Hi Bookworms .I write from my comfort of home in New Delhi , India trying to understand the grip of what is happening in the world and educating myself on the experience of Black people and lives of them around the world . I strongly believe that no one should be Racist and no one should be judged on the basis of their skin color . #blacklivesmatter

“In order to stand with us, and people who look like me, you have to be educated on issues that pertain to me, fully educated so you can feel the full level of pain so that you can have full understanding,” said Emmanuel Acho. 

Young adult books go above and beyond when it comes to representation—and it’s something that we, readers continue to fight for every day. Let’s look at some of the books that have been influential in this wave of representation and I need to read ASAP .

1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas- Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

2. On the Come Up by Angie Thomas– Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least win her first battle. As the daughter of an underground hip hop legend who died right before he hit big, Bri’s got massive shoes to fill.But it’s hard to get your come up when you’re labeled a hoodlum at school, and your fridge at home is empty after your mom loses her job. So Bri pours her anger and frustration into her first song, which goes viral . . . for all the wrong reasons. Bri soon finds herself at the center of a controversy, portrayed by the media as more menace than MC. But with an eviction notice staring her family down, Bri doesn’t just want to make it—she has to. Even if it means becoming the very thing the public has made her out to be.Insightful, unflinching, and full of heart, On the Come Up is an ode to hip hop from one of the most influential literary voices of a generation. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; and about how, especially for young black people, freedom of speech isn’t always free.

3.Black Enough edited by Ebi Zoboi- is an essential collection of captivating stories about what it’s like to be young and Black in America.

*Black is…sisters navigating their relationship at summer camp in Portland, Oregon, as written by Renée Watson.

*Black is…three friends walking back from the community pool talking about nothing and everything, in a story by Jason Reynolds.

*Black is…Nic Stone’s high-class beauty dating a boy her momma would never approve of.

*Black is…two girls kissing in Justina Ireland’s story set in Maryland. Black is urban and rural, wealthy and poor, mixed race, immigrants, and more—because there are countless ways to be Black enough.

4. Calling My Name by Liara Tamani -This unforgettable novel tells a universal coming-of-age story about Taja Brown, a young African American girl growing up in Houston, Texas, and deftly and beautifully explores the universal struggles of growing up, battling family expectations, discovering a sense of self, and finding a unique voice and purpose.Told in fifty-three short, episodic, moving, and iridescent chapters, Calling My Name follows Taja on her journey from middle school to high school. Literary and noteworthy, this is a beauty of a novel that captures the multifaceted struggle of finding where you belong and why you matter.

5. The Revolution of Birdie Randolph by Brandy Colbert– Dove “Birdie” Randolph works hard to be the perfect daughter and follow the path her parents have laid out for her: She quit playing her beloved soccer, she keeps her nose buried in textbooks, and she’s on track to finish high school at the top of her class. But then Birdie falls hard for Booker, a sweet boy with a troubled past…whom she knows her parents will never approve of.When her estranged aunt Carlene returns to Chicago and moves into the family’s apartment above their hair salon, Birdie notices the tension building at home. Carlene is sweet, friendly, and open-minded–she’s also spent decades in and out of treatment facilities for addiction. As Birdie becomes closer to both Booker and Carlene, she yearns to spread her wings. But when long-buried secrets rise to the surface, everything she’s known to be true is turned upside down.

6. Dear Martin by Nic Stone-In a debut told in the view of a young Black male living in today’s America, Nic Stone boldly takes on the topics of police brutality and racism—something that doesn’t exist only in Black history, but unfortunately in today’s world as well.Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can’t escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack.

These are the few of the books which I wish to read as soon as possible to understand and grasp the lives of the black people residing in USA. I don’t think there is a better medium of educating myself other than books . Books are powerful medium to educate people and make your voice heard .

Till then Adieu #blacklivesmatter .

What are your thoughts? Recommend me more such books . Let’s Chat in comments Section .

34 thoughts on “YA Books with Black Representation I need to read ASAP!

  1. I’ve been meaning to read The Hate U Give because just reading the synopsis gives me chills. Great list of books, Priyasha!
    Also, it’s so cool to find another blogger from Delhi! Although I’m not *from* the place, I do study in DU!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great list! Some you’ve mentioned are all time favorites and some are on my TBR list. I recommend When the Stars Lead to You by Ronni Davis and When You Were Everything by Ashley Woodfolk!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I definitely want to get to The Hate U Give soon. I loved the movie and can’t believe I haven’t read the book yet. I’ll probably check out the author’s other book too as I’ve heard amazing things about it as well.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. The Hate U Give and On the Come Up are spectacular! I liked Dear Martin, too. I still need to read the rest of these, especially The Revolution of Birdie Randalf (because I LOVED Little and Lion). I just finished reading Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro for the same reason you stated above: educating ourselves about this is essential. It’s not YA (it’s for younger kids), but Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes is also an excellent book about this subject.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Wonderful list! I still need to read On the Come Up (I know, I’m so late omg…), but I adored The Hate U Give (although the movie didn’t resonate as much for me). I also LOVE Dear Martin, and am so excited for Dear Justyce. I’m putting all of these on my TBR!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Such a great list! I haven’t read much diverse books, unfortunately, but this is such an important reminder that there are so many books out there written by diverse authors from different cultures that deserve so much more attention than they currently have!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I have been meaning to read Dear Martin forever.

    I am actually quite jealous of you that you get to read Angie Thomas for the first time. Her books are AMAZING. She writes families like no one else – you will fall in love I promise.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. hello,priyasha.i have been to india twice for extended visits, both in early 1970s.if you came here you would experience our brand of racism.that is really the best way,unless you are extraordinarily light skinned.as for reading,dont forget the older books.the United States is built on racism.i will give you a list.i must go now.for starters -auyobiography of Malcom x is a must.

    Liked by 1 person

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