First announced last year (March 2016), 20th Century Fox subsidiary, Fox 2000, won a bidding war for Angela Thomas’ debut novel “The Hate U Give,” and tapped George Tillman Jr. to direct, with Amandla Stenberg attached to star.

The novel, which will hit bookstores on February 28 (as Tillman shared in the above tweet this evening), is inspired by the #BlackLivesMatter movement, which Publisher’s Weekly says was at the center of a heated auction among 13 publishing houses, including all of the Big Five, earlier last year. It eventually went to Donna Bray of HarperCollins’ Balzer + Bray in what PW says was a six-figure deal for the young author.

What a way for any aspiring author to launch a career; first, a bidding war over the rights to publish your novel, and then shortly after that, a bidding war for the rights to turn your novel into a film!

Angela Thomas
Angela Thomas

“The Hate U Give” tells the story of 16-year-old Starr, who navigates between the poverty-stricken slum she has grown up in and the upper-crust suburban prep school she attends. Her life is up-ended when she is an eyewitness to a police officer shooting her best friend, Khalil, who turns out to have been unarmed during the confrontation – but may or may not have been a drug dealer. As Starr finds herself even more torn between the two vastly different worlds she inhabits, she also has to contend with speaking her truth and, in the process, trying to stay alive herself.

Audrey Wells was tapped to adapt the novel to screenplay at the time of last year’s announcement.

Thomas, a student in Belhaven University’s creative writing program at the time she came up with the idea for “The Hate U Give” in 2011, originally wrote it as a short story for her senior-year project, but it quickly expanded into a novel-length work.

The title comes from a tattoo worn by Tupac Shakur (the acronym T.H.U.G.).

“What society feeds into youth comes back later and kicks society in the butt,” Thomas explained title to PW last year, describing Shakur’s music as having had a profound influence on her. “These kids who are being blamed for their own deaths are still kids.”

As you can see in Tillman’s tweet, he’s beginning work on the film adaptation. No word on whether Stenberg is still attached to star.

You can order a copy of “The Hate U Give” on