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Feb 6, 2019

31 YA Books By Black Authors That You Can't Miss This Year

Black authors + YA novels = two of our favorite things!

by ,
Farrah Penn / BuzzFeed

1. Oh My Gods by Alexandra Sheppard

Scholastic Fiction, alexandrasheppard.com

Release date: Jan. 3

What it's about: Meet Helen, half-mortal, half-Greek god, 100% teenager. Not only does she have to struggle with keeping the true identity of her family a secret and fit in with her new friends, but she also has to keep it cool in front of the boy she likes. Talk about pressure!

Get it from Amazon for $6.48+.

2. Inventing Victoria by Tonya Bolden

Bloomsbury YA, penguinrandomhouse.com

Release date: Jan. 8

What it's about: In 1800s Savannah, Georgia, Essie is torn between the life she has and the life she wants — the life of a noble woman. When the richest woman in Savannah offers Essie her dreams on a platter, she has to decide whether what she wants is worth risking who she is.

Get it from Amazon for $9.99+, Barnes and Noble for $16.19, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

3. Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America edited by Ibi Zoboi

Balzer + Bray, ibizoboi.net

Release date: Jan. 8

What it's about: This anthology highlights brilliantly talented black YA voices, covering the thoughts, experiences, and daily struggles of black teens in the US.

Get it from Amazon for $12.32, Barnes and Noble for $15.29, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here

4. The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe

Balzer + Bray, benphilippe.com

Release date: Jan. 8

What it's about: Norris Kaplan is a black, French Canadian teenager who has been uprooted from his home after moving to Austin, Texas with his mother. Norris is cynical and snarky and has trouble navigating his new environment, which leads to him applying labels to everyone he meets — until a few people he was quick to label become his friends. But when Norris screws up big time on prom night, he's not sure if he'll be able to mend his mistakes.

Get it from Amazon for $12.91, Barnes and Noble for $15.19, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

5. Love Me or Miss Me: Hot Girl, Bad Boy by Dream Jordan

Macmillan, C.J. Blaze / Via us.macmillan.com

Release date: Jan. 22

What it's about: Kate is a foster child from Brooklyn who has more problems than most. Then, when her best friend is gone for the summer, she falls into the wrong crowd with the neighborhood "It Girl." As if that wasn't enough, she also deals with an abusive relationship and must fight through both of these ordeals to reclaim her identity.

Get it from Amazon for $9.99+, Barnes and Noble for $14.39, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

6. Spin by Lamar Giles

Scholastic Press, lamargiles.com

Release date: Jan. 29

What it's about: This murder-mystery will leave you on the edge of your seat! When famed DJ ParSec is found dead, her best friend Kya and number one groupie Fuse put their differences aside and team up to find out what happened. As they dig deeper, secrets are uncovered, motives are unearthed, and Kya and Fuse fight to stay above the fray that is ParSec's tangled web of a life.

Get it from Amazon for $10.99+ , Barnes and Noble for $16.19, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

7. Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James

Riverhead Books, Mark Seliger / Via penguinrandomhouse.com

Release date: Feb. 5

What it's about: This start to the Dark Star trilogy begins with a powerful hunter named Tracker. He is tasked with finding a boy who has been missing for three years. As Tracker embarks on his journey, roadblocks and challenges meet him at every turn leaving Tracker with too many questions. Most notably, who exactly is he trying to find and why are they making it so hard?

Get it from Amazon for $14.99+ , Barnes and Noble for $19.26, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

8. On The Come Up by Angie Thomas

HarperCollins, Anissa Hidouk / Via angiethomas.com

Release Date: Feb. 5

What it's about: Bri wants to be a rapper, much like her late father, but with no food in the fridge and an eviction notice on their door after her mother loses her job, Bri's desire to make it big turn into a need for them to stay alive. When Bri goes viral for all the wrong reasons, she has to decide between staying true to who she is and staying out of the streets.

Get it from Amazon for $12.99+, Barnes and Noble for $14.25+, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

9. Watch Us Rise by Renée Watson and Ellen Hagan

Bloomsbury YA, reneewatson.net

Release date: Feb. 12

What it's about: Two best friends, Jasmine and Chelsea, are planning on having the best year at their NYC high school. But after feeling silenced and let down by how their school has failed to listen to their voices, they begin a club dedicated to supporting women's art. When their own work goes viral online, they must face the school administration that's threatening to silence them. But Jasmine and Chelsea will risk everything in order to be heard.

Get it from Amazon for $17.14, Barnes and Noble for $18.99, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

10. Sorry Not Sorry by Jamie Reed

Scholastic, jaimereedbooks.com

Release date: Feb. 26

What it's about: Former-BFFs-turned-enemies Alyssa and Janelle couldn't be more opposite. Alyssa rules the school while Janelle spends her time giving back to her community. But when Alyssa collapses at school and things begin to look bleak, it turns out that the only person who can save her life just happens to be her sworn enemy, Janelle.

