We love most of the YA books we come across, and we’re especially appreciative of YA books by black authors. YA has always been about celebrating diversity. The unique perspectives of the authors below broaden our views in unique and profound ways.
Unfortunately, we don’t think these books are talked about enough. “YA books by black authors” is one of the most popular searches when it comes to YAlit — these are clearly books that people are looking for! So to cap off Black History Month in America, here are five of our favorite YA books written by black authors. Please join the discussion by letting us know which books you recommend in the comments!
Madeline is allergic to everything. Yup, everything. Diagnosed with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID for short) as a baby, she hasn’t left her house in 17 years. But when Olly’s family moves in next door, she begins to realise just how much she’s missing out on. Adorable, eye-opening and engaging, this is a diverse novel about love, family and the state fish of Hawaii. (Ally)
Sephy is a Cross, a member of the dark-skinned ruling class. While Callum is a Nought, his skin is colourless and his race was once slaves to the Crosses. In this world parallel to our own, Malorie Blackman creates a thought provoking and shocking take on racism, prejudice and our history. (Ally)
Dorothy has gone back to Oz and become a dictator, making everyone in Oz miserable. It’s been years since then and a new girl from Kansas, Amy Gumm, travels to Oz. Along with some allies, she must take down Dorothy and restore the rightful Queen to her throne. (Mary)
Giselle Boyer and her identical twin, Isabelle, are as close as sisters can be, even as their family seems to be unraveling. Then the Boyers have a tragic encounter that will shatter everyone’s world forever. Giselle wakes up in the hospital, injured and unable to speak or move. Trapped in the prison of her own body, Giselle must revisit her past in order to understand how the people closest to her — her friends, her parents, and above all, Isabelle, her twin — have shaped and defined her. Will she allow her love for her family and friends to lead her to recovery? Or will she remain lost in a spiral of longing and regret? (Courtesy Scholastic)
This New York Times bestselling novel and National Book Award nominee from acclaimed author Walter Dean Myers tells the story of Steve Harmon, a teenage boy in juvenile detention and on trial. Presented as a screenplay of Steve’s own imagination, and peppered with journal entries, the book shows how one single decision can change our whole lives. (Courtesy HarperCollins)