Black Voices & Culture: Books for Teens

Updated January 3, 2024
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There goes the neighborhood
Adia, Jade
Winner of the 2024 Coretta Scott King John Steptoe New Talent Award A raised fist against the destructive forces of gentrification and a love letter to communities of color everywhere, Jade Adia's unforgettable debut tells the darkly hilarious story of three best friends willing to...
All you have to do
Allen, Autumn
Powerful, thought-provoking, and heartfelt, this debut YA novel by author Autumn Allen is a gripping look at what it takes (and takes and takes) for two Black students to succeed in prestigious academic institutions in America. In ALL YOU HAVE TO DO, two Black young men attend...
You're not supposed to die tonight
Bayron, Kalynn
Instant New York Times bestseller! At Camp Mirror Lake, terror is the name of the game . . . but can you survive the night? This heart-pounding slasher by New York Times bestselling author Kalynn Bayron is perfect for fans of Fear Street...
The talk
Bell, Darrin
Winner of the NAACP Image Award in Outstanding Graphic Novels Winner of the Libby Award for Best Comic/Graphic Novel of the Year Nominated for an Eisner Award for Best Graphic Memoir Named The Year's Best Graphic Novel by Publishers Weekly
Blood debts
Benton-Walker, Terry J.
GODS MEDDLE AND MAGIC WILL BETRAY YOU, BUT THIS TIME JUSTICE WILL REIGN. Terry J. Benton-Walker's contemporary fantasy debut, Blood Debts, is "an extravaganza from start to finish" (Chloe Gong) with powerful magical families, intergenerational curses, and deadly drama in...
Songs of Irie
Bromfield, Asha
"A devastating and nuanced look at two teens' battle for freedom, hope, independence, and love." - Publishers Weekly (starred review) Perfect for fans of The Black Kids, Songs of Irie is a sweeping coming-of-age novel from Asha Bromfield about a budding...
Promise boys
Brooks, Nick
Promise Boys is a blockbuster, dark academia mystery about three teens of color who must investigate their principal's murder to clear their own names. This page-turning thriller is perfect for fans of Karen McManus, Jason Reynolds, Angie Thomas, and Holly Jackson<...
Black girl unlimited : the remarkable story of a teenage wizard
Brown, Echo
A William C. Morris Award Finalist "Brown has written a guidebook of survival and wonder."--The New York Times "Just brilliant."--Kirkus Reviews Heavily autobiographical and infused with magical realism, Black Girl Unlimited...
Blackout
Clayton, Dhonielle
Six critically acclaimed, bestselling, and award-winning authors bring the glowing warmth and electricity of Black teens in love to this charming, hilarious, and heartwarming novel that shines a bright light through the dark. A summer heatwave blankets New York City in darkness. But as the...
The Blackwoods
Colbert, Brandy
From Boston Globe/Horn Book Award-winning author Brandy Colbert comes the story of four generations of a Hollywood family--an unforgettable tale of ambition, fame, struggle, loss, and love in America. The Blackwoods. Everyone knows their name. Blossom Blackwood burst onto the silver...
Legendborn
Deonn, Tracy
An Instant New York Times Bestseller! Winner of the Coretta Scott King - John Steptoe for New Talent Author Award Filled with mystery and an intriguingly rich magic system, Tracy Deonn's YA contemporary fantasy Legendborn offers the dark allure of...
The revolutionary spirit in France and America
Fačy, Bernard
Real or imaginary, geekdom is where it's at in this multi-genre YA anthology that celebrates "the geek," with stories by some of today's top bestselling, critically acclaimed Black authors. Contributors include Amerie, Kalynn Bayron, Terry J. Benton-Walker, Roseanne A. Brown,...
Zyla & Kai
Forest, Kristina
A fresh love story about the will they, won't they--and why can't they--of first love.  While on a school trip to the Poconos Mountains (in the middle of a storm) high school seniors, Zyla Matthews and Kai Johnson, run away together leaving their friends and...
