Hello fellow bookworms 📚 Today I wanted to talk some of the books written by Black authors that I would like to read. It’s incredibly important to boost and give support to Black Voices outside of Black History Month and therefore read books by Black authors all year long, especially as a white reviewer. I definitely want to make a commitment to buy, read, and review more books by Black Authors in general and especially focusing on reading from a wide variety of genres and themes. I tend to read a lot more fiction (leaning towards YA Fantasy and Contemporary books), but as I have gotten more into Nonfiction this year, I specifically want to read Black Nonfiction books, as it’s important for me to educate myself on Black History, White Privilege and how to best support the Black Lives Matter Movement. For now, I have highlighted the 20 books that I’m the most excited to read right now but feel free to recommend me your favorite books by Black Authors that I might have missed ❤
Reminder: There are still a lot of petitions going on that you can sign to support Black Lives Matter Movement and if you’re searching for more information on how you can get involved there are several Cards that get updated frequently. Here are a few links that can point you towards some helpful resources!
- Support Black Authors over on Twitter
- Black Lives Matter Card
- BLM Matter 2020 Resources
- 100+ Petitions that haven’t reached their goal yet
- 5 YA Books By Black Authors You NEED // police brutality, West African magic, LGBTQ+ contemporaries, and more (Aditi @ one in a million)
- All Young Adult Speculative Fiction by Black Authors for 2020 (Alexandria Brown)
- 23 Phenomenal Young Adult Books By Black Authors From The First Half Of 2020 (BuzzFeed)
- 5 Non-Binary authors you should check out! & 6 Black Booktubers you should absolutely subscribe to! (Esmée @ servillasspeaks)
- 17 New YA Books by Black Authors to Support & 16 YA Books by Black Authors That You Can Preorder Right Now (EpicReads)
- 15 Books by Black Authors Releasing in June 2020 (Fanna @ fannatality)
- An Anti-Racist Reading List: 20 Highly Rated Nonfiction Books by Black Authors (Goodreads)
- 270+ Books by Black Authors (Maddy @ missmaddychats)
- 40+ queer books by Black authors to support this Pride month (and always) (Margaret @ weirdzeal)
- 20 YA books by Black authors on my TBR (Tasya @ theliteraryhuntress)
- Anti-Racist Reading List (separated into helpful sections) (Victoria Alexander over on Twitter)
The Fifth Season (N.K. Jeminsin) ➽ Adult Sci-Fi ➽ I’ve been wanting to get into more Adult books and I have heard such fantastic things about N.K. Jeminsin’s works! When it comes to Adult books I’m always a bit more out of my comfort zone, but happy to support a Black Woman’s work, especially as her concepts sound so interesting. I’ve seen only positive reviews about the Fifth Season and it sounds very intriguing as it’s set in a dystopian world on the brink of disaster.
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race (Reni Eddo-Lodge) ➽ Adult Nonfiction ➽ This is a nonfiction book that I have been wanting to get to for a while and definitely should check out soon. It’s Exploring issues from eradicated black history to the political purpose of white dominance, whitewashed feminism to the inextricable link between class and race, so this is an important book to read, understand and educate myself.
Monday’s Not Coming (Tiffany D. Jackson) ➽ YA Mystery ➽ I rarely read mystery books but I want to get into reading more of them and Monday’s Not Coming sounds like an intriguing one. It’s all about the main character’s best friend going missing and now it’s up to her to find out what happened to her friend and even more importantly how she could vanish without a trace. I’ve heard good things about Jackson’s books in general, so I cannot wait to read my first book written by her!
Full Disclosure (Cameron Garrett) ➽ YA Contemporary ➽ This is a book about a black protagonist who is HIV positive and trying to adjust to her new school when someone threatens to tell everyone about her diagnosis. I’ve not read a book about an HIV positive character, so I definitely think that it’s time to pick up Full Disclosure and get a closer look at what living with this diagnosis is actually liked, especially with still so much stigma surrounding it!
A Dream So Dark (L.L. McKinney) ➽ YA Fantasy (sequel to A Blade so Black) ➽ I just recently read and loved A Blade So Black, so of course the sequel is also on my immediate TBR! This is an Alice in Wonderland retelling with a black main character and I loved the whimsical world and great twist on the original tale. I’m very excited for all urban/contemporary Fantasy books and this one was great at exploring the struggle to maintain normal and magical life. I cannot wait to see the direction this story takes!
Kingdom of Souls (Rena Barron) ➽ YA Fantasy ➽ I’m always here for a good Fantasy story and Kingdom of Souls has an interesting premise that has kept me watching out for this book since it was published. It’s about a girl from a family of witch doctors whose magic hasn’t emerged yet but is desperately needed to fight the threat of the rising Demon King. I love a good magic-focused story and this one sounds like it’s going to be a great, fast-paced adventure!
Truly Madly Royally (Debbie Rigaud) ➽ YA Contemporary ➽ Okay this one sounds so cute and gives off such positive vibes – I can tell that it’s going to be an adorable, cheesy, feel-good story! I discovered this hidden gem a while ago and was hooked as it’s about a black girl, attending a (majorly white) summer program and meeting the Prince of a minor British Island. When both of them meet and she gets thrust int the spotlight, all sorts of drama and chaos ensure. I’ll definitely pick this up when I’m in the mood for some Royalty stories!
So You Want to Talk About Race (Ijeoma Oluo) ➽ Adult Nonfiction ➽ I saw this mentioned as an accessible take on the racial landscape in America, addressing head-on such issues as privilege, police brutality, intersectionality, micro-aggressions, the Black Lives Matter movement and the “N” word. That’s why I’ll probably be starting with this nonfiction book to educate myself and then move on to the next book on my list, as having a good foundation of knowledge to build upon first is really important.
