Reading is fun, but it’s even better when you make intentional efforts to read books by a diverse array of authors. As always, Black Young Adult novel authors have outdone themselves.
These are some great 2020 novels you can dig into.
15. Tochi Onyebuchi, Riot Baby
Ella can see things from the future, but her brother ends up in jail despite his best efforts to protect her.
Though the novel discusses the past and future, it’s sent in Los Angeles in 1992.
14. Whitney D. Grandison, Love Hate Thing
Set in ritzy Pacific Hills, Nandy and Tyson have wildly different lives.
This book puts them together and proves that enemies can learn to get along and grow to love one another.
13. Tonya Bolden, Saving Savannah
In 1919, Savannah is a young lady who meets the suffragette and socialist movements.
This brings about challenges, but also a lot of positive change!
12. Celeste Harte, Conquest
Jashi Anyua is stuck between a possible arranged marriage and a choice to escape.
11. Alechia Dow, The Sound Of The Stars
Creativity is now illegal in this sci-fi version of New York City, but Ellie Baker won’t let that stop her from
10. Patrice Caldwell, A Phoenix First Must Burn
What’s better than one story centering Black young women and girls?
Lots of stories by amazing women and nonbinary Black authors.
9. Kacen Callender, Felix Ever After
Felix is looking for love while also navigating his identity as a transgender boy.
8. Dean Atta, The Black Flamingo
Drag becomes a community of solace for a young multiracial gay teen.
7. Leah Johnson, You Should See Me In a Crown
This pure rom-com deals with Liz, who needs to become her school’s prom queen so she can get a scholarship after her original plan didn’t pan out.
6. Elizabeth Acevedo, Clap When You Land
The brilliant Elizabeth Acevedo does it again, only this time she plays with two narratives set in the Dominican Republic and New York City.
5. Jason Reynolds, Ibram X. Kendi, Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You
If you’ve wondered what to do about racism in your life and community, this book will give you some tools you can use to confront it.
It’s perfect for teens and parents!
4. Sherri L. Smith, The Blossom and the Firefly
Hana and Taro both face frightening circumstances in 1945, and then they meet.
3. Justina Ireland, Deathless Divide
If you loved Dread Nation, you’ll love Ireland’s continued exploration of Jane’s journey.
2. Joel Christian Gill, Fights: One Boy’s Triumph Over Violence
A young boy discusses the reasons behind why he fights and learns and grows along the way.
1. Zetta Elliott, Say Her Name
The African American Policy Forum curated 49 works of poetry that discuss social injustices, police brutality, and the struggle for equality.
There are many more brilliant books where this came from. Are there any additional books you would recommend? Give them a shoutout!