Friday I'm in love
Garrett, Camryn
It's too late for a Sweet Sixteen, but what if Mahalia had a coming-out party? A love letter to romantic comedies, sweet sixteen blowouts, Black joy, and queer pride. "A perfect ode to romantic comedies, wrapped in a dazzling rainbow dress." --Rachael Lippincott, #1 New...
The getaway
Giles, Lamar
"Timely, thrilling, and gripping from start to finish. An absolute page-turner." --Karen M. McManus, #1 New York Times bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying Jay is living his best life at Karloff Country, one of the world's most famous resorts. He's got his family,...
We Deserve Monuments
Hammonds, Jas
"An absolute must read." --Buzzfeed "A gripping portrayal of the South's inherent racism and a love story for queer Black girls." --Teen Vogue Family secrets, a swoon-worthy romance, and a slow-burn mystery...
Raybearer
Ifueko, Jordan
Fans of Sabaa Tahir and Tomi Adeyemi won't want to miss Raybearer, an instant New York Times bestselling fantasy from breakout YA sensation Jordan Ifueko! Named one of the best books of the year by People magazine, Buzzfeed, New York Public...
Every body looking
Iloh, Candice
A Finalist for the National Book Award When Ada leaves home for her freshmanyear at a Historically Black College, it's the first time she's ever been so far from her family-and the first time that she's been able to make her own choices and to seek her place in this new world. As...
Salt the water
Iloh, Candice
A Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book Cerulean Gene is free everywhere except school, where they're known for repeatedly challenging authority. Raised in a free-spirited home by two loving parents who encourage Cerulean to be their full self, they've got big dreams of moving cross...
All boys aren't blue : a memoir-manifesto
Johnson, George M.
In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson's All Boys Aren't Blue explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia. A New York Times Bestseller! Good Morning America,...
Invisible son
Johnson, Kim
From the award-winning and critically acclaimed author of This Is My America comes another thriller about a wrongly accused teen desperate to recclaim both his innocence and his first love. Life can change in an instant. When you're wrongfully accused of a crime.
You should see me in a crown
Johnson, Leah (Young adult author)
A TIME Magazine Best YA Book of All Time A Stonewall Honor Book A Reese's Book Club YA Pick Liz Lighty has always believed she's too black, too poor, too awkward to shine in her small, rich, prom-obsessed midwestern town. But it's okay -- Liz has a...
African Town
Latham, Irene
Chronicling the story of the last Africans brought illegally to America in 1860, African Town is a powerful and stunning novel-in-verse. In 1860, long after the United States outlawed the importation of enslaved laborers, 110 men, women and children from Benin and Nigeria...
Revolution in our time : the Black Panther Party's promise to the people
Magoon, Kekla
A National Book Award Finalist A Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor Book A Michael L. Printz Honor Book A Walter Dean Myers Honor Book With passion and precision, Kekla Magoon relays an essential account of the Black...
The Davenports
Marquis, Krystal
*Instant New York Times Bestseller* The Davenports delivers a totally escapist, swoon-worthy romance while offering a glimpse into a period of African American history often overlooked. "The perfect read for fans of escapist historical fiction." --NBC...
We are all so good at smiling
McBride, Amber
They Both Die at the End meets The Bell Jar in this haunting, beautiful young adult novel-in-verse about clinical depression and healing from trauma, from National Book Award Finalist Amber McBride. Whimsy is back in the hospital for treatment of...
A song below water
Morrow, Bethany C.
Bethany C. Morrow's A Song Below Water is the story for today's readers -- a captivating modern fantasy about Black sirens, friendship, and self-discovery set against the challenges of today's racism and sexism. In a society determined to keep her under lock and...
Ain't burned all the bright
Reynolds, Jason
A Caldecott Honor winner! Prepare yourself for something unlike anything: A smash-up of art and text for teens that viscerally captures what it is to be Black. In America. Right Now. Written by #1 New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Jason Reynolds....
All American boys
Reynolds, Jason
A 2016 Coretta Scott King Author Honor book, and recipient of the Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children's Literature. In this Coretta Scott King Honor Award-winning novel, two teens--one black, one white--grapple with the repercussions of a single violent act that...
