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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Dear Justyce

Dear Justyce

An NPR Best Book of the Year * The stunning sequel to the critically acclaimed,  #1 New York Times bestseller Dear Martin. An incarcerated teen writes letters to his best friend about his experiences in the American juvenile justice system.

An unflinching look into the tragically flawed practices and silenced...

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.

Ever since seventeen-year-old Josie Wright can remember, writing has been her identity, the thing that grounds her when everything else is a garbage fire. So when she wi...

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


On Harlem&rsquo...

Bitter

Bitter

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, s...

Chlorine Sky

Chlorine Sky

"An absolute masterpiece." -Elizabeth Acevedo, New York Times bestselling author of The Poet X

From the first ever poet-in-residence at Lincoln Center comes a bold coming-of-age story told in verse about a young woman who loses a best friend, but finds herself in the process. The joys of basketball, the tumult...

Dear Martin

Dear Martin

"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!” –...

Mare's War

Mare's War

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-coun...

Required Reading for the Disenfranchised Freshman

Required Reading for the Disenfranchised Freshman

A striking debut novel about racism on elite college campuses. Fans of Dear White People will embrace this activist-centered contemporary novel about a college freshman grappling with the challenges of attending an elite university with a disturbing racist history, which may not be as distant as it seems.

Savannah Howard sacrif...

Sun Keep Rising

Sun Keep Rising

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 ...

This Is My America

This Is My America

"Incredible and searing." --Nic Stone, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin

The Hate U Give meets Just Mercy in this unflinching yet uplifting first novel that explores the racist injustices in the American justice system.


Every week, seventeen-year-old Tracy Beaumont wri...

Vinyl Moon

Vinyl Moon

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 hi...

Invisible Son

Invisible Son

From the award-winning and critically acclaimed author of This Is My America comes another thriller about a wrongly accused teen desperate to recclaim both his innocence and his first love.

Life can change in an instant. 
When you’re wrongfully accused of a crime. 
When a virus shuts everything down. ...

The Gilded Ones

The Gilded Ones

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY TEEN VOGUE
 
"A dark feminist tale spun with blood and gold. Must read!" –Dhonielle Clayton, New York Times bestselling author of The Belles
 
Sixteen-...

The Gilded Ones #2: The Merciless Ones

The Gilded Ones #2: The Merciless Ones

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 goi...

The Gilded Ones #3: The Eternal Ones

The Gilded Ones #3: The Eternal Ones

The dazzling finale to the groundbreaking, New York Times bestselling Gilded Ones series. One girl holds the power to defeat the gods—but can she become one?

Mere weeks after confronting the Gilded Ones—the false beings she once believed to be her family—Deka is on the hunt. In order to kill the gods, whose ra...

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 an...

Nubia: The Reckoning

Nubia: The Reckoning

The sequel to Nubia: The Awakening, the epic fantasy from actor and producer Omar Epps and writer Clarence A. Haynes! 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.

Zuberi, Uzochi, and Lencho were among the first ...

Skin of the Sea

Skin of the Sea

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • 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 can't wait for the live-action The Litt...

Soul of the Deep

Soul of the Deep

The highly anticipated sequel to the 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 fans of Children of Blood and Bone and those eagerly anticipating the live-action film adaptation of The Little Merm...

Pet

Pet

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 • Schoo...

Bad Witch Burning

Bad Witch Burning

For fans of Lovecraft Country and Candyman comes a witchy story full of Black girl magic! One girl′s dark ability to summon the dead offers her a chance at a new life, while revealing to her an even darker future.

Practical Magic meets Black Girl Magic in this powerful addition to the YA canon.&...

The Sum of Us (Adapted for Young Readers)

The Sum of Us (Adapted for Young Readers)

The New York Times bestseller, 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.

The future can be prosperous for everyone, but only if we address the problems ...

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.

Food was Kwame Onwuachi's first great love. He connected to cooking via his moth...

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.

As a child, Ta-Nehisi Coates was seen by his father, Paul, as too sen...

Becoming: Adapted for Young Readers

Becoming: Adapted for Young Readers

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Michelle Obama’s worldwide bestselling memoir, Becoming, is now adapted for young readers.

Michelle Robinson was born on the South Side of Chicago. From her modest beginnings, she would become Michelle Obama, the inspiring and powerful First Lady of the United States, w...

Dreams from My Father (Adapted for Young Adults)

Dreams from My Father (Adapted for Young Adults)

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 po...

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

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

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...

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 <...

Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute

Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute

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 ...

Instructions for Dancing

Instructions for Dancing

AN INSTANT #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"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 ...

Finding Jupiter

Finding Jupiter

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 m...

Chaos Theory

Chaos Theory

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin delivers a gripping romance about two teens: a certified genius living with a diagnosed mental disorder and a politician's son who is running from his own addiction and grief. Don't miss this gut punch of a novel about mental health, loss, and discovering you are worthy of lov...

You Bet Your Heart

You Bet Your Heart

A riveting, swoon-worthy teen romance debut centered on two high achievers fighting for the title of high school valedictorian and falling in love along the way, from author Danielle Parker.

Sasha Johnson-Sun might not know everything—like how to fully heal after her dad’s passing or how many more Saturdays her mom can spe...

The Homecoming War

The Homecoming War

When plunging enrollment forces two rival high schools to merge, two class presidents must work together to make the schools unite. But when a mutual crush emerges, they'll both have to figure out what they want and where their loyalties lie before they become the most hated people at school.

Meg Williams is on the way to making her d...

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.

Nova Albright, the first Black homecoming queen at Lovett High, is dead. Murdered the night ...

Wander in the Dark

Wander in the Dark

In this new pulse-pounding thriller from the author of The Black Queen, two brothers must come together to solve the murder of the most popular girl in school after one of them is caught fleeing the scene of her death.

Amir Trudeau only goes to his half brother Marcel’s birthday party because of Chloe Danvers. Chloe is ri...

There's No Way I'd Die First

There's No Way I'd Die First

A spine-tingling contemporary horror-comedy novel that follows a scary-movie buff as she hosts an elaborate Halloween bash but soon finds the festivities upended when she and her guests are forced to test their survival skills in a deadly game, from debut author Lisa Springer.

Seventeen-year-old Noelle Layne knows horror. Every trope,...

Monstrous

Monstrous

Forced to spend her summer in her aunt's strange small town, a teen girl discovers dark secrets hidden in the woods. From the author of Bad Witch Burning comes another pulse-pounding novel perfect for fans of Supernatural and Lovecraft Country.

Don't go outside past dark. Come straight home after church. And above...

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