On the Come Up (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Black Girl Magic shines in Angie Thomas’s brilliant second novel about 16-year-old aspiring rapper Brianna Jackson. Bri, one of the few students of color at her high school, is violently assaulted by two security guards which prompts her to write “On the Come Up”, a song about how she’ll always be perceived by authority figures as “lawless” because of her race. But when the song goes viral, it becomes clear that not everyone understands the message she wanted to get across with her lyrics and many charge the song with inciting violence when a protest against the school security guards turns bloody. Bri is torn between playing into the persona her manager wants her to cultivate and pressure from her friends to become the face of the anti-racism movement at school, especially when her mother loses her job and making it big seems to be the only way Bri can provide for her family. Thomas is back with another spectacular novel that will stay with you long after you turn the last page. Give to everyone who loved The Hate U Give! Actually, just give to everyone.

— From Kinsey's Picks


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.

Praise For…

Praise for THE HATE U GIVE: “…An important and timely novel that reflects the world today’s teens inhabit… Thomas delivers an authentic plot with realistic, relatable characters.”
— Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) (starred review)

Praise for THE HATE U GIVE: “Pair this powerful debut with Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely’s All American Boys to start a conversation on racism, police brutality, and the Black Lives Matter movement.”
— School Library Journal (starred review)
Product Details
ISBN: 9780062498564
ISBN-10: 0062498568
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: February 5th, 2019
Pages: 464
Language: English