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Anger Is a Gift

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  4,979 ratings  ·  1,226 reviews
Six years ago, Moss Jefferies' father was murdered by an Oakland police officer. Along with losing a parent, the media's vilification of his father and lack of accountability has left Moss with near crippling panic attacks.

Now, in his sophomore year of high school, Moss and his fellow classmates find themselves increasingly treated like criminals by their own school. New r
Hardcover, 463 pages
Published May 22nd 2018 by Tor Teen
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Koriana I have not read this book yet, but I d know the answer to your question. When people refer to someone as "they", it's usually because that character d…moreI have not read this book yet, but I d know the answer to your question. When people refer to someone as "they", it's usually because that character does not classify themselves as male or female. They is pronoun that many people of the LGBTQ+ community use.(less)
Caroline There is an app called Sora, and if your school or district is an OverDrive partner, then you can use it to access your public library's books. Or, yo…moreThere is an app called Sora, and if your school or district is an OverDrive partner, then you can use it to access your public library's books. Or, you can just buy the book online at your local bookstore, if you are willing to spend money.(less)

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Average rating 4.02  · 
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 ·  4,979 ratings  ·  1,226 reviews

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Emma Giordano
Jun 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars! I really really loved this book. An absolute must read for fans of stories of teen activists.

CW: racism, assault, violence, police brutality, murder/death

Anger Is A Gift features such a diverse cast of characters to the point where I don't believe I can list them all and I am so down for more books with this trait. There are gay characters (own voices!), trans characters, non-binary characters, bisexual/biromantic characters, asexual characters, black characters, Latinx characters (ow
C.G. Drews
Oh wow this is an incredibly powerful book...just wow. Definitely do. not. miss this one when it's out in May, ok, peoples?!? It's so well written with amazing characters and it just sucks you write in so you're there, experiencing this horribly unfair and frightening world of police brutality and racism...and also strong friendships and love. Moss was amazing and so so relatable.


And honestly, as a white/Australian, this almost felt dys
Adam Silvera
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Official blurb: "ANGER IS A GIFT is an explosion of fury and revolution. Mark Oshiro's beautiful and brutal debut proves that not only can anyone be a hero, but great change comes when the heroes work together." ...more
Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
This was one of the most difficult books I’ve ever read. Wow.

Update 7/9/18:

I will probably not be able to put words into any kind of order that does the emotional aspect of this book justice. But I'm going to try. Just know that whatever I say pales in comparison to the masterful story that Mark Oshiro has given us with his debut novel.

Anger is a Gift is an incredibly difficult book to get through for numerous reasons. Please be aware going in that it features intense and frequent scenes of poli
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
What an impactful and important book. This was so hard to read.
Jul 24, 2018 rated it did not like it
This book actually made me angry - I was hoping for a thoughtful book about racism and police brutality that treated its diverse cast well. Pity then that it's poorly written, deeply misogynistic, ableist, and has an unpleasant "bury your gays" plot - and yet it wins praise for being woke. It's also a book that very much falls into the "the main character is perfect, all praise him" category, which, granted, is common in YA and may or may not be a problem for the individual reader. Oh, and there ...more
Jun 16, 2020 added it
Shelves: queer, important, owned
“But we just wanted to go to school. I'm sixteen. I shouldn't have to beg for that. But we just want to get to class without fearing for our lives.”

I wish I had read this book earlier. It could have taught my so many things that I needed to hear and understand years ago. I went into this book only knowing that it was gay and somewhat devastating. It didn't take long for me to realise that this book was both about police violence and the defunding of schools. It's an infuriating book because we l
Apr 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This is an absolutely engrossing story.

I don't think I can review it, though. Anger is a Gift is a difficult story to read, but one that needed to be told and heard.

