Concrete Rose
Concrete Rose By Thomas, Angie Book - 2021 | First edition.

“Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete? Proving nature's laws wrong, it learned to walk without having feet. Funny, it seems to by keeping it's dreams; it learned to breathe fresh air. Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else even cared.” --Tupac Shakur
This prequel did not disappoint! Angie Thomas writes books about flawed characters who are learning and growing in challenging circumstances. Concrete Rose references the Tupac poem above, and it's the perfect title for Mav's story. Maverick Carter's father is a gang member who is in prison, and his mom works like a dog to keep the lights on. Maverick joined a gang too, because if you don't claim a color, no one has your back. His cousin Dre looks out for him and won't let him sling anything harder than weed, but Maverick is tired of being broke, and he gets in deeper than his cousin thinks. As the story opens, Maverick finds out that he's a father, following a one night stand. Being a father, a Dad, means something to Maverick, so he takes a job at a local grocery store, starts helping his mom with the bills, and steps up. Readers won't be able to help but cheer for Mav as he learns about gardening, works hard, loves his son, and tries his hardest to avoid being pulled under by the violence and crime that have shaped his years. Will he make it, or will his past decisions make his dreams impossible?

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