Books·Posted on Jun 25, 2022Black Girl Magic: 15 Books By Black Women That Explore The SupernaturalFrom short story collections to YA novels, these books by Black women explore magic, fantasy, and astrology.by Mariette WilliamsBuzzFeed ContributorFacebookPinterestTwitterMailLink 1. The Women Could Fly by Megan Giddings Amistad Press In Megan Gidding’s The Women Could Fly, women who are accused of being witches can be put on trial. Oh and another thing, women who are unmarried by the age of 30 must be put on a registry that monitors their every move. In the novel, Jo is 28 and closing in on the age where she should marry, but right now her biggest concern is finding out more about her mother who mysteriously disappeared fourteen years ago. The dystopian novel explores the relationship between mothers and daughters and the ways in which women, especially Black women, must fight for their freedom with each generation. Get it from Bookshop or from your local indie bookstore via Indiebound. You can also try the audiobook version through Libro.fm. 2. Signs & Skymates: The Ultimate Guide to Astrological Compatibility by Dossé-Via Trenou Running Press Adult Astrology is certainly having a moment, and Dosse-Via Trenou’s Signs & Skymates provides an in-depth guide to astrological compatibility. The book promises to help you understand your romantic and platonic relationships as well as your most important relationship — the one with yourself. The West African astrologer offers a new take on an ancient practice and shows how readers can use the whole chart approach (identifying your sun, moon, rising, Mercury, Venus, and Mars signs) to analyze your behavior and how you relate to those around you. Get it from Bookshop or from your local indie bookstore via Indiebound. You can also try the audiobook version through Libro.fm. 3. A Girl’s Guide to Love & Magic by Debbie Rigaud Scholastic Press In A Girl’s Guide to Love and Magic, Cicely Destin is a young Haitian girl living in Brooklyn who is looking forward to partying at the annual West Indian Day Parade. Cicely is also looking forward to hanging out with her aunt, a social media influencer who also dabbles in Vodou. When Ciciley’s aunt visits, she’s mysteriously possessed during a Haitian Vodou ceremony and though she knows nothing about Vodou, Cicely is tasked with making things right with the help of her best friend Renee and her crush Kwame. The light-hearted YA novel gives insight into Haitian culture, and the West Indian Carnival parade, and takes readers back to that moment in their childhood when everything felt magical. Get it from Bookshop or from your local indie bookstore via Indiebound. You can also try the audiobook version through Libro.fm. 4. Within These Wicked Walls by Lauren Blackwood Wednesday Books Travel to Ethiopia in Lauren Blackwood’s YA novel, Within These Wicked Walls. The book features teen protagonist Andromeda who is a debtera (an exorcist hired to rid homes of the evil eye). Since Andromeda is unlicensed, her only option is to work for a rich Patron who doesn't mind that she doesn’t have her debtera license. Her new boss, Magnus Rochester, comes with a lot of secrets, and things get way more complicated when Andromeda realizes she’s falling for him. Both engaging and chilling, Within These Wicket Walls, is a nod to the classic novel, Jane Eyre. Get it from Bookshop or from your local indie bookstore via Indiebound. You can also try the audiobook version through Libro.fm. 5. Astrology for Black Girls: A Beginner's Guide for Black Girls Who Look to the Stars by Jordannah Elizabeth Running Press Kids Astrology for Black Girls by Jordannah Elizabeth is a beginner's guide to astrology aimed at a middle-grade audience. Elizabeth provides an easy-to-read guide to understanding the sun, moon, and rising signs. The book also provides a guide to talking to family and friends about astrology, and the author also addresses how faith and astrology can coincide. Young girls will also appreciate learning how understanding the Zodiac can help them understand themselves and those around them. The book also comes with beautiful illustrations by Black illustrator Chellie Carroll, making this a book that can stay on shelves for many years. Get it from Bookshop or from your local indie bookstore via Indiebound. 6. Shallow Waters by Anita Kopacz Atria/Black Privilege Publishing A bit of time travel, fantasy, and Black history come together in Anita Kopacz’s Shallow Waters. The novel introduces readers to Yemaya, a water goddess, who leaves the ocean because she falls in love with Obatala, a fisherman. Yemaya is transported from Africa to America in the mid-1800s where she doesn’t yet know her power, and the book follows her journey on the Underground Railroad in search of both Obatala and her own freedom. Kopacz includes historical figures like Harriett Tubman and Frederick Douglass in a book that explores American slavery and Yoruban folklore. Get it from Bookshop or from your local indie bookstore via Indiebound. You can also try the audiobook version through Libro.fm. 7. Empress Crowned in Red by Ciannon Smart Harperteen A sequel to Ciannon Smart’s Witches Steeped in Gold, the second installment, Empress Crowned in Red, follows two rival witches Jazmyne and Iraya. The two have a thinly held alliance that is in danger when a new enemy threatens to destroy the land of Aiyca. Smart is a master at world-building, drawing readers into a fantasy world that’s full of unexpected twists. Written in alternating points of view from Jasmyne and Iraya, the book provides two, complex and strong female leads, making it difficult to choose a side but easy to get lost in. Get it from Bookshop or from your local indie bookstore via Indiebound. You can also try the audiobook version through Libro.fm. 8. Noor by Nnedi Okafor Daw Books From the Queen