On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
I snagged On the Come Up by Angie Thomas when it came out. Imagine how thrilled I was when it was selected as a Cybils finalist??? (like i wrote the thing ahahah) Anyway, it is so so soooo good! I actually think its a teeny better than The Hate U Give, if that’s possible. (sorry #notsorry Angie)
Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighborhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill. But now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shutoff notices are as much a part of Bri’s life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.
On the Come Up is Angie Thomas’s homage to hip-hop, the art that sparked her passion for storytelling and continues to inspire her to this day. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; of the struggle to become who you are and not who everyone expects you to be; and of the desperate realities of poor and working-class black families.
It’s so good. I feel like it’s an authentic representation of that corner of African American life. It’s harsh, but there’s hope. Also qualifies for the Diversity Reading Challenge!