Spring 2019 Kids Indie Next List
“For her sophomore book, Thomas gives us a heroine — Brianne — who is struggling against both her family’s expectations as well as those of white people as she tries to make her way doing what she loves: rapping. We follow her through ups and downs as she navigates racism at her school and the expectations of black girls in the music world. Excellently written and incredibly unputdownable, you will cheer and cry as Bri makes her way!”
— Melissa Fox, Watermark Books & Cafe, Wichita, KS
This is the highly anticipated second novel by Angie Thomas, the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling, award-winning The Hate U Give.
Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least win her first battle. As the daughter of an underground hip hop legend who died right before he hit big, Bri’s got massive shoes to fill.
But it’s hard to get your come up when you’re labeled a hoodlum at school, and your fridge at home is empty after your mom loses her job. So Bri pours her anger and frustration into her first song, which goes viral…for all the wrong reasons.
Bri soon finds herself at the center of a controversy, portrayed by the media as more menace than MC. But with an eviction notice staring her family down, Bri doesn’t just want to make it—she has to. Even if it means becoming the very thing the public has made her out to be.
Insightful, unflinching, and full of heart, On the Come Up is an ode to hip hop from one of the most influential literary voices of a generation. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; and about how, especially for young black people, freedom of speech isn’t always free.
About the Author
Angie Thomas made her debut with the #1 New York Times bestselling, award-winning novel The Hate U Give. A former teen rapper who holds a BFA in creative writing, Angie was born, raised, and still resides in Jackson, Mississippi. You can find her at www.angiethomas.com.
★ “This follow-up to Thomas’ landmark The Hate U Give, set in the same fictional city after the events of that book, demonstrates again Thomas’ gift for crackling dialogue, complex characterization, and impactful emotion. Readers already lining up for this title won’t be disappointed.”
— Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)
★ “While acknowledging that society is quick to slap labels onto black teens, the author allows her heroine to stumble and fall before finding her footing and her voice. Thomas once again fearlessly speaks truth to power; a compelling coming-of-age story for all teens.”
— School Library Journal (starred review)
★ “On the Come Up truly shines in its exploration of Bri’s resilience, determination, and pursuit of her dreams. In this splendid novel, showing many facets of the black identity and the black experience, Thomas gives readers another dynamic protagonist to root for.”
— ALA Booklist (starred review)
★ “This honest and unflinching story of toil, tears, and triumph is a musical love letter that proves literary lightning does indeed strike twice. The rawness of Bri’s narrative demonstrates Thomas’ undeniable storytelling prowess. A joyous experience awaits. Read it. Learn it. Love it.”
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
★ “With sharp, even piercing, characterization, this indelible and intricate story of a young girl who is brilliant and sometimes reckless, who is deeply loved and rightfully angry at a world that reduces her to less than her big dreams call her to be, provides many pathways for readers.”
— Horn Book (starred review)