This has definitely earned a place on my Books Everyone Should Read in a Lifetime list.
Jul 22, 2018 rated it did not like it
Anger Is A Gift tries to hold a mirror up the world to show you its ugliness. Racism, classism, hatefulness and good intentions gone awry are the cornerstones supporting the message that police brutality is real and awful. But the mirror is distorted and the message diluted in frequently sloppy writing, an unlikeable protagonist and the characters who exist solely to prop him up or draw his fire. The diversity of its cast is squandered, and while it might try to make you angry at an unjust world ...more
may ➹
me before reading this book: how brutal can this book be I’ll be fine it can’t be that bad

me, waking up this morning after finishing: sooooo it looks like my eyes are swollen from CRYING SO MUCH
Jul 25, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: us, lgbt, race, young-adult
For a book trying so very, very hard to be an inspirational tale of a gay black man and his assortedly diverse friends fighting against oppression, it is kind of amazing how racist, sexist, and ableist it turned out to be. (view spoiler) ...more
Jul 13, 2018 rated it did not like it
Fucking magnets, how do they work?
The best way I can describe this book is "Imagine THUG and DEAR MARTIN had a gay baby." (ETA: Actually, I'm going with "Imagine THUG and DEAR MARTIN had a gay baby that was then single-mothered by JULIET TAKES A BREATH.") I think there are more Q/TPoC in this book alone than in all of YA combined (well, excepting CB Lee's awesome SIDEKICK series, maybe), and the fact that that's in a social justice book about police's a really nice thing to imagine how many people are going to fee ...more
Trina (Between Chapters)
Incredible! Best book I've read this year so far!

The main character is black, gay, fat, and neurodiverse. Side characters are diverse and intersectional in race, sexuality, gender identity, disability, mental illness, and religion.

Amaaaaaazing teacher and parental involvement.

Potential triggers: Systematic police brutality and murder. Death of loved ones.
Feb 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
I so appreciated the theme of anger as a gift in this novel. In his young-adult debut, Mark Oshiro writes about a group of predominantly queer teens of color experiencing police brutality and systemic discrimination at their local high school. He writes about their pain, solidarity, and resilience in the face of blatant racism and disadvantage. Our main character, Moss, suffers from some form of anxiety in large part due to the murder of his father years ago. I can imagine this novel triggering ...more
May 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
I wish I liked this book more. Students organizing against the school-to-prison pipeline? An unblinking indictment against police violence? Tons of queer and POC characters? Near-crippling social anxiety? And it's written by Mark Oshiro, the guy who writes about books and TV with passionate love and withering scorn? I thought I'd love this.

But I really couldn't get past the characters. In a book with so many characters, there is ONE character with both strengths and flaws -- that's Esperanza. (I
Jun 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book broke me...

I usually don't cry when I read books, but Oshiro was able to craft a story that took my breath away. I didn't know how I would feel reading this book considering it is closely related to current events; however, there was a new and interesting perspective brought forward in this book. I personally went to a high school where we had metal detectors and a police presence, but I never really thought anything of it. It was my normal. But in reading this book I can see the impli
4.5 ~ This book made me cry on public transportation.
I didn't expect it to be this difficult to read but I'm glad it was.

What's this book about?:
When the "security control" in Moss' school gets out of hand and violence follows, he, with the help of his friends, his ma and his comunity, get together to start protesting.

And damn did it punch me in the gut...
Not only was it greatly important to find a book focused on the expression of police brutality on a horrific level, we also got some brillian
Danika at The Lesbrary
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was brilliant. And gutting. I wouldn't expect any less from Mark--I've been a big fan since he was writing about Harry Potter--but it still blew me away. It was a fresh breath of air to read about a cast of mostly people of color, most of whom are queer (including trans, nonbinary, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and asexual characters).

This is the diverse, gay dystopian story we always wanted--except the dystopia is present day and already happening.

I also appreciated that Anger Is a Gift deals w
Galley provided by publisher

Rep: gay black mc, gay Latino li, physically disabled side character, wlw side characters

I really need to start a shelf which sorts books into the category of "it's not you, it's me" because this is one of those ones. I figure the best way to get through this review is by listing the good and bad things so, here we go.


