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Concrete Rose Hardcover – January 12, 2021

4.8 out of 5 stars 3,558 ratings

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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-Maverick "Lil Don" Carter is a 17-year-old King Lord growing up in the Garden Heights district. The King Lords have been in existence long before Maverick was born, so his life has always been steeped in gang culture. Maverick knows that the game can steal family, friends, and time from you. His father Adonis's imprisonment is a testament to that fact. Maverick's cousin Dre and his friend Shawn try to keep Maverick from falling too deep into the game, but Maverick's best friend King keeps finding new ways to convince him to deepen his involvement. The unexpected joys and pains of fatherhood, the death of one of his best friends, and another unexpected pregnancy threaten to break Maverick's tenuous hold on his own sanity. How can he cut ties with the King Lords, raise his son, prepare for another child, and maintain his independence? The pressure Maverick is under yields some startling blooms in this novel about tenacity and rebirth. This is the perfect example of a narrative that straddles the beauty and pain of belonging and having the courage to make your own choices. Maverick Carter, who is Black, is a wonderfully complex character who will resonate with readers of all stripes. Thomas writes with a depth of humor and clarity that really allows readers to bond with the characters. VERDICT This prequel to The Hate U Give is perfect for public and school libraries.-Desiree Thomas, Worthington Lib., OHα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

“A heartfelt exploration of Black manhood and the power of possibility.” — People

“In Concrete Rose, Thomas casts a loving eye on the lives and realities of Black people, which is a powerful continuation of one of her most moving endeavors as a writer: her challenge to readers to affirm the goodness of all types of characters and to greet them with compassion at every turn, no matter where those turns may lead.”? — New York Times Book Review

“Thomas brings her trademark wit, nostalgic love of the 1990s and all things R&B and hip-hop, and her penchant for heartfelt characterization to this first-person exploration of Maverick Carter’s coming-of-age.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Authentic to the point of heartbreak, Maverick’s voice is earnest as he wrestles with his decisions. Fans of Thomas’s work will not be disappointed in this intense portrayal of this phase in the Carter family’s story." — Horn Book (starred review)

“This is the perfect example of a narrative that straddles the beauty and pain of belonging and having the courage to make your own choices…. Thomas writes with a depth of humor and clarity that really allows readers to bond with the characters.” — School Library Journal (starred review)

“This literary DeLorean transports readers into the past, where they hope, dream, and struggle alongside beloved characters from Thomas’ The Hate U Give…. Thomas proves Game of Thrones–esque in her worldbuilding ability, deepening her landscape without sacrificing intimacy or heart.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Thomas delivers a poignant prequel to The Hate U Give…. Maverick's story is one that offers hope, encouragement, and optimism." — Booklist (starred review)

"Thomas’ genius is her ability to craft one man’s history in a way that illuminates the forces that brought us to this critical juncture." — Time

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Balzer + Bray (January 12, 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 368 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 006284671X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0062846716
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 14 - 17 years
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ HL500L
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ 9 - 12
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 15.5 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.5 x 1.05 x 8.25 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 3,558 ratings

About the author

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Angie Thomas was born, raised, and still resides in Jackson, Mississippi as indicated by her accent. She is a former teen rapper whose greatest accomplishment was an article about her in Right-On Magazine with a picture included. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Belhaven University and an unofficial degree in Hip Hop. She can also still rap if needed. She is an inaugural winner of the Walter Dean Myers Grant 2015, awarded by We Need Diverse Books. Her debut novel, The Hate U Give, was acquired by Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins in a 13-house auction. Film rights have been optioned by Fox 2000 with George Tillman attached to direct and Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg set to star.

Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5
3,558 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

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Top reviews from other countries

Whispering Stories Book Blog
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a book that you must read if you read and loved the first.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 26, 2021
2 people found this helpful
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Anika May
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect prequel: moving, important, and enjoyable in every way!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 2, 2021
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Anika May
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect prequel: moving, important, and enjoyable in every way!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 2, 2021
Concrete Rose, the prequel to The Hate U Give, is the story of seventeen-year-old Maverick Carter. Following in his father’s footsteps, he earns extra cash slinging drugs, wearing gang stripes, and making a name for himself in Garden Heights. But when Mav unexpectedly becomes a father, he realises what it really means to step up.

Maverick was a fascinating character in The Hate U Give, so I was excited to explore his story in Concrete Rose. As Starr’s father, he often acted like the grounded voice of reason, but subtle hints to his upbringing suggested he wasn’t always so level-headed. And in Concrete Rose, the reader gets a chance to learn about the trials, challenges, and lessons Mav faced as a young man. It’s also interesting to see appearances from other characters featured in The Hate U Give, including King and Carlos. Seeing where bonds and tensions began, only increases the nostalgia for the first book.

Angie Thomas’ remarkable voice is in full form in Concrete Rose. Like The Hate U Give and On the Come Up, this book is written in the first person narrative. But it never falls flat, never loses heart, and never waivers. Mav’s voice feels defined and independent, stirring up the same inspirational determination Starr and Bri’s did. Additionally, the dialogue flows beautifully, and the personalities feel authentically full.

I love the way emotion is explored in relation to Black boyhood. Mav has this nagging insecurity around appearing weak, especially as the son of a King Lord. It’s a very relevant and familiar stereotype, and the protagonist’s inner emotional outbursts and raw expressions give the book a strong sense of heart in the face of expectation. The concept of ‘manliness’ is written with sensitivity, as are the books other themes: racism, teen pregnancy, and grief.

Naturally, I’m comparing this book with The Hate U Give. Concrete Rose is not quite as eventful and the pace is slower, but it’s just as moving. Maverick’s story is well worth telling. And I’ll always be captivated by Angie Thomas’ tales of Garden Heights.
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Kristel Greer
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling story with realistic and interesting characters
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 16, 2021
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Kristel Greer
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling story with realistic and interesting characters
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 16, 2021
17-year-old Maverick is dealing with a lot. His drug king father is in prison, he is working two jobs and he is studying hard at school to have a chance of a future away from Garden Heights. While contending with all this he is also selling dope on the side and under his mother's nose just to make ends meet. He loves his girlfriend, but a stupid decision he made while they were broken up comes back to bite him. He finds out that a one-time hookup has resulted in him being a teenage father. The mother can't deal and he is left with his son to look after. He names him Seven and he experiences a steep learning curve on how much the baby needs him to step up.

His girlfriend dumps him, is failing his classes in school and he loses contact with his friends and his old life. When a devastating event rocks his world, the choices he makes afterwards lead to more difficulties, hardships and stress in his life. The constant lure of the drug world to earn decent money makes Mav face tough decisions but the threat of violence that comes with that world is also a factor he needs to consider. When the opportunity for revenge shows up, will Mav take the shot and risk his life, the lives of his loved ones and his connection with his son or will he find a different path out of his problems and away from a life of crime? With a strong female role model in his mother who pushes him to be a better man, can Maverick resist repeating the mistakes that his father made?

🌟🌟🌟🌟. The characters especially Maverick were compelling to read. The dynamics within his family were intriguing as he had a strong support system but yet they still pushed him to learn the hard way how to deal with the consequences and triumphs of his decisions. He was a little frustrating at times with how naïve he was but he is a teenager so that’s to be expected. Mav's mother was a strong woman and mainly raised him alone and considering all the obstacles she had to overcome to do it, she was an amazing influence on his life. I look forward to reading THUG later this month.
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Ritu B
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 17, 2021
S
5.0 out of 5 stars If you liked THUG, you'd like this
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 29, 2021