Black Lives Matter-inspired book wins children's book prize

  • Published
Angie Thomas and the book jacket for The Hate U GiveImage source, Anissa Photography/Walker Books
Image caption,
Angie Thomas was born, raised and still lives in Jackson, Mississippi

A debut novel inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement has been named the overall winner of this year's Waterstones Children's Book Prize.

Angie Thomas won the £5,000 award for The Hate U Give, about a teenage girl who witnesses the police shooting of her unarmed best friend.

The book takes its title from rapper Tupac Shakur, who used the phrase to generate the acronym THUG.

A film version starring Anthony Mackie and rapper Common is now in production.

Originally written as a short story, The Hate U Give was inspired by a real-life police shooting in 2009.

Media caption,

Angie Thomas speaking on BBC Breakfast in April 2017

"I want to help people understand why we say black lives matter," Thomas told BBC Breakfast last year.

"The Hate U Give should have a readership far beyond a core audience of young adults," said James Daunt, Waterstones' managing director.

"Ours is a children's prize, but there is no upper age limit to being stunned by beautiful writing of this visceral power."

The Hate U Give beat two other category winners to this year's prize, presented on Thursday by Children's Laureate Lauren Child at a ceremony in London.

Nevermoor by Australia's Jessica Townsend came top in the younger fiction category, while The Secret of Black Rock by Joe Todd-Stanton was named the year's best illustrated book.

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