Seventeen years before the events of The Hate U Give. Maverick is a teenager just entering gang life when two pivotal events change his course: he becomes a young single father and his beloved cousin is shot outside his house. As the stakes get higher at home and on the street, Maverick has to decide who he wants to be.
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Angie Thomas takes us back to Garden Heights 17 years before the events of The Hate U Give. Maverick is a teenager just entering into gang life when two pivotal events change his course: he becomes a young single father and his beloved cousin is shot right outside of his house. He grapples with his responsibility for his son and his sense that he should avenge his cousin. As the stakes get higher at home and on the street, Maverick has to decide who he wants to be.
This was a fantastic book that detailed Maverick’s journey to the wise and solid father we knew in The Hate U Give. It wasn’t an easy one, and Thomas brings close the difficulties Black boys face when they grow up poor. I wasn’t sure if I’d like this as much as her other two (and I’m certainly not her intended audience), but Thomas brings such universal humanity and relatability to her characters; if only everyone could get to know them.
International phenomenon 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: dealing for the King Lords. With this money he can help his mom, who works two jobs while his dad’s in prison.
Life’s not perfect, but with a fly girlfriend and a cousin who always has his back, Mav’s got everything under control.
Until, that is, Maverick finds out he’s a father.
Suddenly he has a baby, Seven, who depends on him for everything. But it’s not so easy to sling dope, finish school, and raise a child. 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.
When King Lord blood runs through your veins, though, you can’t just walk away. Loyalty, revenge, and responsibility threaten to tear Mav apart, especially after the brutal murder of a loved one. He’ll have to figure out for himself what it really means to be a man.