On The Come Up

Angie Thomas

Walker Books

February 2019

$17.99 AU

436p pb

ISBN: 978-1406372168

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Bri is a sixteen-year-old rapper who wishes to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. However, it’s hard to become one of the greats when you’re labelled ‘trouble’ at school and your fridge at home is empty because your mum just lost her job. Bri’s success is the only thing separating her family from homelessness so Bri doesn’t just want to make it, she has to, even if it means becoming exactly as the people see and expect her to be. This novel speaks freely of the trouble indigenous people have in everyday society. It can be somewhat confronting as it talks about children being shot by the police and indigenous people being targeted. It also touches on drug addiction and the effect it has. 

This book was passionate and very intriguing. It opens your eyes to a new perspective of society and the hidden problems underneath. I found this book a struggle to get into but when I passed the first few chapters, it pulled me in. The author spoke constantly about the big problems indigenous people have in daily life and the struggle to fit in when you always stand out. The story’s themes vary throughout the novel, however, mostly it seemed to be family, coming of age, fear and freedom. I recommend this book to 14 + as it is very mature. The novel itself was well written, mostly in rapper slang. It entered the thoughts of the character well and you were able to understand her. It was a powerful book that I recommend you read.

Keishan, Year 10

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