back to top

Don't Miss These Fantastic YA Books By Black Authors That Release This Year

In honor of Black History Month, we're finding you your new favorite authors!

Posted on

1. For Every One by Jason Reynolds

Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, Lougè Delcy

What it's about: As is the title of this book, Reynolds pens a phenomenal verse poem that is truly for everyone. Short, sweet, and to the point, this piece will resonate with dreams and those on a journey of self-discovery.

Get it from Amazon for $14.99 Barnes & Noble for $14.99, or a local bookseller through Indiebound here.

2. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, ozy.com

What it's about: Adeyemi creates a rich, compelling Nigerian fantasy bursting with action, adventure, and magic. At one point in time, Orïsha was brimming with maji (those who possess magic) but under the king's orders, maji were slain and rid of in order to bring about peace. Zélie knows magic isn't meant to be buried, nor is it as bad as the king makes it out to be. Thrown into an unexpected adventure, Zélie, her brother Roen, and Princess Amari must travel and escape impending danger to outwit the crown prince Inan in order to save magic — and themselves. Told from three perspectives, Adeyemi expertly crafts a story about accepting and loving the magic that makes you YOU even when outsiders try to challenge that.

Get it from Amazon for $13.28 Barnes & Noble for $13.92, or a local bookseller through Indiebound here.

3. Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

Balzer + Bray, Eric Ireland

What it's about: This speculative, historical fiction YA novel is set around the time of the American Civil War, except the nation is under attack by zombies (also known as shamblers). Jane, our black heroine, has been trained to fight these zombies and protect whites against them at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore. Certain laws, such as the Native and Negro Reeducation Act, have been enacted to train children like Jane so they can learn to kill the walking dead. Jane is one of the best shambler slayers out there, but when she finds herself caught up in a life or death conspiracy, she must not only fight the dead, but also fight for her life. Not only does Ireland's savvy, enlightening, and harrowing novel put a unique spin on an alternate history filled with the undead, but it also provides insightful commentary on racism and privilege within the system we live in today.

Get it from Amazon for $13.92 Barnes & Noble for $12.92, or a local bookseller through Indiebound here.

Advertisement

4. The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

FreeForm, thebrownbookshelf.com

What it's about: Set in the luxurious world of Orléans where people are born with gray skin-tones, Camellia Beauregard is a Belle — someone of high importance who has the power to control beauty. Camellia hopes to be chosen by the Queen of Orléans to be a Belle in the royal court, but arriving at the palace isn't everything her and her sisters imagined. Dark secrets and danger lie at the hands of the queen, and Camellia must face a hard decision: save herself and her sisters or save the people of Orléans. Clayton creates a rich, luscious world, gripping plot, and strong characters that'll have you wanting the sequel ASAP.

Get it from Amazon for $12.78 Barnes & Noble for $13.01, or a local bookseller through Indiebound here.

5. Finding Yvonne by Brandy Colbert

Little, Brown, goodreads.com

What it's about: Yvonne is on the verge of graduating, and the only thing she feels certain about his her passion for playing violin. She isn't sure she's good enough to get into a conservatory, and her strained relationship with her successful father doesn't help. Yvonne has been seeing Warren, the boy who has her heart, but things get complicated when Omar, a fellow violinist who understands her, enters the picture. Yvonne then finds out she's pregnant, and is forced to make big decisions about her future. Colbert pens an intriguing book that explores race, privilege, family, and love, and how life is beautiful, messy, and complex.

Get it from Amazon for $12.52 Barnes & Noble for $12.51, or a local bookseller through Indiebound here.

6. Tiffany Sly Lives Here Now by Dana L. Davis

Harlequin TEEN, danaldavis.com

What it's about: After losing her mom to cancer, 16-year-old Tiffany is uprooted from Chicago to live with her biological dad she's never known. Anthony Stone is a rich, protective, and rule-setting man with four other daughters, and Tiffany isn't sure how she fits into this luxurious yet strict new life. The only thing that gives Tiffany hope is the friendship that unfolds with Marcus McKinney, who has had his own experiences with death. But things suddenly change when another man claims he’s Tiffany’s real dad, giving Tiffany only seven days before he arrives to demand a paternity test. This family-focused YA contemporary promises to be full of both strength and heart.

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

7. Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles

Little, Brown, goodreads.com

What it's about: After Marvin and his twin brother, Tyler, attend a warehouse party turned violent by police raid, Tyler disappears. But evidence of the aftermath arises by way of cell phone footage, revealing Tyler was a victim of an unjust police shooting. While both Marvin and his mother grieve his loss, Marvin believes Tyler needs to be more than a hashtag and starts seeking justice. While Coles pens a heart-wrenching fictional story, the nature of police brutality against black people is an unfortunate reality. Equal parts moving and eloquent, this powerful, raw, and brilliantly story will sit with you long after you finish.

Get it from Amazon for $12.32 Barnes & Noble for $12.55, or a local bookseller through Indiebound here.

Advertisement

8. The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk

Delacorte/Random House Children's books, thebentagency.com

What it's about: Woodfolk crafts a beautiful, touching, and heartbreakingly realistic portrayal of love and loss from the lives of three different teens. Shay has lost her sister, Logan has lost his ex-boyfriend, and Autumn has lost her best friend, and the three are struggling with how to move on with their lives without the people they loved so much. Shay, Logan, and Autumn's narratives align through the shared love of music all while wondering if they'll ever feel okay again. Woodfolk's novel contains incredibly moving passages about how it feels to lose someone important to you and pens such real, broken characters with so much heart.

Get it from Amazon for $16.19 Barnes & Noble for $16.38, or a local bookseller through Indiebound here.