Get it from Amazon for $5.99+, Barnes and Noble for $9.28, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

11. Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds

Katherine Tegen Books, justinareynolds.com

Release date: Mar. 5

What it's about: Jack and Kate fell for each other and had their own love story, but it soon ended after Kate's unexpected death. Then, through reasons Jack can't explain, Kate's death sends him into a repetitive time loop, taking him back to the moment they first met. If Jack can take preventative measures to stop Kate's death, he'll do it. But when one of Jack's actions turns deadly for someone else he's close to, he'll have to choose what he must do to in order to save the people he loves.

Get it from Amazon for $17.99, Barnes and Noble for $17.99, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

12. The Everlasting Rose by Dhonielle Clayton

Disney Book Group, Amir Lowery / Via dhonielleclayton.com

Release Date: Mar. 5

What it's about: In this second installment of The Belles series, Camille and her group of allies are trying to find and save Princess Charlotte before she ends up in the clutches of Camille's mortal enemy, Sophia.

Get it from Amazon for $10.99+, Barnes and Noble for $16.91+, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

13. The Weight of the Stars by K. Ancrum

Imprint, kancrum.com

Release date: Mar. 19

What it's about: A story about Ryann, who has her head in the stars but her feet on the wrong side of the tracks, and Alexandria, whose mother is, quite literally, traveling through the universe. Their tempered friendship turns into a beautiful love story, one filled with hardships, patiences, and the love of stars.

Get it from Amazon for $9.99+ , Barnes and Noble for $18.99, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

14. Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

Gallery/Scout Press, Lily Richards / Via simonandschuster.com

Release date: Mar. 19

What it's about: Queenie is a young Jamaican woman living in London. After her breakup from her boyfriend, Queenie embarks on a journey of self-discovery, self-acceptance, and self-worth.

Get it from Amazon for $13.99+, Barnes and Noble for $26.00, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

15. A Place For Wolves by Kosoko Jackson

SourceBooks Fire, goodreads.com

Release date: Apr. 2

What it's about: Set in 1997 during the Kosovo War, lovers James and Tomas find themselves in the midst of violence and struggle to find safety by getting to the embassy.

Get it from Amazon for $17.99, Barnes and Noble for $17.99, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

16. Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse

Simon and Schuster, Twitter: @roanhorsebex

Release Date: Apr. 23

What it's about: In the wake of the events from The Sixth World, Maggie has to face danger and risk her life once again — this time, to save her friend Kai from a cult by the name of The White Locust. Naturally, things don't go as planned. Relationships are tested, trust is questioned, and ultimately not everyone will survive.

Get it from Amazon for $7.99+, Barnes and Nobles for $16.74+, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

17. With The Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo

HarperTeen, acevedowrites.com

Release Date: May 7

What it's about: Emoni Santiago has a small daughter and plans to graduate high school. With so much responsibility, she lets her true passion run wild in the kitchen. She loves to cook. While Emoni doesn't have the money for culinary classes, or a class trip to Spain, or anything that seems like it might help her dreams — she refuses to suppress her talent.

Get it from Amazon for $17.99, Barnes and Noble for $17.99, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

18. Let Me Hear A Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson

Katherine Tegen Books, goodreads.com

Release date: May 21

What it's about: After Quadir and Jarrell's best friend is killed, they enlist the help of Steph's younger sister to make his memory live on by promoting his music under a new name: The Architect. But when the mixtape starts gaining traction and attention, the three friends must work together to prove Steph's talent while keeping an enormous secret.

Get it from Amazon for $17.99, Barnes and Noble for $17.99, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

19. The Voice In My Head by Dana L. Davis

Harlequin Teen, danaldavis.com

Release date: May 28

What it's about: Indigo Phillips's twin sister is terminally ill with plans to die by a medically assisted suicide, and Indigo is broken thinking of a life without her. But when Indigo swears she can hear a voice in her head telling her she can save her sister, she takes a leap of faith and begs her family to road trip to Arizona in hopes of preventing what seems to be inevitable.

Get it from Amazon for $18.99, Barnes and Noble for $17.09, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

20. If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann

Macmillan, clairekann.com

Release date: June 4

What it's about: What was thought to be a fun and chill summer working at her grandmother's diner turns into Winnie worst nightmare. When she's crowned the Summer Queen in her small town, she's thrust into the spotlight – with the guest appearance, the obligations, the photoshoots, not to mention all in the company of the Summer King, Winnie is going to have to conquer her fears and defy everyone's expectations.

Get it from Amazon for $9.99+, Barnes and Noble for $17.99, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

21. I Wanna Be Where You Are by Kristina Forest

tochihannah, Roaring Brook Press

Release date: June 4

What it's about: All Chloe Pierce wants is to apply to the top dance conservatory of her dreams, but her mother forbids it. Chloe won't let that stop her. She comes up with a plan to drive the 200 miles to audition, but doesn't expect to be blackmailed by her neighbor, Eli, who wants to hitch a ride. If she doesn't take him, he promises to tell her mom. As Chloe and Eli road trip to the east coast, they become closer than Chloe might have expected.

