Black Lives Matter: A Teen Booklist

Posted on August 16, 2018

by Connie C

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter Movement, these titles offer inspiration for discussions of race, justice and privilege.

Books for Teens

All American Boys” by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

When sixteen-year-old Rashad is mistakenly accused of stealing, classmate Quinn witnesses his brutal beating at the hands of a police officer who happens to be the older brother of his best friend. Told through Rashad and Quinn’s alternating viewpoints.

Also available in eBook and eAudio.

A Wreath for Emmett Till” by Marilyn Nelson

A Wreath for Emmett Till by Marilyn Nelson

Presents fifteen interlinked sonnets to pay tribute to Emmitt Till, a fourteen-year-old African American boy who was lynched in Mississippi in 1955 for whistling at a while woman, and whose murderers were acquitted.

Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The author presents a history of racial discrimination in the United States and a narrative of his own personal experiences of contemporary race relations, offering possible resolutions for the future.

Also available in Large Print, Audio, eBook and eAudio.

Dear Martin” by Nic Stone

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Writing letters to the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., seventeen-year-old college-bound Justyce McAllister struggles to face the reality of race relations today and how they are shaping him.

Also available in Audio, eBook and eAudio.

How It Went Down” by Kekla Magoon

How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon

When sixteen-year-old Tariq Johnson is shot to death, his community is thrown into an uproar because Tariq was black and the shooter, Jack Franklin, is white, and in the aftermath everyone has something to say, but no two accounts of the events agree.

Also available in eBook and eAudio.

I Am Alfonso Jones” written by Tony Medina ; illustrated by Stacey Robinson & John Jennings

I Am Alfonso Jones written by Tony Medina ; illustrated by Stacey Robinson & John Jennings

The ghost of fifteen-year-old Alfonso Jones travels in a New York subway car full of the living and the dead, watching his family and friends fight for justice after he is killed by an off-duty police officer while buying a suit in a Midtown department store.

Long Way Down” by Jason Reynolds

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

As Will, fifteen, sets out to avenge his brother Shawn’s fatal shooting, seven ghosts who knew Shawn board the elevator and reveal truths Will needs to know.

Also available in Audio, eBook and eAudio.

Monster” by Walter Dean Myers

Monster by Walter Dean Myers

While on trial as an accomplice to a murder, sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon records–as a film script–his experiences in prison and in the courtroom as he tries to come to terms with the course of his life.

Also available in Graphic Novel, Playaway Audio, eBook and eAudio.

Piecing Me Together” by Renee Watson

Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson

Tired of being singled out at her mostly-white private school as someone who needs support, high school junior Jade would rather participate in the school’s amazing Study Abroad program than join Women to Women, a mentorship program for at-risk girls.

Also available in Audio and eBook.

The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Also available in Large Print, Audio, eBook and eAudio.

Tyler Johnson Was Here” by Jay Coles

Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles

When Marvin Johnson’s twin brother, Tyler, is shot and killed by a police officer, Marvin must fight injustice to learn the true meaning of freedom.

Also available in Audio, eBook and eAudio.

When I Was the Greatest” by Jason Reynolds

When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds

Avoiding the violence that has given his neighborhood a bad name, urban youth Ali spends busy days attending school, boxing and helping his family while looking out for a troublesome friend and a Tourette’s-afflicted brother only to be brutally targeted in the aftermath of a misunderstanding.

Also available in Audio and eAudio.

X : A Novel” by Ilyasah Shabazz with Kekla Magoon

X : A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz with Kekla Magoon

Co-written by Malcolm X’s third daughter, this vivid, fictionalized account of the activist’s early life draws on stories from his family and childhood friends and neighbors.

Also available in Audio and eBook.

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