Walker Books has bought Concrete Rose, the “hard-hitting” third novel from The Hate U Give (Walker) author Angie Thomas.
The company acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Brooks Sherman at Janklow & Nesbit Associates, for release in January 2021.
Thomas has sold 182,981 print copies for £1.07m in the UK through Nielsen BookScan since her debut three years ago. The Hate U Give, which has remained on the New York Times bestseller list for 160 weeks and sold 142,112 UK paperback copies, was turned into a major motion picture and her second novel, On the Come Up (Walker), is now also being developed for the screen.
Concrete Rose stars Maverick Carter, Starr’s father from The Hate U Give, as a teen. Its synopsis explains “Set 17 years before the events in The Hate U Give, Concrete Rose once again takes readers back to Garden Heights in a poignant and searing exploration of Black boyhood and manhood. The son of a drug king, 17-year-old Maverick is negotiating life in Garden Heights as he balances school, slinging dope, and working two jobs while his dad is in prison. He’s got it all under control—until, that is, Maverick finds out he’s a father. Suddenly he has a baby, Seven, who depends on him for everything. So when he’s offered the chance to go straight, he takes it. In a world where he’s expected to amount to nothing, maybe Mav can prove he’s different.”
Speaking to People about the new book, Thomas said Maverick was the character she had been asked about the most since her debut came out. Like the first book, she revealed she is expecting Concrete Rose to be banned in some US schools.
She said: “This is a book about a 17-year-old young man who just found out he’s a father... Nobody wants to talk about teen sex, nobody wants to talk about teen pregnancy or teen parents. But he’s amongst us every single day and it’s something that we cannot ignore. So I absolutely expect it to get banned. I am going to say it, I think it will be banned more so than The Hate U Give was. I really do. It saddens me already, but I’m expecting it. And I’m going to keep writing it and my publisher is still going to publish it. Why? Because there are young people who need this story.”