On The Come Up
Bri wants to be a rapper. Growing up in Garden Heights, the daughter of the legendary underground rapper, Lawless, Bri has a lot to prove. Her daddy was murdered, a victim of gang violence, and her mama lost it after she lost him. Driven by her grief into drug addiction, Bri and her brother, Trey, lived with their grandparents for a time. Jay, Bri's mom, fought hard to win her kids back but the struggle is still real, they are all fighting just to exist. Then the other shoe drops and Jay gets fired from her job. Bri want her rapping to save them. She wants to make it big...no matter the cost.
This book takes on a lot of issues; gangs, drug addiction and recovery, hip hop culture and much, much more. As with her debut novel, The Hate You Give, Angie Thomas, opens the reader up to the culture of Black America like no other author I've read. It gives a voice to those under represented in Young Adult literature and a chance for them to read about kids that are like themselves. As a white, older adult, I am not the typical audience for this book but reading it has made me aware of issues I hadn't thought of before because of my white privilege. This is why, I feel, readers of all ages should read for diversity. If we all did, maybe we would become more empathetic to the plight of those not like ourselves. Books like On The Come Up and others like it open up a world of understanding in a world where we need more of it.