Black Voices & Culture: Books for Young Teens

Updated January 10, 2024
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The crossover
Alexander, Kwame
Series streaming now on Disney+, with executive producers including NBA great LeBron James! The Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Award-winning middle grade bestseller! Basketball and heartache share the court in this slam-dunk novel in verse. "With a bolt of lightning on my...
The door of no return
Alexander, Kwame
From the Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Award winning author Kwame Alexander, comes the first book in a searing, breathtaking trilogy that tells the story of a boy, a village, and the epic odyssey of an African family. In his village in Upper...
Eb & Flow
Baptist, Kelly J.
A ten-day suspension has tweens De'Kari and Ebony seeing the world with a fresh perspective. Don't miss this poignant novel in verse from the award-winning author of Isaiah Dunn Is My Hero. Two kids. One fight. No one thinks they're wrong.   ...
Sincerely Sicily
Burgess, Tamika
From debut author Tamika Burgess comes the captivating and empowering story of Sicily Jordan--a Black Panamanian fashionista who rocks her braids with pride--who learns to use her voice and take pride in who she is while confronting prejudice in the most unexpected of places. ...
King and the dragonflies
Callender, Kacen
A 2021 Coretta Scott King Honor Book! Winner of the 2020 National Book Award for Young People's Literature! Winner of the 2020 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Fiction and Poetry! In a small but turbulent Louisiana town, one boy's grief takes him...
Indigo and Ida
Capps, Heather Murphy
When eighth grader and aspiring journalist Indigo breaks an important story, exposing an unfair school policy, she's suddenly popular for the first time. The friends who've recently drifted away from her want to hang out again. Then Indigo notices that the school's disciplinary policies seem to be...
The only black girls in town
Colbert, Brandy
A Bank Street Best Book of 2021! From award-winning YA author Brandy Colbert comes a debut middle-grade novel about the only two Black girls in town who discover a collection of hidden journals revealing shocking secrets of the past. Beach...
Class act
Craft, Jerry
New York Times bestselling author Jerry Craft returns with a companion book to New Kid, winner of the 2020 Newbery Medal, the Coretta Scott King Author Award, and the Kirkus Prize. This time, it's Jordan's friend Drew who takes center stage in another laugh-out-loud funny, powerful, and...
New kid
Craft, Jerry
Winner of the Newbery Medal, Coretta Scott King Author Award, and Kirkus Prize for Young Readers' Literature!  Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Gene Luen Yang, New Kid is a timely, honest graphic novel about starting over at a new school where diversity is low and the struggle...
School trip
Craft, Jerry
New York Times bestselling author Jerry Craft is back with the newest adventures of Jordan, Drew, Liam, and all the characters that fans first met in New Kid, winner of the Newbery Award and the Coretta Scott King Author Award! In this full-color contemporary graphic novel, the gang from...
The probability of everything
Everett, Sarah
"One of the best books I have read this year (maybe ever)." --Colby Sharp, Nerdy Book Club NPR Books We Love 2023 | Publishers Weekly Best of 2023 | Winner of the Governor General's Literary Awards for Young People's Literature A heart-wrenching middle grade debut about Kemi, an...
Ghost Roast
Gibbs, Shawnee/ Cannon, Emily (ILT)/ Gibbs, Shawnelle.
Ghost Roast delivers a paranormal adventure full of first crushes, lost histories, and the impossible task of fitting in when your dad is a professional ghosthunter. A stand-alone YA graphic novel from authors Shawneé and Shawnelle Gibbs and artist Emily Cannon! For as long as she can...
Ellie Engle saves herself
Johnson, Leah (Young adult author)
From award-winning YA author Leah Johnson comes her magical middle grade debut: a laugh-until-you-cry, cry-until-you-laugh story about an ordinary girl whose life is turned upside down by some extraordinary powers. Ellie Engle doesn't stand out. Not at home, where she's alone...
Freewater
Luqman-Dawson, Amina.
