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Concrete Rose: 02/15/21
Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas is the prequel to The Hate U Give (2017). Set in 1999/2000 it covers the time when Maverick Carter went from being a teen with gang ties to being a father of a newborn with a second one on the way. This book is Seven and Starr's origin story.
In the original novel, I admit I wasn't very fond of Starr's parents. They weren't the main point, though, so I let my own reaction slide. Starr loved them and they loved her and that was enough. Concrete Rose fills in the gaps and makes Maverick and Lisa understandable and their relationship relatable.
Maverick does an amazing job as a teen father, especially in the early days when Iesha wants nothing to do with him or their son. He also takes the personal hit of not being able to graduate high school. Although he wasn't prepared for fatherhood he stepped up and accepted his role in life the instant he had to. Maverick, while young, ends up being one of the best fathers I've read in young adult fiction.