Header Photo Credit: ANISSA HIDOUK
Written By: Isa Gonzalez Montilla
Mississippi-native, Angie Thomas, is coming out with her newest novel called 'Concrete Rose' on January 12th, 2021. Concrete Rose is a prelude to Thomas’ 2017 young-adult novel The Hate U Give, which is a story told by a 16-year-old black girl named Starr Carter about her life living in a poor neighborhood called Garden Heights in relation to her attendance to an elite, predominantly white, and affluent private school in the city.
Starr becomes involved with a national news story after she witnesses one of her childhood friends, Khalil, get shot and killed by a white officer. As Starr speaks up publicly about the shooting, protests and riots result after a grand jury decides not to indict the police officer for the offense.
(Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox)
Concrete Rose tells a different kind of story. The novel takes place in 1988, 17 years before the events of the best-seller The Hate U Give, and tells the story of Maverick Carter’s life, Starr Carter's father, as a high school senior exploring Black boyhood and the meaning behind what it means to be a man living in Garden Heights.
Maverick Carter is the son of a former gang legend and continues the legacy of dealing drugs for the King Lords. He uses this money to help his mother who works two jobs while his father is in prison. While life is not easy, Maverick keeps it all under control with his beloved girlfriend by his side and his loyal cousin that's always got his back, that is, until he finds out he is going to become a father.
With his baby boy Seven on the way, Maverick recognizes his child is going to depend on him for everything. Selling drugs, finishing school, applying to college, and raising a child doesn’t sound like the simplest mix, so when he is offered the chance to stray away from this kind of life, he takes it. But it's not that easy.
You can’t just walk away from the King Lords when that blood runs through your veins. Themes of loyalty, revenge, and responsibility endanger Maverick’s future, along with the brutal murder of a loved one. It will be up to him to figure out what it means to be a man.
This book has the potential to challenge the minds of all ages, young and old, to think outside of what they know about their own lives. These are the types of books we need on high school syllabus’ because it gives readers a different perspective on the variety of challenges members of the black community face.
This book is a must-read for everyone this year, especially because of the political climate we are currently in. As we come to understand the different obstacles different members of the world go through, we will be able to come together in unity and respect for each other and end this hate that is lingering on our soil.