Angie Thomas shares Harry Potter inspiration for debut novel


Many would think the Black Lives Matter campaign was Angie Thomas’ inspiration for her debut novel, but it was actually the wizarding world J.K. Rowling created.

Angie Thomas is helping to change the face of Young Adult novels, an area of literature that usually focuses on white protagonists. However, it wasn’t quite the Black Lives Matter campaign that gave Thomas the inspiration for her debut novel, “The Hate U Give.” It was a novel series with a white protagonist: the “Harry Potter” series.

Of course, Thomas’ own upbringing and experiences play a role in the novel. “The Hate U Give” tells the story of Starr, who witnesses her unarmed best friend shot by the police. She then goes from a poor neighborhood to a fee-paying school on a scholarship and has to deal with the prejudice and hatred from that.

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While the title of the book is from a Tupac quote, Thomas shares that “Harry Potter” was her inspiration and if she ever has the chance to meet author J.K. Rowling, she would cry.

Why “Harry Potter?” Well, it was the novels that she read growing up to escape everything she was going through. The novels may not be political, but the characters are strong and brave; standing up for their rights and fighting against powers bigger and viewed as stronger than them. The characters are also three-dimensional, and even smaller characters had their own story to tell and development, such as Luna Lovegood and Neville Longbottom. Their stories became just as important as Harry’s and that was important for Thomas.

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“The Hate U Give” is just the first you’ll read from Thomas. She’s currently working on her second book, which will be set in the same neighborhood as the first. This one is about a young girl attempting to break into the hip-hop scene.

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Have you read “The Hate U Give?” Will you read it now? Share your thoughts about the novel in the comments below.