BloggersCelebrating the Black Experience, YA Edition

Celebrating the Black Experience, YA Edition


It’s Black History Month, and I thought it would be good to highlight all the wonderful books we have celebrating all aspects of Black Life. I’m sure I did not catch them all, but these are definitely worth checking out!

I was going to do them all, but there are so many (yay!) We needed to split them up. Stay tuned. We’ll post the books geared toward younger readers after our Winners’ Announcement.

Ace of Spades

by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé
Feiwel & Friends

“The suspense in Ace of Spades builds as various characters emerge as likely suspects behind the identity of Aces. Some of the plot developments will hit readers like explosions, coming seemingly out of nowhere, even if they are ultimately consistent with other plot threads and earlier exposition. ” – Gary Anderson at What’s Not Wrong?

Angel of Greenwood

by Randi Pink
Feiwel & Friends

“At times, a remarkable book comes into my life that leaves me completely speechless and emotional. Angel of Greenwood left me teary-eyed and is one of the best YA novels I have read this year. ” – Rajiv Ganesan at Rajiv’s Reviews

Concrete Rose

by Angie Thomas
Balzer + Bray

“Thomas is great at setting up the stakes and presenting conflict. The emotional beats all hit very hard. This is not a light novel, nor one that’s easy to breeze through mentally. ” – Terry Doherty at The Reading Tub


by Candace Buford
Inkyard Press

Like Home

by Louisa Onome

Love is a Revolution

by Renée Watson
Bloomsbury YA

Malcolm and Me: A Novel

by Robin Farmer

“I really enjoyed this coming of age, finding your voice YA book.” – Shannon at Magical Wonder of Books

One of the Good Ones

by Maritza Moulite
Inkyard Press

Rise to the Sun.

by Leah Johnson
Scholastic Press

“Much like Johnson’s first book, this one simultaneously is a joy of Black girl romance while having more difficult themes – like the death of a parent, or the expectations of parents – underneath. ”- Melissa at The Book Nut

The Problem with the Other Side

by Kwame Ivery
Soho Teen

Zero O’Clock

by CJ Farley
Black Sheep

Black Birds in the Sky: The Story and Legacy of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre

by Brandy Colbert
Balzer + Bray

“This is one of those tough reads that should be on the shelves of every public, middle and high school library.” – Julie at Partners in Literacy Denver

Race Against Time: The Untold Story of Scipio Jones and the Battle to Save Twelve Innocent Men

by Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich Wallace
Calkins Creek Books

“I’m now left wanting more – I want more details of his legal maneuvers, more details of the effects of the precedents set, more details on why the NAACP kept hiring white lawyers over him. Do I blame the book for not being longer, or do I applaud it for leaving me with this desire? ” – Beth Mitcham at Library Chicken

The Beautiful Struggle (Adapted for Young Adults)

by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers

“It still gave me, a fifty-ish white woman, a sense of what it was like growing up Black in Baltimore, and how even with the support of driven parents and passionate teachers the poison of racism in American society and structures still seeps through , and also how children can react in incredibly frustrating ways that seem self destructive and contrary but come from an honest attempt to understand and fit into the world. ”. – Beth Mitcham at Library Chicken

The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks: Adapted for Young People

by Jeanne Theoharis, adapted by Brandy Colbert and Jeanne Theoharis
Beacon Press

“Overall, this is a fascinating, invaluable, and important read. Mrs. Parks deserves more than the trite – and inaccurate – depictions of her that flow from the Montgomery Bus Boycott. That said, the YA version of the book is more likely to be read for school than as leisure reading. ”- Terry Doherty at The Reading Tub

They Better Call Me Sugar: My Journey from the Hood to the Hardwood

by Sugar Rodgers
Black Sheep

“Sugar Rogers is so inspiring !!” – Julie at Partners in Literacy Denver

We Are Not Broken

by George M Johnson
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

“It did a good job of evoking particular scenes and conveying the love and importance of Johnson’s grandmother and family.” – Beth Mitcham at Literry Chicken

Across the Tracks: Remembering Greenwood, Black Wall Street, and the Tulsa Race Massacre

by Alverne Ball, illustrated by Stacey Robinson, Reynaldo Anderson (Contributor), Colette Yellow Robe (Contributor)
Harry N Abrams

“Reading this story angers me, makes me feel that our history is so twisted that we have to work a LOT harder to recognize and uplift people of color.” – Anne

Run: Book One (Run, 1)

by John Lewisand Andrew Aydin, illustrated by L. Fury and Nate Powell
Abrams ComicArts

Chlorine Sky

by Mahogany L. Browne
Crown Books for Young Readers

Chlorine Sky tells a story of finding a way to make yourself known in the world among broken friendships, difficult family relationships, and complicated dating relationships. Nicole at – Feed Your Fiction Addiction

Me (Moth)

by Amber McBride
Feiwel & Friends

“My favorite aspect of the book is the absolutely gorgeous verse. Honestly, I just loved every minute of reading the book because the poetry flows so beautifully and the imagery is wonderful. ” Nicole at – Feed Your Fiction Addiction



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