Luster, Raven Leilani
A working class Black girl’s struggle to find herself while navigating a complicated relationship with her white male lover.
Finna, Nate Marshall #blackboylit
A moving book of poetry about Blackness, love of Black people, and Chicago.
The Girl with the Louding Voice, Abi Dare
A young Nigerian girl overcomes a tremendous number of hardships, holding true to her desire to be educated and to find her voice.
Concrete Rose, Angie Thomas #blackboylit
Maverick Carter’s story is powerful: teenage father learning to find his voice and his own power. It will make you immediately go reread The Hate U Give
Memorial, Bryan Washington
Queer love story about a Black man and his Asian lover, a dying father, family dynamics, and what happens when a relationship can (and should?) end. It’s not easy, by any stretch of the imagination.
Black Kids, Christina Hammonds Reed
I appreciate this book for breaking me out of my reading rut. Fabulous, thoughtful, complex look at a young Black girl who is wealthy, goes to school in a predominantly white environment, and is trying to figure out all the identities she has and wants to be. I’d also use this book as a craft study b/c Hammonds Reed can write a brilliant sentence, and this book has so many. One of my faves of the year at this point.
You Should See Me In a Crown, Leah Johnson
I continue to turn to YA as a way to get my reading life restarted. Liz Lighty is an overachieving Black girl who wants to go to the local PWI more than anything. She’s queer, which is hard in a small Indianapolis town, made even more complicated because she runs for prom queen. I felt for Liz, who has be to exceptional in every way, struggles with anxiety, and the loss of her mother, and, well, being working class in a white midwestern town.
Any suggestions about what I should add (or fast track to the top) to my stack? If so, leave them in the comments. Thank you!