9. Monday's Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson

Katherine Tegen Books, goodreads.com

What it's about: Claudia's best friend, Monday, has disappeared. She didn't show up for the first day of school, and in the weeks that go by she doesn't turn up. Monday's mother won't give her a straight answer, and neither will her sister, April. But the deeper Claudia digs, she discovers that no one seems to remember the last time they saw Monday. In this new YA, the Allegedly-author seems to yet again promise a story full of twists, turns, and high suspense.

Get it from Amazon for $14.74 Barnes & Noble for $14.95, or a local bookseller through Indiebound here.

10. Let's Talk About Love by Claire Kann

Swoon Reads, fiercereads.com

What it's about: Alice plans to have a great summer and stay FAR away from the dating pool after suffering a breakup because she confessed to her girlfriend that she was biromantic asexual. But when Alice meets Takumi during her summer job at the library, she instantly gets a big case of the feels. But will Alice risk her friendship for someone at the risk of not being understood again? Diversity and queer representation shine on the pages through Kann's writing, penning a touching story with memorable, authentic characters.

Get it from Amazon for $13.36 Barnes & Noble for $13.56, or a local bookseller through Indiebound here.

11. A Blade So Black by L.L. McKinney

Imprint, llmckinney.com

What it's about: Alice is trained to fight monsters in a dream realm known as Wonderland. In real life, Alice delicately balances her overprotective mom, her high-maintenance best friend, and her slipping GPA in Atlanta. But when Alice's mentor is poisoned, she must venue into the unknown depths of Wonderland to find the antidote and use everything she knows to make it out alive. With a new spin on Alice and Wonderland, this book seems like holds epic adventure and some serious badass-ness.

Get it from Amazon for $15.40 Barnes & Noble for $15.62, or a local bookseller through Indiebound here.

Advertisement

12. Wrong In All The Right Ways by Tiffany Brownlee

Henry Holt, goodreads.com

What it's about: Emma is a careful planner — set to graduate at just 16-years-old — but what she didn't plan for was to fall for her new foster brother, Dylan. While studying Wuthering Heights in AP English, Emma and Dylan attempt to only keep their romance on-page through an essay assignment — but will their secret forbidden love last? This YA contemporary seems to promise the ups and downs and hardships and laughs of falling in love for the very first time.

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

13. Pride by Ibi Zoboi

Balzer + Bray, goodreads.com

What it's about: In this retelling of Pride and Prejudice, young Zuri Benitez resides in a quickly gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhood along with her four sisters. Zuri absolutely wants nothing to do with the rich Darcy family who moves across the street, especially their teen sons. Zuri is sure her mind won't change even when her older sister, Janae, begins to fall for the ever-charming Ainsley. But Zuri must set aside her opinions on the arrogant and judge-y Darius and come together when the two are forced to find common ground. This retelling sounds so fantastic, and it's another book we can't wait to read!

Get it from Amazon for $17.99 Barnes & Noble for $11.98, or a local bookseller through Indiebound here.

14. This Is Kind of an Epic Love Story by Kheryn Callender

Balzer + Bray, popgoesthereader.com

What it's about: Sixteen-year-old Nathan Bird has watched his fair share of relationships crash and burn (including his own). But when his childhood friend, Oliver James Hernández, moves back into his neighborhood, Nathan must confront his feelings. This book sounds both adorable and impossible cute, and we can't wait to get our hands on it.

Get it from Amazon for $13.49 Barnes & Noble for $13.49, or a local bookseller through Indiebound here.

15. On The Come Up by Angie Thomas

Balzer + Bray, Anissa Hidouk / Anissa Photography

What it's about: Author of the New York Times bestselling novel, The Hate U Give, pens her second YA story. Like The Hate U Give, it will also be set in Garden Heights. This novel follows an aspiring teen rapper named Bri, the daughter of an underground rap legend who faced an untimely death. Bri aspires to fill his shoes, but then her mother loses her job. Now faced with bills and debt, Bri's determination to make it isn't just a dream, but a way to help financially save her family.

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

Advertisement

16. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

HarperTeen, pbs.twimg.com

What it's about: Fifteen-year-old Xiomara Batista has been struggling with the way boys see her and her curves, questioning her religion under her incredibly strict (and incredibly religious) mother, and feeling guilty about being attracted to a boy in her class. The only people who do seem to understand her are her twin brother and best friend. Xio slowly begins to find her voice when her teacher invites her to the school's poetry slam club, but she has to lie to her mother to attend. With so many secrets and lies building up, Xio isn't sure she'll ever be able to connect with her mother. While this book reads quick, each word pounds straight into your heart. Acevedo's characters feel like people you've known for ages. It's a story about family, friendship, and love that's gorgeously told and impossible to put down.

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

17. Crown of Thunder by Tochi Onyebuchi

penguinrandomhouse.com

What it's about: In Onyebuchi's sequel to Beasts Made of Night, Queen Karima will go to any lengths necessary to track down Taj, who escaped Kos and finds himself at the home of the sin-eaters, where he attempts to come to terms with his new magic. We loved the lush, atmospheric, and action-packed plot in Beasts Made of Night and cannot wait to see what Crown of Thunder has in store.

Get it from Amazon for $10.99 Barnes & Noble for $11.33, or a local bookseller through Indiebound here.

18. Odd One Out by Nic Stone

BuzzFeed, goodreads.com

What it's about: The New York Times bestselling author of 2017's Dear Martin pens another YA about three teens struggling through love, heartbreak, and the real deal. It sounds very diverse with both POC and LGBT representation, and we can't wait to read it when it's out in October!

Pre-order links aren't yet live for this one, but keep checking back here for future updates!