State First. "I think it reflects a desire to talk about the complex intersection of individual development and social issues."

The intersection of personal experiences and social concerns drives KSBN's goals for programming.

"We're looking forward to a semester of campus and communitywide programming, with co-sponsorship from a broad range of partners, including SGA, the Black Student Union, the Kansas State Police Department, the Riley County Police Department, and Manhattan Public Library," said Karin Westman, chair of the KSBN PR/Events Committee and department head of English. "We encourage members of the K-State and Manhattan communities to contact KSBN when they organize an event that resonates with 'The Hate U Give' and its themes, so we can recognize their contribution to the conversation."

To jump-start those programming ideas, KSBN will sponsor two events this spring.

Tuesday, March 13, 11-11:20 a.m., in the K-State Student Union courtyard, KSBN and current co-sponsors will offer a preview of Thomas's book. Members of the campus community can sign up to participate in a drawing for a copy of "The Hate U Give" and other prizes.

On Thursday, April 5, KSBN will host an information session for faculty, staff, graduate teaching assistants, and student leaders to discuss how Thomas's book can be part of coursework and event programming. Coleman, Westman, and other members of KSBN and other members of KSBN will share resources for Thomas's book on issues such as education, family, the American Dream, community building, civil discourse, and popular culture.

The information session will take place 11 a.m. to noon in Union 227. Participants are welcome to stop by at any time during the hour to visit with members of KSBN. Refreshments will be served.

RSVP for the April session by April 3 at the KSBN website for an opportunity to receive a copy of "The Hate U Give" at the session.

More information about the K-State Book Network, the 2018 book selection, and resources for its inclusion in fall activities and classrooms is available at the KSBN website

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