Celebrate Black History Month with books by Black authors and writing focusing on Black characters, history, and culture. We hope these selections serve to educate and encourage a dialogue on topics of Black history and experiences, as well as highlight authors and stories from a variety of genres.


X: A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz

Malcolm Little’s parents have always told him that he can achieve anything, but from what he can tell, that’s a pack of lies — after all, his father’s been murdered, his mother’s been taken away, and his dreams of becoming a lawyer have gotten him laughed out of school. He escapes into a world of fancy suits, jazz, girls, and reefer. But Malcolm’s efforts to leave the past behind lead him into increasingly dangerous territory.

Available formats: Book

 

 

 


Monster: A Graphic Novel by Walter Dean Myers, adapted by Guy A. Sims

While on trial as an accomplice to a murder, sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon records his experiences in prison and in the courtroom in the form of a film script as he tries to come to terms with the course his life has taken.

Available formats: Book, Ebook (Hoopla)

 

 

 

 

 


Pride by Ibi Zoboi

When the wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, Zuri wants nothing to do with their two teenage sons. She especially can’t stand the judgmental and arrogant Darius. Yet as Zuri and Darius are forced to find common ground, their initial dislike shifts into an unexpected understanding. But with four wild sisters pulling her in different directions, cute boy Warren vying for her attention, and college applications hovering on the horizon, Zuri fights to find her place in Bushwick’s changing landscape, or lose it all.

Available formats: Book, Ebook (Hoopla), Audiobook (Hoopla), Ebook (Media on Demand by OverDrive), Audiobook (Media on Demand by OverDrive), Ebook (cloudLibrary), Audiobook (cloudLibrary)

 

 


The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed

This coming-of-age novel explores issues of race, class, and violence through the eyes of a wealthy black teenager whose family gets caught in the vortex of the 1992 Rodney King Riots. Ashley Bennett and her friends are living the charmed life. Everything changes one afternoon, when four LAPD officers are acquitted after beating a black man half to death. Suddenly, Ashley’s not just one of the girls. She’s one of the black kids. With her world splintering around her, Ashley, along with the rest of LA, is left to question who is the us ? And who is the them?

Available formats: Book, Ebook (Media on Demand by OverDrive)

 

 


Long Way Down: The Graphic Novel by Jason Reynolds

As Will, fifteen, sets out to avenge his brother Shawn’s fatal shooting, seven ghosts, who knew Shawn, board the elevator and reveal truths Will needs to know.

Available formats: Book, Ebook (Media on Demand by OverDrive)

 

 

 

 

 


The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

In the opulent world of Orleans, Belles control Beauty. But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orleans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be.

Available formats: Book, Ebook (Hoopla), Audiobook (Hoopla), Ebook (Media on Demand by OverDrive), Audiobook (Media on Demand by OverDrive), Ebook (cloudLibrary)

 

 

 


Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

If there’s one thing seventeen-year-old Maverick Carter knows, it’s that a real man takes care of his family. As the son of a former gang legend, Mav does that the only way he knows how: dealing for the King Lords.¬†Until, that is, Maverick finds out he’s a father. Suddenly he has a baby, Seven, who depends on him for everything. But it’s not so easy to sling dope, finish school, and raise a child. So when he’s offered the chance to go straight, he takes it.

Available formats: Book, Ebook (Media on Demand by OverDrive), Audiobook (Media on Demand by OverDrive), Playaway

 

 


War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi

The year is 2172. Climate change and nuclear disasters have rendered much of earth unlivable. In a war-torn Nigeria, battles are fought using flying, deadly mechs and soldiers are outfitted with bionic limbs and artificial organs meant to protect them from the harsh, radiation-heavy climate. Across the nation survival becomes the only way of life. Two sisters, Onyii and Ify, dream of more. Their lives have been marked by violence and political unrest. Still, they dream of peace, of hope, of a future together. And they’re willing to fight an entire war to get there.

Available formats: Book, Ebook (Media on Demand by OverDrive)

 

 


A Phoenix First Must Burn edited by Patrice Caldwell

Sixteen tales by bestselling and award-winning authors that explore the Black experience through fantasy, science fiction, and magic.

Available formats: Book, Ebook (cloudLibrary), Audiobook (Hoopla)

 

 

 

 

 


A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown

Inspired by West African folklore in which a grieving crown princess and a desperate refugee find themselves on a collision course to murder each other despite their growing attraction. When a vengeful spirit abducts Malik’s younger sister he strikes a fatal deal–kill Karina, the Crown Princess, for Nadia’s freedom. But Karina has deadly aspirations of her own. Her mother has been assassinated and grief-stricken Karina decides to resurrect her mother through ancient magic requiring the beating heart of a king. And she knows just how to obtain one: by offering her hand in marriage to the victor of the Solstasia competition. When Malik rigs his way into the contest, they are set on a heart-pounding course to destroy each other.

