Teen Reads List Inspired by the Black Lives Matter Movement
Posted on August 15, 2019
A selection of teen books that are guaranteed to inspire discussions around race, justice and privilege.
A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest Gaines
A young man who returns to 1940s Cajun country to teach visits a black youth on death row for a crime he didn’t commit. Together they come to understand the heroism of resisting.
American Street by Ibi Zoboi
Separated from her detained mother after moving from Haiti to America, Fabiola struggles to navigate the home of her loud cousins and a new school on Detroit’s gritty west side, where a surprising romance and a dangerous proposition challenge her ideas about freedom.
Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black edited by Ibi Zoboi
A collection of short stories explore what it is like to be young and black, centering on the experiences of black teenagers and emphasizing that one person’s experiences, reality, and personal identity are different than someone else.
Blended by Sharon Draper
Piano-prodigy Isabella, eleven, whose black father and white mother struggle to share custody, never feels whole, especially as racial tensions affect her school, her parents both become engaged, and she and her stepbrother are stopped by police.
Genesis Begins Again by Alicia Williams
Thirteen-year-old Genesis tries again and again to lighten her black skin, thinking it is the root of her family’s troubles, before discovering reasons to love herself as is.
The Fire this Time by Jesmyn Ward
Jesmyn Ward takes James Baldwin’s 1963 examination of race in America as a jumping off point for this groundbreaking collection of essays and poems about race from the most important voices of her generation and our time. She has turned to some of her generation’s most original thinkers and writers to give voice to their concerns. The Fire This Time is divided into three parts that shine a light on the darkest corners of our history, wrestle with our current predicament, and envision a better future.
Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves by Glory Edim
The founder of the popular online book club curates a collection of original essays from today’s best black female voices, including Jesmyn Ward, Lynn Nottage, Jacqueline Woodson, Gabourey Sidibe, Morgan Jerkins, Tayari Jones and Rebecca Walker.
When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Asha Bandele and Patrisse Cullors
A memoir by the co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement explains the movement’s position of love, humanity, and justice, challenging perspectives that have negatively labeled the movement’s activists while calling for essential political changes.
Looking for more books inspired by the Black Lives Matter Movement?
Check out our blog post from last year: Black Lives Matter: A Teen Booklist