Review of Concrete Rose

Concrete Rose
by Angie Thomas
High School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    368 pp.    g
1/21    978-0-06-284671-6    $19.99
Library ed.  978-1-4328-8474-1    $24.99
e-book ed.  978-0-06-284675-4    $12.99

One of the most dynamic characters in Thomas’s acclaimed The Hate U Give (rev. 3/17) is Starr’s father, Maverick Carter. In this prequel, seventeen-year-old Mav has joined his incarcerated father’s gang for protection and is secretly selling drugs with his best friend. The situation isn’t ideal, but it provides young Mav with everything he wants in life…until he discovers he’s a father. Suddenly a single parent to a three-month-old, Mav reevaluates the life he needs to live for his son (and that’s just the first major complication), but he quickly discovers that leaving his old life without consequences isn’t an option, while outside pressures build to a tragic event. Authentic to the point of heartbreak, Maverick’s voice is earnest as he wrestles with his decisions. Even as his behavior swings chaotically between virtue and violence or near-violence, Mav’s main motive remains consistent throughout — to protect and honor his loved ones. Fans of Thomas’s work will not be disappointed by this intense portrayal of this phase in the Carter family’s story.

From the March/April 2021 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Eboni Njoku
Eboni Njoku is a children’s librarian at the Anacostia Neighborhood Library Branch of the DC Public Library.

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