12 books for young adults to read written by black authors | Literary arts | Pittsburgh

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I noticed a trend on bookstagram, aka book Instagram. In addition to the influx of readers looking to buy books by black authors, many have turned to the young adult genre. There could be a number of reasons for this, but I guess YA is lightweight yet powerful, captivating yet easy to read. You can get a lot out of a book aimed at teenagers, but the stories are a great escape from our current intimidating and burdensome reality. So if you feel the same, here are 12 YA books written by black authors.

1. Applaud when you land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Applaud when you land is the most recent novel by Afro-Dominican poet and author,

Elizabeth Acevedo. The story follows stepsisters Path and Yahaira Rios, who live in the Dominican Republic and New York, respectively. They only find out about each other after the death of their shared father in a plane crash.


Acevedo is known to have written novels in verse, and the author of With fire up and The poet X, which won the 2018 National Book Prize for Children’s Literature.

2. Unlimited black girl by Echo Brown

Anchored in magical realism, this the strongly biographical YA novel follows Echo Brown, an East Side wizard who transfers to the wealthy West Side school. As this happens, new portals begin to open and Echo realizes a black veil of depression is following her.

3. Children of blood and bones by Tomi Adeyemi

Released in 2018, this gripping fantasy novel tells the story of magical redemption and rising.

4. The black flamingo by Dean Atta

A Dean Atta debut, this coming-of-age verse novel follows Michael, who is a mixed race gay teenager growing up in London. He finally discovers the wonderful world of dating.

5. Felix forever By Kacen Callender

Felix Love is a transgender teenager who has never been in love. When he starts to have transphobic messages and begins to prepare his revenge, he finds himself in a quasi-love triangle.

6. You should see me in a crown by Léa Johnson

A poor black girl living in a Midwestern town, Liz Lighty considers running away by attending Pennington College. She wants to become a doctor. But when her financial aid goes down the drain, Liz competes to become the prom queen. an honor which is also accompanied by a scholarship.

7. Not all boys are blue by George M. Johnson

In this collection of personal essays, Journalist and LGBTQIA + activist George M. Johnson shares memories from his childhood through college, such as going to flea markets with his caring grandmother and the bullies who knocked his teeth out when he was 5.

8. Stamped: Racism, Anti-Racism and You through Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

A re-imagination of the National Book Prize of Dr Ibram X. Kendi Stamped from the start, this book sheds light on the many subtle forms of racist ideas, while showing ways to identify and eliminate racist thoughts in their daily lives.

9. The hate you give through Angie thomas

This YA novel turned into movie was written by Angie Thomas in reaction to the police shooting of Oscar Grant, a black man killed by transit police officers in Oakland, Calif., in 2009.

ten. TEAR DOWN by Brittney Morris

For fans of Loan Player One, TEAR DOWN follows Seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson, who is secretly the creator of online multiplayer card game called SLAY. Everything is fine until a teenager is murdered over an in-game argument.

11. The stars and the darkness between them By Junauda Petrus

This lyrical beginning of Junauda Petrus tells the story of Audre and Mabel, whose romantic relationship is turned upside down when Mabel finds out why she’s been feeling sick all summer.

12. A song under water by Bethany C. Morrow

Located in Portland, Oregon, Dark Mermaids Tavia and Effie were able to keep their powers a secret until a mermaid murder rocked the nation.

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