YA Black History Month

Celebrate Black History Month by reading young adult books written by contemporary Black YA authors!

Compiled by:
Tyana H., Fern S.
Ace of Spades

Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Abikely)

At Niveus Private Academy, Devon and Chiamaka are the only students chosen to be Senior Prefects who are also Black, which makes them targets for a series of anonymous texts revealing their secrets to the entire student body.

Between the Lines

Nikki Grimes
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Grimes)

Darrian dreams of writing for The New York Times. To hone his skills, he enrolls in Mr. Ward’s class, known for its open-mic poetry readings and poetry slams. Everyone in class has something important to say, and in sharing, they learn that they all face challenges and have a story to tell.

The Black Flamingo

Dean Atta
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Atta)

A boy comes to terms with his identity as a mixed-race gay teen. Then at university, he finds his wings as a drag artist—The Black Flamingo.

The Blackwoods

Brandy Colbert
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Colbert)

Told from multiple points of view, Ardith and Hollis Blackwood's lives are upended when their great-grandmother, legendary actress Blossom Blackwood, passes away, and family secrets emerge.

Blood Debts

Terry J. Benton-Walker
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Bentonw)

Clement and Cristina feel lost after their father's death, but find a new sense of purpose as they work to quell the rising tensions between New Orleans's magic and non-magic communities and find out who cursed their mother.

Charming as a Verb

Ben Philippe
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Philipp)

Henri can charm just about anyone. There is only one person who seems immune to Henri's charms: his "intense" classmate and neighbor Corinne. Soon, what started as a mutual hustle turns into something more surprising than either of them ever bargained for.

Cool. Awkward. Black.

Karen Strong
- Editor
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Cool)

This multi-genre story collection--drawing from contemporary, historical, fantasy, sci-fi, magical and realistic--celebrates and redefines the many facets of Blackness and geekiness, both in the real world and those imagined.

The Davenports

Krystal Marquis
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Marquis)

The Davenports are one of the few Black families of immense wealth and status in 1910 Chicago, and the two daughters, Olivia and Helen, are finding their way and finding love--even where they are not supposed to.

Early Departures

Justin A. Reynolds
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Reynold)

What if you could bring your best friend back to life—but only for a short time? Jamal's best friend, Q, doesn't know that he died, and that he's about to die again. He doesn't know that Jamal tried to save him. And that the reason they haven't been friends for two years is because Jamal blames Q for the accident that killed his parents. But what if Jamal could have a second chance?

Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry

Joya Goffney
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Goffney)

Quinn's journal is where she writes down everything that she doesn't want to admit out loud, or even face. When the journal goes missing and her list of biggest fears is posted online with a challenge to face each of them or else have the entire journal go public, it's time for Quinn to move out of the realm of her mind and into real life.

Fast Pitch

Nic Stone
(Juvenile Fiction - J Stone)

Shenice dreams of leading the Fulton Firebirds to the U12 softball regional championship. But her focus gets shaken when her great-uncle Jack reveals that a career-ending—and family-name-ruining—crime may have been a setup. It's up to Shenice to discover the truth about her family's past.

Felix Ever After

Kacen Callender
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Callend)

Felix Love has never been in love, painful irony that it is. He desperately wants to know why it seems so easy for everyone but him to find someone. He is proud of his identity, but fears that he's one marginalization too many—Black, queer, and transgender. When an anonymous student begins sending him transphobic messages—after publicly posting Felix's deadname alongside images of him before he transitioned—Felix comes up with a plan for revenge.

The Gilded Ones

Namina Forna
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Forna)

Inspired by the culture of West Africa, a feminist fantasy debut traces the experiences of an intuitive girl who is invited to leave her village to join the emperor's army of near-immortal women warriors.


Tracy Deonn
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Deonn)

To discover the truth behind her mother's mysterious death, a teen girl infiltrates a magical secret society claiming to be the descendants of King Arthur and his knights.

Love is a Revolution

Renée Watson
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Watson)

Harlem teenager Nala is looking forward to a summer of movies and ice cream until she falls in love with the very woke Tye and pretends to be a social activist.