How to Be an Antiracist (Ibram X. Kendi) ➽ Adult Nonfiction ➽ Another book I frequently saw mentioned as a good one to educate yourself on challenging your white privilege and contributing to an antiracist society. It’s probably a good book to read after gaining some basic knowledge and then going into the topic even further to find out how you can get involved in making a lasting change to society, which is something we desperately need!
The Toll (Neal Shusterman) ➽ YA Sci-Fi (Series Finale of Scythe) ➽ I still haven’t read the big finale to one of my favorite Sci-Fi Series but it’ll hopefully be happening this year. Neal Shusterman is one of the best Dystopian writers out there and I greatly appreciate his takes on a realistic, but terrifying dystopian landscape. The Toll is the last book in his famous Scythe series and judging from his previous book it’ll be an intense and emotional ride, as his books tend to spare no feelings. I’m both scared and excited to finally delve into this one!
The Sound of Stars (Alechia Dow) ➽ YA Sci-Fi ➽ I have had this on my radar for a while now, as it sounds so good! The Sound of Stars is an intriguing sci-fi novel about the aftermath of an alien invasion, featuring a black teen consuming forbidden media and a curious alien boy who finds solace in emotions when he shouldn’t. I definitely love unlikely pairings and I have been wanting to read a good alien book for a while now, so this is definitely moving up my TBR!
Felix Ever After (Kacen Callendar) ➽ YA Contemporary ➽ One of my most anticipated releases that I definitely want to read sometime this year. It’s about a black, trans guy who has to deal with a transphobic troll exposing him and is set on getting his revenge for that. But it’s also a lot about identity and exploring first love. I have heard so many good reviews about this book so far, so I have high hopes that I will end up loving it as much as everyone else did!
You Should See Me in a Crown (Leah Johnson) ➽ YA Contemporary ➽ By the time this post goes up, I’ll probably already have read this book, as my library just got it! I was definitely drawn to this one because it gave off such positive vibes with a queer black girl trying to win prom and finding love along the way. In the end, this ended up being enjoyable, but not as much for me as it was for other people. I liked the romance and main character – plus this flew by so fast – but there were also a lot of cliches and a manipulative best friend that bothered me.
A Song of Wraiths and Ruin (Roseanne A. Brown) ➽ YA Fantasy ➽ This book has taken Twitter by storm and I can never resist a good Fantasy book! The story is inspired by West-African folklore and features a desperate refugee and an equally desperate crown princess ending up meeting against the odds. There seems to be a lot of political intrigue and (maybe dangerous) ancient magic, as well as vicious spirits, involved, so I’m definitely interested in reading this book!
When You Were Everything (Ashley Woodfolk) ➽ YA Contemporary ➽ I’m always in need of more friendship breakup books, so I have had When You Were Everything on my TBR for a while now. I appreciate books that focus on friendships and the messiness of losing a friend so much! Much like We Used to be Friends, this one focuses on a pair of best friends that have a fallout and is told in alternating timelines exploring how it got to the point and how the past comes back to haunt both of the girls – can they even move on from this loss?
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You (Jason Reynolds, Ibram X. Kendi) ➽ Adult Nonfiction ➽ Another nonfiction book that I’ve seen highly recommended on Twitter and therefore had to add to my own TBR as well! According to Goodreads, it shines a light on the many insidious forms of racist ideas–and on ways readers can identify and stamp out racist thoughts in their daily lives, so I think that it’s very important to read this book and confront your own thoughts, always being mindful and ready to make changes.
Cinderella Is Dead (Kalynn Bayron) ➽ YA Fantasy (Expected Publication: July 7th) ➽ I have heard a lot of hype for this book and it definitely intrigues me, especially as it doesn’t seem like your typical Cinderella retelling. It’s set after the original fairytale and explores the sexist system in place that forces girls to be paraded and chosen – if not, they are never heard from again. The main character would rather marry Erin, her childhood sweetheart so she sets out to bring an end to this horrible tradition. I can already tell that I’m going to be rooting for her so hard!
Legendborn (Tracy Deonn) ➽ YA Fantasy (Expected Publication: September 15th) ➽ Another Fantasy book that I’m highly anticipating because it sounds amazing! I love contemporary fantasy stories and this one is set at the local university when the main character witnesses a magical attack and finds out that she has a magic of her own that she never knew about. It already sets up an interesting magic system and promises a lot of secrets and adventure, so I’m definitely down for that!
Dear Justyce (Nic Stone) ➽ YA Contemporary (sequel to Dear Martin, Expected publication: September 29th) ➽ I loved Dear Martin when I read it two years ago, so I’m happy to see that a sequel is going to be released later this month! It features new characters but still holds a connection to the first book, so technically you could even read this book without having read Dear Martin. That being said, I highly recommend reading the first book anyway as it’s a great, emotional exploration of police brutality!
Concrete Rose (Angie Thomas) ➽ YA Contemporary (Prequel to The Hate U Give, Expected Publication: January 12th, 2021) ➽ I couldn’t resist including the new The Hate U Give a book, even if it’s technically not a 2020 release 😄 I have been wanting to read another novel by Angie Thomas again as I loved all of her works, so I’m so glad that we have a new release to look forward to next year! Normally, I’m not big on prequels but I’ll make an exception for Concrete Rose, as I cannot wait to uncover the background story of Angie’s father!
What are your favorite books written by black authors? Feel free to recommend them to me in the comments! 📚