The YA Books We’re Reading for Black History Month and Beyond

If you’re looking for YA books to read for Black History Month, you’re in the right place. We’re celebrating Black History Month by diving into some of our favorite books written by black authors, and we’ve compiled our reading list below. There are contemporary novels to tug at your heartstrings, fantasy novels to whisk you away to another realm, romances to make you swoon, a thriller to keep you up at night, and non-fiction books that will give you a new perspective. Whatever you’re in the mood for, there’s a book for you.

What will you be reading for Black History Month and beyond? Here are just a few of the YA novels we’re reading now and can’t wait to read in 2024!

YA Contemporary Fiction to Read for Black History Month

Dear Justyce

Dear Justyce

The stunning sequel to the #1 New York Times bestseller Dear Martin. Incarcerated teen Quan writes letters to Justyce about his experiences in the American juvenile justice systemPerfect for fans of Jason Reynolds and Angie Thomas.

Off the Record

Off the Record

The behind-the-scenes access of Almost Famous meets the searing revelations of metoo in this story of a teen journalist who uncovers the scandal of the decade.

145th Street: Short Stories

145th Street: Short Stories

From the award-winning author of Monster, this collection of powerful and poignant stories about 145th Streetan unforgettable block in the heart of Harlem—celebrates African-American life in all of its glory.

“Myers is a master.” —The New York Times Book Review

More YA Contemporary Fiction to Read for Black History Month

YA Fantasy to Read for Black History Month

The Gilded Ones

The Gilded Ones

“A dark feminist tale spun with blood and gold. Must read!” –Dhonielle Clayton, New York Times bestselling author of The Belles

The start of a bold and immersive fantasy series for fans of Children of Blood and Bone and Black Panther.

Nubia: The Awakening

Nubia: The Awakening

From beloved actor and producer Omar Epps and writer Clarence A. Haynes comes the biggest epic fantasy of the year. A powerful saga of three teens, the children of refugees from a fallen African utopia, who must navigate their newfound powers in a climate-ravaged New York City. Perfect for fans of Black Panther and Children of Blood and Bone.

Skin of the Sea

Skin of the Sea

The must-read Black mermaid fantasy series that #1 NYT bestselling author Nicola Yoon calls “epic and original,” in which one mermaid takes on the gods themselves. Perfect for fans of Children of Blood and Bone and anyone who loved the live-action The Little Mermaid.

More YA Fantasy to Read for Black History Month

YA Non-Fiction to Read for Black History Month

The Sum of Us (Adapted for Young Readers)

The Sum of Us (Adapted for Young Readers)

The New York Times bestseller, now adapted for a new generation of young readers, leaders, thinkers, and activists. A groundbreaking call to action that examines how racism affects and harms all of us and how we need to face it head-on, together.

Notes from a Young Black Chef (Adapted for Young Adults)

Notes from a Young Black Chef (Adapted for Young Adults)

This inspiring memoir, now adapted for young adults, chronicles Top Chef star and Forbes and Zagat 30 Under 30 phenom Kwame Onwuachi’s incredible and odds-defying fame in the food world after a tough childhood in the Bronx and Nigeria.

The Beautiful Struggle (Adapted for Young Adults)

The Beautiful Struggle (Adapted for Young Adults)

Adapted from the adult memoir by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Water Dancer and Between the World and Me, this father-son story explores how boys become men, and quite specifically, how Ta-Nehisi Coates became Ta-Nehisi Coates.

More YA Non-Fiction to Read for Black History Month

YA Romance to Read for Black History Month

Friday I'm in Love

Friday I'm in Love

It’s too late for a Sweet Sixteen, but what if Mahalia had a coming-out party? A love letter to romantic comedies, sweet sixteen blowouts, Black joy, and queer pride.

“A perfect ode to romantic comedies, wrapped in a dazzling rainbow dress.” —Rachael Lippincott, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Five Feet Apart and She Gets the Girl

Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute

Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute

From the bestselling author of the Brown Sisters trilogy, comes a laugh-out-loud story about a quirky content creator and a clean-cut athlete testing their abilities to survive the great outdoors—and each other.

Instructions for Dancing

Instructions for Dancing

“A charming, wholehearted love story that’s sure to make readers swoon.”—Entertainment Weekly

“Nicola Yoon writes from the heart in this beautiful love story.”—Good Morning America

“It’s like an emotional gut punch—so beautiful and also heart-wrenching.”—US Weekly

In this romantic page-turner from the author of Everything, Everything and The Sun is Also a Star, Evie has the power to see other people’s romantic fates—what will happen when she finally sees her own?

More YA Romance to Read for Black History Month

YA Thrillers to Read for Black History Month

The Black Queen

The Black Queen

Nova Albright was going to be the first Black homecoming queen at Lovett High—but now she’s dead. Murdered on coronation night. Fans of One of Us Is Lying and The Other Black Girl will love this unputdownable thriller.

More YA Thrillers to Read for Black History Month

What did you think of these YA books to read for Black History Month? Find more book recommendations here and get social with us at @getunderlined!

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