On the Come Up Scattered Book Summary

On The Come Up BookOn the Come Up book summary

Author: Angie Thomas


Brianna has always dreamed of getting out of her small town Garden Heights and making it big as a rapper. She knows that getting a record deal will be her ticket out, and will also enable her to provide for her struggling family. As she experiences the first hand trauma of gun violence, drug abuse, and poverty, Bri doesn’t know if she has what it takes to succeed, but she’s willing to try to save herself and the people she loves.


Introduction to Book Characters:

Brianna Jackson: Bri is an aspiring rapper trying to find her place in her community. She feels isolated because she goes to a wealthier school, and has to navigate that part of her life with her poor home environment. She believes that getting a record deal and becoming a famous rapper would help her and her family.


Jay: Jay is Bri’s mother, who became addicted to drugs after Bri’s father was shot. After leaving her children wit Bri’s grandparents while she got sober, she finally got custody back and is pushing them to do the best in school. She does not think that Bri rapping is a viable career path.


Aunt Pooh: Bri’s maternal aunt who is only ten years older than her. This age difference makes Bri view her as more of a sister. After Bri’s father’s death, Aunt Pooh joined a gang.


Summer Reading Questions to Consider:

    1. How does the past shape Bri’s aspirations? Do you think that her family life pushed her to want to be a rapper?

    2. Do you think that Bro should live with her grandparents or her mother?

    3. Does Aunt Pooh’s actions, joining a gang and dealing drugs, make her somebody that Bri should not be around considering her family’s issues with drug abuse?


Memorable quotes from the book:

“Nothing’s been the same since Nas told me.  The world was mine.”

“One song is sometimes all it takes.  I’ve got one song.”

“I’m somebody’s hope and I’m somebody’s mirror.”

“I get on the mic ’cause it’s my life.”


Published book reviews for On the Come Up:

  • “This follow-up to Thomas’ landmark The Hate U Give, set in the same fictional city after the events of that book, demonstrates again Thomas’ gift for crackling dialogue, complex characterization, and impactful emotion. Readers already lining up for this title won’t be disappointed.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)


  • “While acknowledging that society is quick to slap labels onto black teens, the author allows her heroine to stumble and fall before finding her footing and her voice. Thomas once again fearlessly speaks truth to power; a compelling coming-of-age story for all teens.” (School Library Journal)


  • On the Come Up truly shines in its exploration of Bri’s resilience, determination, and pursuit of her dreams. In this splendid novel, showing many facets of the black identity and the black experience, Thomas gives readers another dynamic protagonist to root for.” (ALA Booklist)


  • “This honest and unflinching story of toil, tears, and triumph is a musical love letter that proves literary lightning does indeed strike twice. The rawness of Bri’s narrative demonstrates Thomas’ undeniable storytelling prowess. A joyous experience awaits. Read it. Learn it. Love it.” (Kirkus Reviews)


  • “With sharp, even piercing, characterization, this indelible and intricate story of a young girl who is brilliant and sometimes reckless, who is deeply loved and rightfully angry at a world that reduces her to less than her big dreams call her to be, provides many pathways for readers.” (Horn Book)


Scattered Summary by Abby