Black Voices in YA

By Anna B, Isaac F, and Lisa T.
February 7, 2022

Click on any book cover to go to the catalog and place a hold. Happy reading!

These lists are always changing. See something we missed? Send your suggestions our way!


Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon
Six critically acclaimed authors intertwine tales of romance that take place over the course of a New York City blackout.


Legendborn byTracy Deonn.
To discover the truth behind her mother’s mysterious death, a teen girl infiltrates a magical secret society claiming to be the descendants of King Arthur and his knights.

Charming as a Verb by Ben Philippe.
Hiding less-than-honest dog walking business practices behind his charming smile and Ivy League ambition, a popular Haitian-American star debater is blackmailed by a classmate who wants to improve her image at school in this laugh out loud story.

Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas.
A gang leader’s son finds his effort to go straight for the sake of his child challenged by a loved one’s brutal murder, in a poignant exploration of Black coming-of-age set 17 years before the events of the award-winning The Hate U Give.

Every Body Looking by Candice Iloh.
This novel in verse follows the story of a mixed-heritage poet whose coming of age within the African diaspora is shaped by family abuse and addiction

Black Girl Unlimited: The Remarkable Story of a Teenage Wizard by Echo Brown
From age six through her high school valedictory speech, believing she and her mother are wizards helps young Echo cope with poverty, hunger, her mother’s drug abuse, and much more.

Punching the Air / by Ibi Zoboi with Yusef Salaam; illustrations by Omar T. Pasha.
Zoboi and prison reform activist Yusef Salaam (of the Exonerated Five) tell a moving and profound story about how one boy is able to maintain his humanity and fight for the truth in a prison system designed to strip him of both.

Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow.
Follow the experiences of a Black teen siren and her haunted best friend in Portland, Oregon, who find themselves targeted by violence when they are unable to hide their supernatural identities in an alternate world that discriminates against magic.

You Should See me in a Crown by Leah Johnson.
Shy studious Liz has always avoided the spotlight, but needs must, she enters the competitive and highly publicized prom queen contest in order to win the college scholarship that accompanies the crown.

A Sitting in St. James by Rita Garcia-Williams
In 1860 Louisiana, eighty-year-old Madame Sylvie decides to sit for a portrait, as horrific stories that span generations from the big house and the fields are revealed.


Fast Pitch by Nic Stone
Working hard to prove that Black girls belong at bat, softball captain Shenice Lockwood must prove herself on and off the field.

New Kid by Jerry Craft.
Jordan Banks, an artistic Black middle school student has transferred from public school to an elite, predominantly White private school and must contend not only with typical middle school challenges but also with microaggressions and code-switching.

Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Moore Ramée.
After attending a powerful protest, Shayla starts wearing an armband to school to support the Black Lives Matter movement, but when the school gives her an ultimatum, she is forced to choose between her education and her identity.

Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson.
ZJ’s friends Ollie, Darry and Daniel help him cope when his father, a beloved professional football player, suffers severe headaches and memory loss that spell the end of his career

King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender.
In a small but turbulent Louisiana town, one boy’s grief takes him beyond the bayous of his backyard, to learn that there is no right way to be yourself.

Genesis Begins Again by Alicia D. Williams
Genesis navigates poverty, family relationships, bullying, and overcomes the feelings of self-hate due to the trauma of colorism.

The only Black Girls in Town by Brandy Colbert
In a predominately white California beach town, the only two black seventh-graders, Alberta and Edie, find hidden journals that uncover family secrets and speak to race relations in the past.

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia
Seventh-grader Tristan Strong tumbles into the MidPass and, with allies John Henry and Brer Rabbit, must entice the god Anansi to come out of hiding and seal the hole Tristan accidentally ripped in the sky. First in a series.

What Lane? by Torrey Maldonado.
Biracial sixth-grader Stephen questions the limitations society puts on him after he notices the way strangers treat him and learns about the Black Lives Matter movement.

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. Check out the rest of the Track Series.