- The diversity! The cast of characters in this book was fairly diverse, especially in terms of the LGBT community being represented, which was
Jul 22, 2018 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book about systematic oppression and police brutality is hard as hell to read. There is no flinching at violence in this one, and in addition to exploring race, this book explores gender identity and sexuality in myriad ways (including a gay main character, Moss, queer parents of one of his best friends, and a gender nonconforming best friend). Set in Oakland, Oshiro's book shines when it comes not just to highlighting oppression, but also in highlighting the liberal white world that can so ...more
Books on Stereo
Jun 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
Anger Is a Gift is simply a watered down version of The Hate U Give.
Jun 28, 2018 rated it did not like it
Well I guess it's time for me to go against the popular opinion again.
This book was hard to finish. I mean it was a serious struggle. The writing was bad - clunky, a lot of telling instead of showing, etc. Moss was an unbearable MC - the whole chapter after the police riot at his school, when everyone was at the church and Moss had at least 5 tantrums - I had to put the book down several times at that point, and force myself to pick it back up again and continue on. It didn't get any better. Als
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
Phew. This book. THIS BOOK.
It tore my heart apart into pieces and then BLOWTORCHED THE REMAINS.

- Follows Moss, a Black Latinx teen who becomes a teen activist, who fights against the oppressive practices enforced by the police at his school.
- I adored all of Moss's friends. They added unique voices of their own to Moss's narrative, had so mucha agency, and were so refreshing to red about.
- An amazing and nuanced examination of activism, police brutality, racism, and how oppression is systemic
Jun 17, 2018 rated it did not like it
I really thought I was going to love this book, but I couldn't even finish it. Ok, the characters are black and gay and intersectional and plot is raw and politically relevant... these are all the things I was looking forward to. The thing is, I can't think of a single one of my students for whom this book would be the perfect read - and I teach diverse students of all sorts. The praise, I've noticed, mostly comes from adults and I wonder what will happen as more teens read and review this novel ...more
Charlie Anders
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've been a fan of Mark Oshiro for years, but this book still amazed me and startled me with its intense emotional story of a queer kid dealing with intense trauma from his father's murder at the hands of the police. What's great about this book is that the protagonist never "gets over" his mental health problems, but he's still able to rise up and fight against the police brutality that invades his school, even in the face of horrendous loss. There is so much tenderness and sweetness in this bo ...more
Aug 02, 2018 rated it did not like it
Inspirational Cripples are not progressive.
Bury Your Gays is not progressive.
"This girl lives in a white neighborhood so she's basically white" is not progressive.
All the women in the book having to dedicate their lives to the author's self insert and cater to him at all times or be labelled evil and shouted down is not progressive.
The self insert being happy to see his best friend beaten because maybe now she'll learn not to ever question him is not progressive.
This was an astonishingly bad boo
chloe ♡
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
OH MY GOSH this book completely and utterly ruined me. i have never felt so many emotions at once.
review coming soon.
Mel (Epic Reading)
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If I could take Mark Oshiro's writing style and add it over top of the story in The Hate U Give I think it would make for the best YA story about USA police racism and prejudice against minorities. Oshiro's style is far more compelling and emotional than that of Angie Thomas. Additionally there are elements of each story that are done just a little bit better.

Comparison to The Hate U Give
I can't help but compare these two stories. Unfortunately the Anger is a Gift I read The Hate U Give first an
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MARK OSHIRO is the queer Latinx, Hugo-nominated writer of the online Mark Does Stuff universe (Mark Reads and Mark Watches), where he analyzes book and TV series. He was the nonfiction editor of Queers Destroy Science Fiction! and the co-editor of Speculative Fiction 2015, and is the President of the Con or Bust Board of Directors. When not writing/recording reviews or editing, Oshiro engages in s ...more

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“Anger is a gift. Remember that." She stood. "You gotta grasp onto it, hold it tight and use it as ammunition. You use that anger to get things done instead of just stewing in it.” 20 likes
“It's an insidious thing," Wanda said. "It never happens overnight. This kind of thing crept into our community a long time ago. It latched on. It fed on prejudice. Selfishness. Peoples inability to see life through someone else's eyes. And it grew, bigger and bigger, until we got to a point where some people don't even question why a cop should be allowed to shoot first and ask questions later.” 7 likes
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