As the new year kicks off, we’re starting to see the release of some hotly anticipated teen and young adult books that had been delayed for various reasons over the past six months. And a really, really good one just dropped last week.
Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas
Angie Thomas revisits Garden Heights seventeen years before the events of The Hate U Give in this searing and poignant exploration of Black boyhood and manhood. 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. Life’s not perfect, but he’s got everything under control. Until, that is, he finds out he’s going to be a father.
Naturally, there’s already a lot of demand for Concrete Rose. So, while you’re waiting for it to arrive, what else can you check out? Well, if you haven’t already, make sure to read (or reread!) The Hate U Give, along with the collection of Tupac Shakur’s poetry that informs both books, The Rose That Grew from Concrete. For a duology that tackles similar content and themes, try How It Went Down and Light It Up by Kekla Magoon; for a somewhat lighter story that still focuses on Black boyhood and manhood through the points of view of both father and son, don’t miss The Crossover and Rebound by Kwame Alexander. There are also some compelling new books by Nic Stone and Maika Moulite about discovering and being true to yourself in the face of prejudice and societal expectations.
What’s New This Month
New titles from authors like Jasmin Kaur, April Henry, and Malinda Lo are arriving, as well as the young adult reader’s version of The Beautiful Struggle
by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
For more lists of recommended reads from the book world and beyond, check these out: