A prequel to Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give is arriving January 12, 2021. It will be titled Concrete Rose.
The return to Garden Heights will tell the story of 17-year-old Maverick Carter, Starr’s father. The novel is set 17 years before the events of The Hate U Give and follows Maverick as he navigates becoming a father to Starr’s older brother, Seven.
Thomas tells PEOPLE that “of all characters who really just stayed with me, Maverick was at the top of that list”. She was inspired by her young male readers to continue telling Maverick’s story. “I started talking to young real life Mavericks. Young men who are trying to still find their way and are often written off and seen as troublemakers or this or that … they deserve the opportunity to not just grow, they deserve the opportunities to be seen as someone beyond their circumstances.”
Expanding on ideas in The Hate U Give, the novel will continue to explore themes of racism, gang violence, and police brutality. Thomas says “I absolutely expect it to get banned.”
What is Concrete Rose about?
Read the full synopsis from Goodreads here:
If there’s one thing seventeen-year-old Maverick Carter knows, it’s that a real man takes care of his family. As the son of a former gang legend, Mav does that the only way he knows how: dealing for the King Lords. With this money he can help his mom, who works two jobs while his dad’s in prison.
Life’s not perfect, but with a fly girlfriend and a cousin who always has his back, Mav’s got everything under control.
Until, that is, Maverick finds out he’s a father.
Suddenly he has a baby, Seven, who depends on him for everything. But it’s not so easy to sling dope, finish school, and raise a child. So when he’s offered the chance to go straight, he takes it. In a world where he’s expected to amount to nothing, maybe Mav can prove he’s different.
When King Lord blood runs through your veins, though, you can’t just walk away. Loyalty, revenge, and responsibility threaten to tear Mav apart, especially after the brutal murder of a loved one. He’ll have to figure out for himself what it really means to be a man.
What do we know about Maverick?
In an #EpicAMA, Thomas revealed some additional fun facts about her main character. From Thomas’ tweets:
His middle name is Malcolm after Malcom X.
He has a huge CD collection that he is proud of.
He’s a big Lakers fan thanks to his dad.
His best friend besides King is his cousin, Dre.
He is a Gryffindor. He would’ve rolled with James and ‘nem back in the day.
Concrete Rose will be published by HarperCollins on January 12, 2021.