Winner of the John Newbery Medal Winner of the Coretta Scott King Author Award  Award-winning author Amina Luqman-Dawson pens a lyrical, accessible historical middle-grade novel about two enslaved children's escape from a plantation and the many ways...
Hands
Maldonado, Torrey
"Gorgeous and gripping, Hands is a poetic page-turner. You might just finish it in one sitting. Torrey Maldonado understands the kids he writes for at the deepest level." -Adam Gidwitz, Newbery Honor-winning author of The Inquisitor's Tale The author of What Lane?<...
Tristan Strong punches a hole in the sky
Mbalia, Kwame
Large Print�s increased font size and wider line spacing maximizes reading legibility, and has been proven to advance comprehension, improve fluency, reduce eye fatigue, and boost engagement in young readers of all abilities, especially struggling, reluctant, and striving readers.<...
Gone wolf
McBride, Amber
Award-winning author Amber McBride lays bare the fears of being young and Black in America, in this middle-grade novel that has been compared to the work of Jordan Peele and praised as "brilliantly inventive storytelling" by Publishers Weekly. . In...
Curlfriends: New in Town (a Graphic Novel)
Miller, Sharee
New Kid meets The Baby-sitters Club in this graphic novel series opener about the Curlfriends, four inseparable Black girls who show us the meaning of true friendship--and being your true self. Charlie has a foolproof plan for the first day at her new middle...
The rhythm of time
Questlove
An Instant New York Times Bestseller From the Academy Award-winning, Grammy-winning, and New York Times bestselling author Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson and the New York Times bestselling author S. A. Cosby comes this thrill-a-minute novel-the first in a rollicking...
A good kind of trouble
Ramâee, Lisa Moore.
From debut author Lisa Moore Ramée comes this funny and big-hearted debut middle grade novel about friendship, family, and standing up for what's right, perfect for fans of Angie Thomas's The Hate U Give and the novels of Renée Watson and Jason Reynolds. Twelve-year-old Shayla is allergic...
Ghost
Reynolds, Jason
" A National Book Award Finalist for Young People's Literature. Nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read. Ghost wants to be the fastest sprinter on his elite middle school track team, but his past is...
Stamped : racism, antiracism, and you
Reynolds, Jason
In this important and compelling young readers adaptation of his National Book Award-winning title, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, writing with award-winning author Jason Reynolds, chronicles the story of anti-black, racist ideas over the course of American history. Racist ideas in our country...
A long time coming : a lyrical biography of race in America from Ona Judge to Barack Obama
Shepard, Ray Anthony
This YA biography-in-verse of six important Black Americans from different eras, including Ona Judge, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Ida B. Wells, Martin Luther King Jr., and Barack Obama, chronicles the diverse ways each fought racism and shows how much-and how little-has changed for Black...
Fast pitch
Stone, Nic
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Nic Stone comes a challenging and heartwarming coming-of-age story about a softball player looking to prove herself on and off the field. Shenice Lockwood, captain of the Fulton Firebirds, is hyper-focused when she steps up to the...
The Manifestor prophecy
Thomas, Angie
Instant #1 New York Times bestseller! Internationally bestselling superstar author Angie Thomas makes her middle grade debut with the launch of an inventive, hilarious, and suspenseful new contemporary fantasy trilogy inspired by African American history and folklore. It's not...
Genesis Begins Again
Williams, Alicia D.
"Reminiscent of Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye." --The New York Times "One of the best books I have ever read...will live in the hearts of readers for the rest of their lives." --Colby Sharp, founder of Nerdy Book Club "An emotional, painful,...
Before the ever after
Woodson, Jacqueline
WINNER OF THE NAACP IMAGE AWARD WINNER OF THE CORETTA SCOTT KING AUTHOR AWARD National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson's stirring novel-in-verse explores how a family moves forward when their glory days have passed and the cost of professional sports on Black bodies...
Remember us
Woodson, Jacqueline
National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson brings readers a powerful story that delves deeply into life's burning questions about time and memory and what we take with us into the future. It seems like Sage's whole world is on fire the summer before she starts seventh grade....

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