Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro

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

Anger is a Gift is a very challenging book for a variety of reasons. Please be advised that it contains graphic and frequent depictions of police violence, as well as in-depth accounts of anxiety, despair, and panic attacks. In general, the book is not intended to provide solace to the reader. And it shouldn’t be necessary. It’s not an easy narrative to read, but Mark Oshiro has given us a stark glimpse at systemic racism and police violence in our society. 

The protagonist, Moss, is a gay, black teen boy whose father was murdered by the police. Because we spend the whole book inside his thoughts, we have to read accounts of his repeated severe panic episodes and his struggle with PTSD. He is overcome with sadness that he can’t let go of as well as fury that he is unsure how to handle. However, Moss is also such a truly caring individual despite his pain. He adores both his friends and his mom. Additionally, he is looking for a method to connect with others and communicate his experiences to those around him.

Moss has an excellent storytelling manner. His ability to come to life, as well as Mark Oshiro’s unwavering perspective on tyranny and brutality, are truly amazing. Because of how important it is, I want to suggest this book, but I also believe a few caveats should be made. White readers should enter the discussion prepared to discuss their privileges and assumptions. The emotional toll of this story must be anticipated by queer and people of color since it is challenging. However, if you can manage it, I believe this to be one of the most significant YA books available today. Furthermore, it merits to be read and distributed as widely as possible.

By Teen Reviewer, Maheen