Akwaeke Emezi
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Emezi)

In a near-future society that claims to have gotten rid of all monstrous people, a creature emerges from a painting Jam's mother created.

Reggie and Delilah's Year of Falling

Elise Bryant
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Bryant)

Delilah always keeps her messy, gooey insides hidden behind a wall of shrugs and yeah, whatevers. Reggie is a D&D Dungeon Master and self-declared Blerd. These two, who have practically nothing in common, meet for the first time on New Year's Eve. As their holiday meetings continue, the two begin to fall for each other. But what happens once they realize they've each fallen for a version of the other that doesn't really exist?

Skin of the Sea

Natasha Bowen
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Bowen)

Transformed by the goddess Yemoja into a Mami Wati, an African mermaid charged with collecting the souls of those who die at sea, Simi goes against the gods to save a living boy, Kola, from drowning.

The Taking of Jake Livingston

Ryan Douglass
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Douglas)

When a murderous ghost begins to haunt Jake Livingston, high school soon becomes a different kind of survival game.

That Self-Same Metal

Brittany N. Williams
(Young Adult Fiction - Y William)

In 1605 London, Joan Sands' magical ability to control metal makes her a skilled craftswoman, but her family gift for observing the Fae, who recently broke the Pact and are now brutally attacking mortals, draws Joan into political intrigue in both human and Fae worlds.

This Poison Heart

Kalynn Bayron
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Bayron)

Teenaged Briseis, who possesses a supernatural power over plants, including poisonous ones, inherits a dilapidated estate in rural New York and must protect herself and her family from centuries-old secrets that threaten their lives.

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky

Kwame Mbalia
(Juvenile Fiction - J Mbalia)

Tristan Strong feels anything but strong ever since he failed to save his best friend when they were in a bus accident together. When he punches a tree, accidentally ripping open a chasm into the MidPass, and he finds himself in the middle of a battle with American folk heroes John Henry and Brer Rabbit.

We Are All So Good at Smiling

Amber McBride
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Mcbride)

When hospitalized for her clinical depression, Whimsy connects with a boy named Faerry, who also suffers from the traumatic loss of a sibling, and together they work to unearth buried memories and battle the fantastical physical embodiment of their depression.

When You Were Everything

Ashley Woodfolk
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Woodfol)

It's been 27 days since Cleo and Layla's friendship imploded. Cleo realizes they'll never be besties again, and she wants to erase every memory that tethers her to Layla. But when Cleo is assigned to be Layla's tutor, their turbulent past comes back to haunt them both.

White Smoke

Tiffany D. Jackson
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Jackson)

Believing her new home to actually be alive, especially when her brother almost dies, Marigold and her new blended family won't be safe until she brings the truth to light once and for all.

Wings of Ebony

J. Elle
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Elle)

Half-god, half-human Rue is snatched from her Houston home and brought to Ghazan, a secret land of gods, by her estranged father. She then must face an evil determined to steal everything from her.

Graphic Novels
Artie and the Wolf Moon

Olivia Stephens
(Graphic Novels - GN Stephen Artie And The Wolf Moon)

Thrilled to discover she comes from a line of werewolves, Artie asks her mom to share everything--including the story of Artie's late father. Her mom reluctantly agrees. And to help Artie figure out her wolflike abilities, she recruits some old family friends.

The Crossover

Kwame Alexander
(Graphic Novels - GN Alexand Crossover)

13-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health.

Maybe an Artist

Liz Montague
(Graphic Novels - GN 741.5092 Montague Mon)

A heartfelt and funny graphic novel memoir by one of the first Black female cartoonists to be published in the New Yorker, at the age of 22.

Nubia: Real One

L. L. McKinney
(Graphic Novels - GN Nubia)

Nubia has always stood out because of her Amazonian strength, but even though she uses her ability for good, she is seen as a threat, so when her best friend Quisha is threatened by a boy who thinks he owns the town, Nubia risks everything to become the hero society tells her she is not.

Wash Day Diaries

Jamila Rowser
(Graphic Novels - GN Rowser Wash Day Diaries)

From self-care to spilling the tea at an hours-long salon appointment to healing family rifts, the stories are brought to life through beautifully drawn characters and different color palettes reflecting the mood in each story.