of Afro-futurism, Nnedi Okafor’s latest novel Noor is a standalone book that explores the connection between technology and humanity. In the book, Anwuli Okwudili (or AO as she prefers) has had her body parts replaced by computerized parts. Everything is turned upside down after an attack in a marketplace makes AO a fugitive. AO escapes to the desert where she meets another fugitive — a Fulani herdsman who goes by the name DNA. Set in Nigeria, Okafor creates a fantasy world where everyone’s movements are streamed, and the book questions the consequences of hyper surveillance in modern society. Get it from Bookshop or from your local indie bookstore via Indiebound. You can also try the audiobook version through Libro.fm. 9. Flowers for the Sea by Zin E. Rocklyn Tordotcom In Zin E. Rocklyn’s searing novella, Flowers for the Sea, Iraxi has fled her homeland that has flooded. She, along with the other survivors, are on an ark that’s seemingly headed nowhere, trying to also survive the monsters that circle the ark. To make things even more complicated, Iraxi is pregnant. Having shunned the advances of a prince, Iraxi has been ostracized and isolated, and in a fantasy spin, her baby might be more than human. Rocklyn’s prose in Flowers for the Sea is sparse, yet powerful, and the novel has themes of survival, rage, motherhood, and revenge. Get it from Bookshop or from your local indie bookstore via Indiebound. You can also try the audiobook version through Libro.fm. 10. Peaces by Helen Oyeyemi Riverhead Books British novelist Helen Oyeyemi serves up a mysterious and magical novel that takes place on a train. In the book Peaces, Otto and his partner Xavier (and their pet mongoose) are gifted a train ride by a family member. The couple boards The Lucky Day train, but quickly realizes that they’re in for a mysterious adventure. First, the couple seems to be the only ones on board until they discover a woman who has a secret message for them. Weird things keep happening to the couple, and the further the train travels, the more questions arise. By the end, the couple has questioned what they thought they knew about each other and themselves. Get it from Bookshop. You can also try the audiobook version through Libro.fm. 11. The Midnight Bargain by C.L. Polk Erewhon The Midnight Bargain by Canadian author C.L. Polk tells the story of Beatrice Clayborn, a sorceress who only practices her magic in secret. Why? Women who have magic powers must don a martial collar that disables their magic in order to protect their future children. Beatrice also has to deal with her family’s problems. Deep in debt, Beatrice offers the only hope of landing a well-off match to save her family from further financial ruin. In the exciting YA novel, Beatrice starts to develop feelings for a potential match and must choose between practicing magic or potentially giving it all up in the name of love. Get it from Bookshop or from your local indie bookstore via Indiebound. You can also try the audiobook version through Libro.fm. 12. The Memory Librarian by Janelle Monae Harper Voyager Most know Janelle Monae as a chart-topping singer and talented actress but in her latest project The Memory Librarian, Monae, in collaboration with five other authors, pens a collection of Afro-futuristic short stories. The collection includes five stories that are based on Monae’s latest album Dirty Computer. Each story is set in the same world and explores different characters. The book takes place in a dystopian world where memories and thoughts are controlled by a totalitarian society and deals with themes of authenticity and embracing your true identity. Get it from Bookshop or from your local indie bookstore via Indiebound. You can also try the audiobook version through Libro.fm. 13. Blood Scion by Deborah Falaye Harperteen In Deborah Falaye’s YA novel, Blood Scion, 15-year-old Sloan is a descendent of the African Orisha gods. Up until this point, Sloan has been able to hide magic powers in a society where she will be punished if others find out. But all that’s about to change when Sloan is scripted to serve in the army. If she survives training, Sloan can use the opportunity to defeat the brutal regime from within, but in the process, she’ll have to risk everything she has — and is. Get it from Bookshop or from your local indie bookstore via Indiebound. You can also try the audiobook version through Libro.fm. 14. A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow Tor Teen Set in Portland, Oregon two best friends Tavia and Effie have to deal with the highs and lows of being juniors in high school. Tavia has other issues too — she’s a siren and has to keep her identity under wraps. Things get out of hand when Tavia accidentally lets her siren voice lose — during a police stop no less — and she risks being exposed. On the other hand, Effie has some problems of her own. She’s got family drama, and she’s fighting (literal) demons from her past. A Song Below Water includes themes like racism, social justice, and the special bonds between Black girls. Get it from Bookshop or from your local indie bookstore via Indiebound. You can also try the audiobook version through Libro.fm. 15. The Merciless Ones by Namina Forna Delacorte Press The Merciless Ones is the second book in Namina Forna’s YA series and continues with the story of Deka, a girl who has just discovered the power she possesses. The fast-paced fantasy novel takes place six months after Deka freed the goddesses in the kingdom of Otera, but the kingdom still faces danger. It's up to Deka to figure out how to defeat this new enemy, but the thing is, Deka’s powers keep changing. She’s either instrumental in saving her kingdom or she might be its downfall. Get it from Bookshop or from your local indie bookstore via Indiebound. You can also try the audiobook version through Libro.fm.