Available formats: Book, Ebook (Media on Demand by OverDrive)

 

 


Spin by Lamar Giles

When rising star Paris Secord (aka DJ ParSec) is found dead on her turntables, it sends the local music scene reeling. No one is feeling that grief more than her best friend, Kya and¬† Fuse. The police have few leads, and when the trail quickly turns cold, the authorities don’t seem to be pushing too hard to investigate further. As ParSec Nation takes to social media and the streets in their crusade for justice, Fuse and Kya start digging into Paris’s past, stumbling across a deadly secret. With new info comes new motives. New suspects. And a fandom that will stop at nothing in their obsessive quest for answers.

Available formats: Book, Ebook (Media on Demand by OverDrive), Audiobook (Hoopla)

 

 


Slay by Brittney Morris

By day, seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is an honors student at Jefferson Academy. At home, she joins hundreds of thousands of Black gamers who duel worldwide in the secret multiplayer online role-playing card game, SLAY. No one knows Kiera is the game developer. But when a teen in Kansas City is murdered over a dispute in the SLAY world, news of the game reaches mainstream media, and SLAY is labeled a racist, exclusionist, violent hub for thugs and criminals. Driven to save the only world in which she can be herself, Kiera must preserve her secret identity and harness what it means to be unapologetically Black in a world intimidated by Blackness.

Available formats: Book, Ebook (Media on Demand by OverDrive), Audiobook (Media on Demand by OverDrive)

 


Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

It’s 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, but the fairy tale isn’t over. Teen girls are now required to appear at the Annual Ball, where the men of the kingdom select wives based on a girl’s display of finery. At the ball sixteen-year-old Sophia makes the desperate decision to flee, and finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s mausoleum. There, she meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella. Together they vow to bring down the king once and for all.

Available formats: Book, Ebook (Media on Demand by OverDrive)

 

 

 


Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith

During World War II, a light-skinned African American girl “passes” for white in order to join the Women Airforce Service Pilots.

Available formats: Book, Audiobook (Hoopla), Ebook (Media on Demand by OverDrive), Audiobook (Media on Demand by OverDrive)

 

 

 

 


Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron

Born into a family of powerful witchdoctors, Arrah yearns for magic of her own. But each year she fails to call forth her ancestral powers, while her ambitious mother watches with growing disapproval. There’s only one thing Arrah hasn’t tried, a deadly last resort: trading years of her own life for scraps of magic. When the Kingdom’s children begin to disappear, and Arrah is desperate to find the culprit. She ends up uncovering something worse.

Available formats: Book, Ebook (Hoopla), Audiobook (Hoopla), Ebook (Media on Demand by OverDrive)

 

 

 


Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson

Brooklyn, 1998. Friends Quadir and Jarrell aren’t cool letting their best friend Steph’s music lie forgotten under his bed after he was murdered. With the help of Steph’s younger sister Jasmine, they come up with a plan to promote Steph’s music under a new rap name: the Architect. Soon, everyone wants a piece of him. When his demo catches the attention of a hotheaded music label rep, the trio must prove Steph’s talent from beyond the grave.

Available formats: Book, Ebook (Hoopla), Audiobook (Hoopla), Audiobook (Media on Demand by OverDrive)

 

 


Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Now laws like the Native and Negro Education Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. But it’s not a life Jane wants. When families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy… and the restless dead are the least of her problems.

Available formats: Book, Ebook (Hoopla), Audiobook (Hoopla), Ebook (Media on Demand by OverDrive), Audiobook (Media on Demand by OverDrive)

 

 


Black Enough by Ibi Zoboi

Featuring some of the most acclaimed bestselling Black authors writing for teens today–Black Enough is an essential collection of captivating stories about what it’s like to be young and Black in America.

Available formats: Book, Ebook (Hoopla), Audiobook (Hoopla), Ebook (Media on Demand by OverDrive), Audiobook (Media on Demand by OverDrive), Audiobook (cloudLibrary)

 

 

 

 


Turning 15 On the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March by Lynda Blackmon Lowery

A story of the youngest person to complete the momentous Selma to Montgomery March, describing her frequent imprisonments for her participation in nonviolent demonstrations and how she felt about her involvement in historic Civil Rights events.

Available formats: Book, Ebook (cloudLibrary)

 

 

 

 

 


Dark Sky Rising by Henry Louis Gates Jr.

A journey through America’s past and our nation’s attempts at renewal in this look at the Civil War’s conclusion, Reconstruction, and the rise of Jim Crow segregation. This is a story about America during and after Reconstruction, one of history’s most pivotal chapters of emancipation, the struggle for citizenship and national reunion, and the advent of racial segregation.

Available formats: Book, Audibook (Hoopla), Ebook (OverDrive by Media on Demand)

 

 

 

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