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On the Come Up
by Angie Thomas




Overview -

#1 New York Times bestseller - Seven starred reviews - Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor Book

"For all the struggle in this book, Thomas rarely misses a step as a writer. Thomas continues to hold up that mirror with grace and confidence. We are lucky to have her, and lucky to know a girl like Bri."--The New York Times Book Review

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.

--Washington Post

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Overview

#1 New York Times bestseller - Seven starred reviews - Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor Book

"For all the struggle in this book, Thomas rarely misses a step as a writer. Thomas continues to hold up that mirror with grace and confidence. We are lucky to have her, and lucky to know a girl like Bri."--The New York Times Book Review

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.

--Washington Post

 

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062498564
  • ISBN-10: 0062498568
  • Publisher: Balzer and Bray
  • Publish Date: February 2019
  • Page Count: 464
  • Reading Level: Ages 14-17
  • Dimensions: 8.4 x 6 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.15 pounds


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BookPage Reviews

On the Come Up

“I might have to kill somebody tonight.” It’s a powerful opening line for multiple award-winning author Angie Thomas’ sophomore novel, On the Come Up, which brings readers back to the neighborhood of Garden Heights, the setting of her debut, The Hate U Give. But what 16-year-old Bri really wants to slay is her competitor in the Ring, a place where wannabe rappers come to compete against each other. She’s beyond confident; after all, she’s the daughter of Lawless, a legendary and influential rapper who was killed in the midst of gang violence.

Fueled with a desire to be like her father, Bri goes big with her verse—maybe too big. When she wins the rap battle and a buzzworthy video of her performance goes viral, she discovers that her war has just begun. Bri’s raw and controversial lyrics put her in danger when they incite misunderstanding and anger, and her classmates label her as “hood.” Add to that an eviction notice, a drug-dealing aunt and an out-of-work mom who’s a recovering addict, and it looks like Bri has bitten off more than she can chew on her way to the top.

Can Bri remain true to herself while rapping behind a tough persona? And is free speech really free—especially for young black people? Bri discovers that this fighting-for-your-life thing gets real in more ways than one.

Thomas knocked it out of the park with The Hate U Give—amassing scores of literary awards and a blockbuster movie deal. In the introduction to her new book, she calls that experience “surreal.” But Thomas should prepare for even more attention and accolades, because On the Come Up is another raw and powerful look at the challenges of being young and black in America.

 

This article was originally published in the February 2019 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 

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