On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

Posted on January 23, 2020

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Hardcover On the Come Up BookBri is a high school student with a head full of rhymes, a notebook full of songs, and a heart full of ambition. She is determined to make it as a rapper, and she’s doing all she can to catch that Big Break.

I have never, in all my life, met a character who is so exasperating.

On the other hand, I’ve met plenty of teens like Bri, and one of them was in my mirror! I recognize so much of Bri in myself, family members, and students. She is passionate about what’s right–and cannot be quiet when she sees something wrong!  Bri is a wellspring of creativity and determination, but impulsive AF! She is constantly stirring up drama, even though the reasons why she does what she does are honorable.

I’d like to invite her to attend one of my Mindfulness & Self-Care workshops, where she can learn to recognize her feelings, process them, and begin to use her pre-frontal cortex to make good decisions about how to proceed in a good–and safe–way.

I love Bri’s story and the way it allows readers to get an inside story behind an instance of violent abuse of power by a school security guard. This fast-paced novel with a cast of well-drawn characters will help readers feel and think about the ways that “security” personnel and police officers in schoolscan be sources of chronic trauma for students, whether or not they ever personally suffer a violent attack. The daily fear of violence is inescapable.

Please! ADD THIS engrossing novel, On the Come Up by Angie Thomas , to your Library Reserve list; buy it for teens you know (especially if they’re interested in poetry, hiphop, or justice); gift it to middle and high school teachers for their classroom libraries. Bri is a character who has a lot to learn–and a lot to teach. That’s why I love her. I think you will, too.


“I’m suddenly in an exhibit, and there’s a room full of people waiting for me to entertain them. I have to say what they want me to say. Be what they want me to be…

The worst part?”

Read this book and find out the worst part. Read on!


Related Links

The Right To Remain A Student video

Do Police Officers In Schools Really Make Them Safer?

Counselors Not Cops

Angie Thomas Discusses “On the Come Up” @ NCTE

Angie Thomas on Creating Safe Spaces

Angie Thomas RAPS (and talks about On The Come Up)

“On the Come Up” author Angie Thomas is “living a dream”