Black History Month YA Reading List

This Black History Month and all year long, we’re celebrating Black stories. Keep scrolling for Underlined’s official Black History Month YA reading list, and don’t forget to check out #allwaysblack, a community dedicated to Black literature – reading it, sharing it, talking about it, posting about it, living it, loving it. Get social with @allwaysblack.

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Sun Keep Rising

Sun Keep Rising

By Kristen R. Lee

When rent increases put a teen mom at risk of losing her home, she resorts to a dangerous game to keep her family afloat. But all games have consequences, and this isn't one she can afford to lose. A gripping story about race, income instability, and the strength it takes to survive from a critically acclaimed author.

"Kristen R. Lee is a miraculous story weaver"-Mahogany L. Browne, author of Vinyl Moon

B’onca always kn...

Finding Jupiter

Finding Jupiter

By Kelis Rowe

Sparks fly when Orion and Ray meet for the first time at a roller rink in Memphis. But these star-crossed souls have a past filled with secrets that threaten to tear them apart before their love story even begins. Found poetry, grief, and fate collide in this powerful debut.

Ray: Just once I’d like my birthday to be about me, and not the day my father died. I want to be Ray Jr., the tall girl from Memphis with the poetr...

Bitter

Bitter

By Akwaeke Emezi

From National Book Award finalist Akwaeke Emezi comes a companion novel to PET that explores both the importance and cost of social revolution--and how youth lead the way.

Bitter is an aspiring artist who has been invited to cultivate her talents at a special school in the town of Lucille. Surrounded by other creative teens, she can focus on her painting--though she hides a secret from everyone around her. Meanwhile, the st...

Vinyl Moon

Vinyl Moon

By Mahogany L. Browne

A teen girl hiding the scars of a past relationship finds home and healing in the words of strong Black writers. A beautiful sophomore novel from a critically acclaimed author and poet that explores how words have the power to shape and uplift our world even in the midst of pain.

When Darius told Angel he loved her, she believed him.
 
Angel feels out of sync with the rhythms of her new neighborhood. At school, she...

Dear Justyce

Dear Justyce

By Nic Stone

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 system. Perfect for fans of Jason Reynolds and Angie Thomas.

In the highly anticipated sequel to her New York Times bestseller, Nic Stone delivers an unflinching look into the flawed practices and silenced voices in the American juveni...

145th Street: Short Stories

145th Street: Short Stories

By Walter Dean Myers

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


On Harlem’s 145th Street, things happen that don’t happen anywhere else in the world.

Get to kn...

Dear Martin

Dear Martin

By Nic Stone

"Powerful, wrenching.” –JOHN GREEN, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Turtles All the Way Down

"Raw and gripping." –JASON REYNOLDS, New York Times bestselling coauthor of All American Boys

"A must-read!” –ANGIE THOMAS, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Hate U...

Mare's War

Mare's War

By Tanita S. Davis

Meet Mare, a World War II veteran and a grandmother like no other. She was once a willful teenager who escaped her less than perfect life in the deep South and lied about her age to join the African American Battalion of the Women's Army Corps. Now she is driving her granddaughters—two willful teenagers in their own rite—on a cross-country road trip. The girls are initially skeptical of Mare's flippy wigs and stilletos, but they soon ...

Nubia: The Awakening

Nubia: The Awakening

By Omar Epps, Clarence A. Haynes

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.

For Zuberi, Uzochi, and Lencho, Nubia is a mystery. Before they were born, a...

Soul of the Deep

Soul of the Deep

By Natasha Bowen

The stunning sequel to New York Times bestseller Skin of the Sea, in which the world must pay the price for one mermaid’s choice, and a dark force reverberates across realms. Perfect for anyone eagerly anticipating the live-action The Little Mermaid.

One life.
One choice.
One sacrifice.

To save those closest to her, Simi traded away everything: her freedom, her family, and the boy she lov...

The Gilded Ones #2: The Merciless Ones

The Gilded Ones #2: The Merciless Ones

By Namina Forna

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The epic, hotly anticipated sequel to the instant bestseller The Gilded Ones about a girl with the power to remake her world—or destroy it.

“Fans of Children of Blood and Bone, Mulan, and the Dora Milaje from Black Panther are going to adore [The Gilded Ones].”—BuzzFeed

It's been six months s...

Pet

Pet

By Akwaeke Emezi

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST • STONEWALL BOOK AWARD WINNER • ONE OF TIME MAGAZINE’S 100 BEST YA BOOKS OF ALL TIME

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR by The New York Times • Time • Buzzfeed • NPRNew York Public Library • Publishers Weekly • School Library Journal

A genre-defying novel from the award-winning author NPR describes as &l...

Dreams from My Father (Adapted for Young Adults)

Dreams from My Father (Adapted for Young Adults)

By Barack Obama

Now adapted for young adults—the #1 New York Times bestselling memoir, which Toni Morrison called “quite extraordinary,” offers an intimate look at Barack Obama’s early days. This is a compelling journey tracing the future 44th president's odyssey through family, race, and identity.
 
A revealing portrait of a young Black man asking questions about self-discovery and belonging—long before he...

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

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

By Kwame Onwuachi, Joshua David Stein

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.

Food was Kwame Onwuachi's first great love. He connected to cooking via his mother, in the family's modest Bronx apartment. From that spark, he launched his own catering ...

The Beautiful Struggle (Adapted for Young Adults)

The Beautiful Struggle (Adapted for Young Adults)

By Ta-Nehisi Coates

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.

As a child, Ta-Nehisi Coates was seen by his father, Paul, as too sensitive and lacking focus. Paul Coates was a Vietnam vet who'd been part of the Black Panthers and wa...

Just Mercy (Movie Tie-In Edition, Adapted for Young Adults)

Just Mercy (Movie Tie-In Edition, Adapted for Young Adults)

By Bryan Stevenson

The young adult adaptation of the acclaimed, #1 New York Times bestseller Just Mercy--now a major motion picture starring Michael B. Jordan, Jaime Foxx, and Brie Larson and the subject of an HBO documentary feature!

In this very personal work--adapted from the original #1 bestseller, which the New York Times calls "as compelling as To Kill a Mockingbird, and in some ways more so"--acclaimed lawyer and soc...

Friday I'm in Love

Friday I'm in Love

By Camryn Garrett

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

Mahalia Harris wants.

She wants a b...

Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute

Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute

By Talia Hibbert

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • 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.

Bradley Graeme is pretty much perfect. He’s a star football player, manages his OCD well (enough), and comes out on top in all his classes . . . except the ones...

The Black Queen

The Black Queen

By Jumata Emill

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.

Nova Albright, the first Black homecoming queen at Lovett High, is dead. Murdered the night of her coronation, her body found the next morning in the old slave cemetery she spent her weekends ...

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