Author: Thomas, Angie
Maverick feels strongly about family ties, making choices he feels necessary to help support his mom while his father serves time. Now the child he's raising is impacting the lives of his family and his girlfriend, and the drug-dealing gang life he led to support them all financially could leave them all bearing his responsibilities since it endangers his life. Prequel to: The hate u give.
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Interest Level: UG
Reading Level: 3.40
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 510408
Kirkus Reviews (+) (12/01/20)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 12/01/2020 Gr 9 Up—Maverick "Lil Don" Carter is a 17-year-old King Lord growing up in the Garden Heights district. The King Lords have been in existence long before Maverick was born, so his life has always been steeped in gang culture. Maverick knows that the game can steal family, friends, and time from you. His father Adonis's imprisonment is a testament to that fact. Maverick's cousin Dre and his friend Shawn try to keep Maverick from falling too deep into the game, but Maverick's best friend King keeps finding new ways to convince him to deepen his involvement. The unexpected joys and pains of fatherhood, the death of one of his best friends, and another unexpected pregnancy threaten to break Maverick's tenuous hold on his own sanity. How can he cut ties with the King Lords, raise his son, prepare for another child, and maintain his independence? The pressure Maverick is under yields some startling blooms in this novel about tenacity and rebirth. This is the perfect example of a narrative that straddles the beauty and pain of belonging and having the courage to make your own choices. Maverick Carter, who is Black, is a wonderfully complex character who will resonate with readers of all stripes. Thomas writes with a depth of humor and clarity that really allows readers to bond with the characters. VERDICT This prequel to The Hate U Give is perfect for public and school libraries.—Desiree Thomas, Worthington Lib., OH - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 01/01/2021 *Starred Review* Thomas delivers a poignant prequel to The Hate U Give (2017) with Concrete Rose, set 17 years prior. Seventeen-year-old Maverick Carter is the son of a former gang member who, nevertheless, follows the same path, selling drugs for the King Lords to help his mom with bills while his dad is in jail. He thinks he has everything figured out until fatherhood stares him in the face in the form of baby Seven. Maverick comes to realize that there’s so much more to life that can be lost now that Seven needs him. Then, someone close to Maverick is murdered, leaving him with more hard choices to make. He must define duty, family, and loyalty for himself and figure out if he will—or even can— leave gang life for good. Thomas already delivered a dynamic, rich character with Maverick as Star’s father in The Hate You Give (THUG). This insightful novel lets readers see Maverick as a teen himself and walk a mile in his shoes, before and during his evolution into the man, father, and husband that he is in THUG. Maverick’s story is one that offers hope, encouragement, and optimism, and it shows those going through difficult times of their own that they can take control of their own destiny.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: THUG fans—and there are a lot—will relish the chance to dig into Maverick’s teenage experiences and meet Thomas at one of her many virtual events. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.