Long way down
Reynolds, Jason
"An intense snapshot of the chain reaction caused by pulling a trigger." --Booklist (starred review) "Astonishing." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "A tour de force." --Publishers Weekly (starred review) A Newbery Honor Book A Coretta...
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...
Victory. Stand! : Raising My Fist for Justice
Smith, Tommie/ Barnes, Derrick/ Anyabwile, Dawud.
On October 16, 1968, during the medal ceremony at the Mexico City Olympics, Tommie Smith, the gold medal winner in the 200-meter sprint, and John Carlos, the bronze medal winner, stood on the podium in black socks and raised their black-gloved fists to protest racial injustice inflicted upon African...
Dear Martin
Stone, Nic
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * WILLIAM C. MORRIS AWARD FINALIST * ONE OF TIME MAGAZINE'S 100 BEST YA BOOKS OF ALL TIME   After a traffic stop turns violent at the hands of the police, a young Black teen grapples with racism--and what it means for his future....
Concrete rose
Thomas, Angie
International phenomenon Angie Thomas revisits Garden Heights seventeen years before the events of The Hate U Give in this searing and poignant exploration of Black boyhood and manhood. A Printz Honor Book! If there's one thing seventeen-year-old Maverick Carter knows, it's that a real man...
The hate u give
Thomas, Angie
A #1 New York Times BestsellerSixteen-year-old Starr Carter lives in two worlds: her poor neighborhood and her suburban prep school. When she witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend by a police officer, it becomes a national headline. Khalil was unarmed. Only one person knows what...
Burn down, rise up
Tirado, Vincent
The 2023 Pura Belpré Award-winning young adult novel! Mysterious disappearances. An urban legend rumored to be responsible. And one group of friends determined to save their city at any cost. Stranger Things meets Jordan Peele in this acclaimed novel from an incredible new voice. ...
Their vicious games
Wellington, Joelle
"A brutally honest and haunting cautionary tale...exposing the lie that is meritocracy and the unrelenting toll that being a final girl takes. A bloody tale spun masterfully...a dark delight." --Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé, New York Times bestselling author of Ace of Spades
Caste
Wilkerson, Isabel.
In this young adult adaptation of the Oprah Book Club selection and New York Times bestselling nonfiction work, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson explores the unspoken hierarchies that divide us across lines of race and class. Revealing and timely, this work will speak to...
A sitting in St. James
Williams-Garcia, Rita
Winner of the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award! 7 starred reviews! "Monumental." --Booklist (starred review) * "A marathon masterpiece."--Kirkus (starred review) * "Necessary."--SLJ (starred review) * "Shocking and dramatic."--Shelf Awareness (starred review) * "Mesmerizing,...
Young, gifted and black
Wilson, Jamia
"...to be revisited again and again...The candy-colored pages and straightforward stories are hard to resist..." -The New York Times "...diverse collection of iconic figures...vibrantly illustrated...beautifully crafted volume..." -Kirkus Reviews, Starred...
Young, gifted and black too
Wilson, Jamia
Young, Gifted and Black Too celebrates the lives of 52 more leaders, heroes, sportspeople and artists of colour from around the world.
Nigeria Jones
Zoboi, Ibi Aanu
"An unwavering proclamation of Black girlhood." --Candice Iloh, author of National Book Award finalist Every Body Looking From Ibi Zoboi, bestselling, award-winning author of American Street and co-author of Punching the Air, comes a bold new YA coming-of-age story,...
Punching the air
Zoboi, Ibi Aanu
New York Times and USA Today bestseller * Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor * Walter Award Winner * Goodreads Finalist for Best Teen Book of the Year * Time Magazine Best Book of the Year * Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year * Shelf Awareness Best Book of...
Black Enough Stories of Being Young & Black in America
Zoboi, Ibi.
Edited by National Book Award finalist Ibi Zoboi, and featuring some of the most acclaimed bestselling Black authors writing for teens today--Black Enough is an essential collection of captivating stories about what it's like to be young and Black in America. A selection of the ...

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