by Angie Thomas
Concrete Rose is the prequel to the number one New York Times best-seller, The Hate U Give. Set 17 years in the past, it follows Starr's father, Maverick, as he navigates growing up while raising an infant son and having to make difficult decisions about what it means to be responsible. Can he afford leaving gang life and fast money behind and still manage to take care of his family? Can he afford not to? Thomas' powerful writing illuminates some of the challenges of being a young Black man, and Thomas does a wonderful job of weaving together Maverick's backstory. Reading Concrete Rose absolutely made me want to reread The Hate U Give with this new insight into Starr's parents and the neighborhood. That said, I think I enjoyed Concrete Rose even more than The Hate U Give.
See the Jones Library Antiracism Book List for recommended titles for all ages