Books That Need to be on Your TBR:
Over the past few weeks, we've all looked at our bookshelves and were shocked to see a lack of diverse voices. Racism is so deeply ingrained in our society, it presents in both obvious and subtle ways. The best methods to combat this are education and action. We have compiled a list of fiction and non-fiction books by black authors, which feature stories about African-Americans. This is the time to amplify their voices! Try reading some of the books below, recommending them to your friends, and/or writing reviews on Amazon/Goodreads. By empowering black voices, we can support black authors, artists, and creators, and spread awareness of the issue of systemic oppression in America.
Here we’ve listed some books with short blurbs from their summaries. We hope to get through as many of these as we can, and we’ll be adding reviews for them as we go!
The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas
“Starr Carter, an African-American teenager, faces pressure from various communities and tries to stand up for what is right after she witnesses the shooting of her best friend by the police.” - Google Books
Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron
“A girl with no gifts must bargain for the power to fight her own mother’s dark schemes—even if the price is her life.
Crackling with dark magic, unspeakable betrayal, and daring twists you won’t see coming, this explosive YA fantasy debut is a can’t-miss, high-stakes epic perfect for fans of Strange the Dreamer and Children of Blood and Bone.” - Google books
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
College-bound romantic Daniel Bae and Jamaica-born pragmatist Natasha Kingsley meet -- and fall for each other -- over one magical day amidst the fervor and flurry of New York City. Sparks immediately fly between these two strangers, who might never have met had fate not given them a little push. With just hours left on the clock in what looks to be her last day in the U.S., Natasha is fighting against her family's deportation just as fiercely as she's fighting her growing feelings for Daniel.
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
When different clans ruled – Burners igniting flames, Tiders beckoning waves, and Zélie's Reaper mother summoning forth souls. But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, anyone with powers was targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.
All American Boys by Jason Reynolds
All American Boys is a young adult novel that looks at a specific instance of police brutality from the perspectives of two high school classmates: Rashad, who is savagely beaten by a local policeman who (wrongly) suspects him of shoplifting and assaulting a white woman, and Quinn, who sees the beating and initially pretends he didn't. It's a fictional reflection of real-life police encounters with young black men that ended badly.
You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson
Becky Albertalli meets Jenny Han in a smart, hilarious, black girl magic, own voices rom-com by a staggeringly talented new writer.
Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds
A collection of clever short stories about kids who all go to the same school, and the adventures that occur after the dismissal bell at school rings.
The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin
A young man gets off a train in New York City and realizes he doesn’t remember anything about who he is, or where he’s from. An intriguing tale of Culture, identity, magic, myths, set in contemporary New York City.
A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown
The first in a gripping fantasy duology inspired by West African folklore in which a grieving crown princess and a desperate refugee find themselves on a collision course to murder each other despite their growing attraction.
The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter
Game of Thrones meets Gladiator in this debut epic fantasy about a world caught in an eternal war, and the young man who will become his people's only hope for survival.
War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi
Two sisters are torn apart by war and must fight their way back to each other in a futuristic, Black Panther-inspired Nigeria.
The year is 2172. Climate change and nuclear disasters have rendered much of earth unlivable. Only the lucky ones have escaped to space colonies in the sky.In a war-torn Nigeria, battles are fought using flying, deadly mechs and soldiers are outfitted with bionic limbs and artificial organs meant to protect them from the harsh, radiation-heavy climate. Across the nation, as the years-long civil war wages on, survival becomes the only way of life.
Two sisters, Onyii and Ify, dream of more. Their lives have been marked by violence and political unrest. Still, they dream of peace, of hope, of a future together.And they're willing to fight an entire war to get there.
Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi
Ella and Kev are brother and sister, both gifted with extraordinary power. Their childhoods are defined and destroyed by structural racism and brutality. Their futures might alter the world. When Kev is incarcerated for the crime of being a young black man in America, Ella—through visits both mundane and supernatural—tries to show him the way to a revolution that could burn it all down.
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
The alternate history novel tells the story of Cora and Caesar, two slaves in the southeastern United States during the 19th century, who make a bid for freedom from their Georgia plantations by following the Underground Railroad, which the novel depicts as primarily a rail transport system in addition to a series of safe houses and secret routes.
Do you Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh
A century ago, scientists theorised that a habitable planet existed in a nearby solar system. Today, ten astronauts will leave a dying Earth to find it. Four are decorated veterans of the 20th century’s space-race. And six are teenagers, graduates of the exclusive Dalton Academy, who’ve been in training for this mission for most of their lives.It will take the team 23 years to reach Terra-Two. Twenty-three years spent in close quarters. Twenty-three years with no one to rely on but each other. Twenty-three years with no rescue possible, should something go wrong. And something always goes wrong.
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
At the end of the world, a woman must hide her secret power and find her kidnapped daughter in this "intricate and extraordinary" Hugo Award-winning novel of power, oppression, and revolution. (The New York Times)
The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant
Les Misérables meets Six of Crows in this page-turning adventure as a young thief finds herself going head to head with leaders of Paris's criminal underground in the wake of the French Revolution.
How many of these books have you read? What are your favorite fiction books by black authors? Let us know in the comments!!