“ Through The Hate U Give many of you found your voices.
Now, with On The Come Up, it’s time to make some noise …”
Bri, an aspiring rapper and the main character in On the Come Up, likes to take words that resonate with her and work them into raps. If I were to pick one word to describe the past two years, it would have to be surreal.
Surreal. One word, two syllables.
It’s hard to say how I feel,
Because this has been so surreal.
I can never thank you all enough for the love and support you’ve shown me and The Hate U Give. For a book that I hoped would find at least one reader besides my family, it has been a mind-blowing experience. You’ve proven to me, to publishing, to Hollywood, and to the world that even when stories are specific to an intended audience, they can still appeal to a multitude of people. You embraced Starr and her black girl magic with open arms.
Now I want to introduce you to sixteen-year-old Bri. Her story is my love letter to those black girls who are often made to feel as if they are somehow both too much and not enough in a world that makes wrongheaded assumptions about them. Through Starr’s journey, I hoped to inspire them and other young people to use their voices. With On the Come Up, I hope to inspire them to continue to speak even when society doesn’t like the way they do it. Freedom of speech isn’t necessarily free, especially when you’re young and black.
This novel is also a love letter to hip-hop. When I couldn’t find myself in books, I found myself in the rhymes written by MCs who looked like me and shared my experiences. These unconventional poets were my heroes, and are the heroes for millions of young people.
I hope you enjoy Bri’s story. Hip-hop is her sword and, ultimately, her dreams are her shield.
Through The Hate U Give many of you found your voices. Now, with On the Come Up, it’s time to make some noise.
With all my heart,
‘On The Come Up’ is available From 7th February 2019
#ONTHECOMEUP • @WalkerBooksYA• @WalkerBooksUK