The other day I posted a book list for adults who support the Black Lives Matter movement and want to learn more. Today I want to share a list of books for the teens and kids in your life.
Summaries are from NoveList.
Most of the books in this category are already on the shelves in my high school libraries, and the rest I’ll be purchasing soon.
Black Enough: Stories of Being Young and Black in America
Edited by Ibi Zoboi
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.
I’m Not Dying with You Tonight by Gilly Segal and Kimberly Jones
Told from two viewpoints, Atlanta high school seniors Lena and Campbell, one black, one white, must rely on each other to survive after a football rivalry escalates into a riot.
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You
by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
A history of racist and antiracist ideas in America, from their roots in Europe until today, adapted from the National Book Award winner Stamped from the Beginning.
We Are Not Yet Equal: Understanding Our Racial Divide
by Carol Anderson with Tonya Bolden
From the end of the Civil War to the tumultuous issues in America today, an acclaimed historian reframes the conversation about race, chronicling the powerful forces opposed to black progress in America.
Dark Sky Rising: Reconstruction and the Dawn of Jim Crow
by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. with Tonya Bolden
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. presents a journey through America’s past and our nation’s attempts at renewal in this look at the Civil War’s conclusion, Reconstruction, and the rise of Jim Crow segregation.
Dear Martin by Nic Stone
Writing letters to the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., seventeen-year-old college-bound Justyce McAllister struggles to face the reality of race relations today and how they are shaping him.
Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation
Adapted by Damian Duffy; illustrated by John Jennings
Presents a graphic novelization of Octavia E. Butler’s Kindred in which a young African-American woman is mysteriously transferred back in time leading to an irresistible curiosity about her family’s past.
Pride by Ibi Zoboi
In a timely update of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, critically acclaimed author Ibi Zoboi skillfully balances cultural identity, class, and gentrification against the heady magic of first love in her vibrant reimagining of this beloved classic.
Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson
Tired of being singled out at her mostly-white private school as someone who needs support, high school junior Jade would rather participate in the school’s amazing Study Abroad program than join Women to Women, a mentorship program for at-risk girls.
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
Driven by the secrets and vengeance that mark his street culture, 15-year-old Will contemplates over the course of 60 psychologically suspenseful seconds whether or not he is going to murder the person who killed his brother.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
After witnessing her friend’s death at the hands of a police officer, Starr Carter’s life is complicated when the police and a local drug lord try to intimidate her in an effort to learn what happened the night Kahlil died.
March: Book One
Written by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin; illustrated by Nate Powell
A first-hand account of the author’s lifelong struggle for civil and human rights spans his youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., and the birth of the Nashville Student Movement.
& Elementary Books
Genesis Begins Again by Alicia D. Williams
Thirteen-year-old Genesis tries again and again to lighten her black skin, thinking it is the root of her family’s troubles, before discovering reasons to love herself as is.
Ghost by Jason Reynolds
Ghost, a naturally talented runner and troublemaker, is recruited for an elite middle school track team. He must stay on track, literally and figuratively, to reach his full potential.
Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes
After seventh-grader Jerome is shot by a white police officer, he observes the aftermath of his death and meets the ghosts of other fallen black boys including historical figure Emmett Till.
The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond by Brenda Woods
A biracial girl finally gets the chance to meet the African American side of her family.
Frederick’s Journey: The Life of Frederick Douglass
Written by Doreen Rappaport; illustrated by London Ladd
Shares the life of the abolitionist, including his life as a slave, how he learned to read even though it was illegal for him to do so, and his work speaking out against slavery.
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
In vivid poems that reflect the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, an award-winning author shares what it was like to grow up in the 1960s and 1970s in both the North and the South.
One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance
by Nikki Grimes
The Coretta Scott King Award-winning author of What Is Goodbye? presents a collection of poetry inspired by the Harlem Renaissance and complemented by full-color artwork by such esteemed artists as Pat Cummings, Brian Pinkney and Sean Qualls.
Blended by Sharon M. Draper
Piano-prodigy Isabella, eleven, whose black father and white mother struggle to share custody, never feels whole, especially as racial tensions affect her school, her parents’ both become engaged, and she and her stepbrother are stopped by police.
Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut
Written by Derrick Barnes; illustrated by Gordon C. James
Celebrates the magnificent feeling that comes from walking out of a barber shop with newly-cut hair.
Written by Matthew A. Cherry; illustrated by Vashti Harrison
An ode to self-confidence and the love between fathers and daughters by the former NFL wide receiver depicts an exuberant little girl whose dad helps her arrange her curly, coiling, wild hair into styles that allow her to be her natural, beautiful self.
Written by Mahogany L. Browne; illustrated by Theodore Taylor III
This lyrical and empowering book is both a celebration of what it means to be a baby and what it means to be woke. With bright playful art, Woke Baby is an anthem of hope in a world where the only limit to a skyscraper is more blue.
Dream Big, Little One by Vashti Harrison
Features female figures of black history, including pilot Bessie Coleman, politician Shirley Chisholm, mathematician Katherine Johnson, poet Maya Angelou, and filmmaker Julie Dash.
Written by Kwame Alexander; illustrated by Kadir Nelson
The Newbery Award-winning author of The Crossover pens an ode to black American triumph and tribulation, with art from a two-time Caldecott Honoree.
I Am Enough
Written by Grace Byers; illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo
This is a gorgeous, lyrical ode to loving who you are, respecting others, and being kind to one another—from Empire actor and activist Grace Byers and talented newcomer artist Keturah A. Bobo.
I Am Perfectly Designed
Written by Karamo Brown with Jason “Rachel” Brown; illustrated by Anoosha Syed
In this empowering ode to modern families, a boy and his father take a joyful walk through the city, discovering all the ways in which they are perfectly designed for each other.