For those of you who don’t know, every Sunday in February I’ve been doing a little something to help celebrate Black History Month. I’ve been putting together lists of boks by Black authors. We’ve (finally) gotten to my theme that I could have easily come up with dozens of books for: YA books by Black authors. Obviously, the vast majority of what I read is YA and therefore most of what’s on my TBR is YA as well. I kept it down to 5 books in order to keep some consistency with the past two weeks of this feature and I tried to get a good mix of current/recent and backlist titles.
You didn’t think I was going to get through a list that could incorporate this book without doing so, did you? This comes out in just over a week and I am So. Ready. I have it pre-ordered and I’m planning on reading it ASAP once my copy arrives. Hopefully, that’ll work out for me 😛 For those of you may not know, this is a book inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. The main character’s friend gets shot and killed by police and the resulting story is described as “one girl’s struggle for justice.” I cannot wait for this book!
This book is on my TBR mostly because it just sounds unlike anything else I’ve ever read. The main character’s best friend was kidnapped and several years later, when she’s on her way to becoming an elite ballerina, he reappears, causing the MC Theo to start reliving some less-than-pleasant memories. I’ve heard good things about this book and, like I said, it sounds really unique.
This Side of Home is about two twin teenagers whose neighborhood is being gentrified. One of them likes the changes while the other feels their home is disappearing. As a sociology minor and someone interested in racial inequality, I find gentrification something that’s interesting yet devastating to learn about and I’m very interested to see how this book tackles it.
I definitely wanted to include something by Walter Dean Myers on this list since he’s one of the most famous Black YA authors out there (if not the most famous). I considered including Monster, but figured Riot is less well-known so decided to go with this one instead. I managed to grab a hardcover copy of this book for $0.25 over the summer from my library’s book sale. (Humble brag.) Anyway, this is about riots that break out in NYC between the city’s Irish and African American residents. The main character is the daughter to an Irish mother and Black father and is kind of caught in the middle. Walter Dean Myers has received so many awards and so much recognition for his writing that I’m sure this will be a great read.
There are a few things about this book that really appeal to me. For starters, the main character is overweight which is, sadly, very hard to come by in YA (or really any other genre). Second, it’s written in verse which I love (which is ironic for someone who doesn’t really like reading poetry). And finally, it just sounds like a really cute, good book. I love books that incorporate the Internet into them (I don’t really know why) so I love the idea of the MC meeting her love interest online. Basically, this book looks really good and I’d love to read it.