Get it from Amazon for $14.33, Barnes and Noble for $17.20, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

22. Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi

Macmillan, Amazon

Release Date: June 4

What it's about: The highly anticipated sequel to Children of Blood And Bone picks up where it left off. Zélie and Amari have succeeded in bringing magic back to Orïsha, but their problems are far from over. With the threat of Civil War upon her, Zélie must fight to bring Orïsha back together, or watch it crumble before her eyes.

Get it from Amazon for $9.99+, Barnes and Noble for $16.21+, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

23. Truly Madly Royally by Debbie Rigaud

Pointe, Douglas Adams, Jr. / Via simonandschuster.biz

Release date: July 30

What it's about: In this swoon-worthy romance, 16-year-old Zora meets a boy named Owen, but she's caught off-guard when she finds out he's an actual prince. And with his older brother's wedding coming up, Zora finds herself attending as a guest on Owen's behalf.

Get it from Amazon for $9.99, Barnes and Noble for $9.99, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

24. The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta

Farrah Penn / BuzzFeed, Hussina Raja / Via sites.google.com

Release date: Aug. 8

What it's about: Atta pens a coming-of-age story about a boy accepting his identity as a mixed-race gay teen, but then finds a place where he belongs as a drag artist named The Black Flamingo.

Get it from Amazon here or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

25. The Revolution of Birdie Randolph by Brandy Colbert

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Jessie Weinberg / Via brandycolbert.com

Release date: Aug. 20

What it's about: Birdie strives to be the perfect student and daughter for her family, but when a nice boy with a troubled past enters her life, she's sure her parents would never approve. Then her aunt Carlene returns to Chicago after years of being in and out of treatment for alcoholism, moving into Birdie's family apartment. But as Birdie becomes close with both Booker and Carlene, buried secrets arise and flips everything Birdie has believed to be true.

Get it from Amazon for $17.99, Barnes and Noble for $17.99, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

26. Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika and Maritza Moulite

Harlequin Teen, maikaandmaritza.com

Release date: Sept. 3

What it's about: After a prank goes wrong, Alaine Beauparlant finds herself suspended from her elite private school. But when her aunt offers her an invitation to spend her suspension at the family’s estate in Haiti, she accepts. Alaine is back in her homeland for the first time but is quickly put to work at her aunt's start-up providing help to native children. What Alaine doesn't expect is to find letters, articles, emails, and diary entries that provide insight to a mother she never truly understood.

Get it from Amazon for $18.99, Barnes and Noble for $18.99, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

27. Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron

Farrah Penn / BuzzFeed, renabarron.com

Release date: Sept. 19

What it's about: This West African fantasy follows a girl who comes from a long line of witchdoctors, but she is unable to produce even simple magic that she inherited from her ancestors. But when her kingdom is threatened, she must sacrifice years of her life for magic in order to try and defeat the Demon King.

Get it from Amazon for $18.99, Barnes and Noble for $18.99, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

28. A Dream So Dark by L.L. McKinney

Macmillan, Amazon

Release Date: Sept. 24

What it's about: In this highly anticipated sequel to A Blade So Black, we're reunited with Alice who encounters new demons to fight in Wonderland. Only this time, she's going to have to confront her own fears to save everyone else.

Get it from Amazon for $9.99+, Barnes and Noble for $18.99, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

29. Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett

Farrah Penn / BuzzFeed, Sarah Stacke / REEL WORKS

Release date: Oct. 29

What it's about: Simone Garcia-Hampton navigates being a black teen born with an HIV diagnosis — something her queer parents assure does not define her. Yet her journey through self-acceptance provides a challenge as she finds herself falling in love for the first time.

Get it from Amazon for $25.99, Barnes & Noble for $10.99, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

30. The Forgotten Girl by India Hill Brown

Scholastic, goodreads.com

Release date: Nov. 5

What it's about: Iris and Daniel stumble upon a crumbling grave of a young girl in the snow one evening, and from there strange things begin happening to Iris. She has nightmares of the girl and believes to see her lurking in the woods. Determined to figure out what's going on, the two begin to research the area and discover that the black cemetery dated back to when the town was segregated. They want to restore the young girl's grave — but they've awakened a ghost.

Get it from Amazon for $16.99 or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

31. When the Stars Lead to You by Ronni Davis

Little, Brown, ronnidavis.com

Release date: Nov. 12

What it's about: Devon spent the last year healing her broken heart by Ashton — a boy she spent a magical summer with. But when Aston shows up at her school a year later, during Devon's senior year, she isn't sure if she's fully ready to forgive.

*This book is currently not available for pre-order, but be sure to keep looking for it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Indiebound.

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