Angie Thomas

 

ANGIE THOMAS’ debut novel, The Hate U Give, has spent more than three years on The New York Times bestseller list, where it was joined by her second novel, On the Come Up, and now her third, Concrete Rose. Blockbuster books and two major film adaptations have amplified Thomas’ clear, crucial voice when we need it most—to #BlackLivesMatter protesters, igniting real change in the fight for racial justice, and through the chaos of a global pandemic that is disproportionately hurting people of color. Her keynotes are powerful, urgent, necessary, and most importantly, hopeful.

“As we continue to fight the battle against police brutality and systemic racism in America, The Hate U Give serves as a much needed literary ramrod.”

— Jason Reynolds, bestselling co-author of All American Boys

For its “pointed examinations of gun violence, racial profiling, and political activism,” Angie Thomas’The Hate U Give has become an instant masterwork of the YA genre: called “a stunning, brilliant, gut-wrenching novel that will be remembered as a classic of our time” by The Fault in Our Stars author John Green. Part of a 13-house publishing auction, the novel is now a major motion picture and Amazon’s Audible named it one of their 10 Best Audiobooks of the decade. The Hate U Give explores the world of sixteen-year-old Starr Carter: a girl who walks a careful line between her upper-crust prep school and the poverty-stricken neighborhood where she grew up. But when she witnesses a police officer shooting her best friend Khalil—an unarmed youth—Starr is plunged into even more uncertainty. Thomas’ latest book, Concrete Rose, will tell the story of Maverick Carter—Starr’s father. “Of all characters who really just stayed with me, Maverick was at the top of that list,” Thomas tells People. The novel chronicles Maverick’s journey—from 17-year-old kid, to the young father of Starr’s older brother, Seven—and explores themes of teen pregnancy, police bruality, and the prison system as a form of modern-day slavery. “I’m also excited to show this bonding between father and son. So many people assume that Black kids, especially Black kids in the hood, don’t have fathers. And that’s a lie. So many of them do.”

 

Thomas’ second novel, On the Come Up, follows a talented teen rapper, Bri, and explores what it means to be young and black in America, when freedom of speech isn’t always free. It “feels like an event of political urgency,” says The Times, “a love letter to hip hop, to family, to Michael B. Jordan...to any pop culture that holds a mirror so that kids like Bri can see themselves too.” It was named to many 2019 year-end best of lists, including those byVariety, Glamour, and Chapters Indigo, and was also named one of the year’s best YA titles by Kirkus Reviews. The film version of On the Come Up is already in development at Paramount Players, with Thomas herself producing. 

 

Angie Thomas is the recipient of the William C. Morris Award and the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, and was nominated for the Michael L. Printz Award and the Coretta Scott King Award. She is the inaugural winner of the Walter Dean Myers Grant, awarded by We Need Diverse Books.  Born, raised, and still residing in Jackson, Mississippi—and a former teen rapper—she holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Belhaven University and an unofficial degree in hip hop.