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Featured Booklist

Black Voices, Black Lives

Find these books and more online at https://catalog.coolcat.org

A Phoenix First Must Burn : Sixteen Stories of Black Girl Magic, Resistance, and Hope by  Patrice Caldwell
Black girls, including gender non-conforming individuals, star in this collection of sixteen stories of fantasy, science fiction, and magic.
All American Boys by Jason and Brendan Kiely Reynolds
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.
American Street by  Ibi Zoboi
When Fabiola's mother is detained upon their arrival to the United States, Fabiola must navigate her loud American cousins, the grittiness of Detroit's west side, a new school, and a surprising romance all on her own
Color Outside the Lines: Stories About Love by  Sangu Mandanna
An anthology of short stories exploring interracial and other relationships, in which differences are front and center, but may or may not matter.
Crossing Ebenezer Creek by Tonya Bolden
Freed from slavery, Mariah and her young brother Zeke join Sherman's march through Georgia, where Mariah meets a free black named Caleb and dares to imagine the possibility of true love, but hope can come at a cost
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.
Dread Nation by  Justina Ireland
When families go missing in Baltimore County, Jane McKeene, who is studying to become an Attendant, finds herself in the middle of a conspiracy that has her fighting for her life against powerful enemies.
I Am Alfonso Jones by Tony Medina
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
I'm Not Dying With You Tonight by  Gilly Segal Kimberly Jones
Over the course of one night, two girls with two very different backgrounds must rely on each other to get through the violent race riot that has enveloped their city. Lena has her killer style, her awesome boyfriend, and a plan. She knows she's going to make it big. Campbell, on the other hand, is just trying to keep her head down and get through the year at her new school. When both girls attend the Friday-night football game, what neither expects is for everything to descend into sudden mass chaos. Chaos born from violence and hate. Chaos that unexpectedly throws them together. They aren't friends. They hardly understand the other's point of view. But none of that matters when the city is up in flames, and they only have each other to rely on if they're going to survive the night.
Let Me Hear a Rhyme by  Tiffany D. Jackson
Brooklyn, 1998. When their best friend Steph is killed, Quadir and Jarrell don't want his tracks to lie forgotten. They know his beats could turn any Bed-Stuy corner into a celebration. With the help of Steph's younger sister, Jasmine, they come up with a plan to promote Steph's music under a new rap name: The Architect. When his mixtape catches the attention of a hotheaded music rep and, the trio must race to prove Steph's talent from beyond the grave. In doing so, they are forced to confront the truth about what happened to Steph. Only each has something to hide... and a lot to lose
Light It Up by Kekla Magoon
Told from multiple viewpoints, Shae Tatum, an unarmed, thirteen-year-old black girl, is shot by a white police officer, throwing their community into upheaval and making it a target of demonstrators
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
A Caitlyn Dlouhy Book. There are three rules in the neighborhood: Don't cry ; Don't snitch ; Get revenge. Will takes his dead brother Shawn's gun, and gets in the elevator on the 7th floor. As the elevator stops on each floor, someone connected to Shawn gets on. Someone already dead. Dead by teenage gun violence. And each has something to share with Will.
Monster by Walter Dean Myers
While on trial as an accomplice to a murder, sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon records his experiences in prison and in the courtroom in the form of a film script as he tries to come to terms with the course his life has taken.
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.
Saving Savannah by Tonya Bolden
Savannah Riddle feels suffocated by her life as the daughter of an upper class African American family in Washington, D.C., until she meets a working-class girl named Nella who introduces her to the suffragette and socialist movements and to her politically active cousin Lloyd
Slay by  Brittney Morris
An honors student at Jefferson Academy, seventeen-year-old Keira enjoys developing and playing Slay, a secret, multiplayer online role-playing game celebrating black culture, until the two worlds collide
Swing by  Kwame Alexander with Mary Rand Hess
Noah and his best friend Walt want to become cool, make the baseball team, and win over Sam, the girl Noah has loved for years. When Noah finds old love letters, Walt hatches a plan to woo Sam. But as Noah's love life and Walt's baseball career begin, the letters alter everything
Take the Mic: Fictional Stories of Everyday Resistance by  Bethany C. Morrow
A young adult anthology featuring fictional stories of everyday resistance. You might be the kind of person who stands up to online trolls. Or who marches to protest injustice. Perhaps you are #DisabledAndCute and dancing around your living room, alive and proud. Or perhaps you are the trans mentor that you wish you had when you were younger. Maybe you call out false allies, or stand up to loved ones. Maybe you speak your truth and drop the mic, or maybe you take it with you when you leave. This anthology features fictional stories--in poems, prose, and art--that reflect a slice of the varied and limitless ways that readers like you resist every day. Take the Mic's powerful collection of stories features work by literary luminaries and emerging talent alike, including Newbery-winner Jason Reynolds, New York Times bestseller Samira Ahmed, anthologist and contributor Bethany C. Morrow, Darcie Little Badger, Keah Brown, Laura Silverman, L.D. Lewis, Sofia Quintero, Ray Stoeve, Yamile Mendez, and Connie Sun, with cover and interior art by Richie Pope.
The Belles by  Dhonielle Clayton
In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. Camellia Beauregard wants to be the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But she soon finds that behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets.
The Hate U Give by  Angie Thomas
After witnessing her friend's death at the hands of a police officer, Starr Carter's life is complicated when the police and a local drug lord try to intimidate her in an effort to learn what happened the night Kahlil died.
The Poet X by  Elizabeth Acevedo
Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.
The Voting Booth by  Brandy Colbert
Marva Sheridan was born ready for this day. She's always been driven to make a difference in the world, and what better way than to vote in her first election? Duke Crenshaw is do done with this election. He just wants to get voting over with so he can prepare for his band's first paying gig tonight. Only problem? Duke can't vote. When Marva sees Duke turned away from their polling place, she takes it upon herself to make sure his vote is counted. She hasn't spent months doorbelling and registering voters just to see someone denied their right. And that's how their whirlwind day begins, rushing from precinct to precinct, cutting school, waiting in endless lines, turned away time and again, trying to do one simple thing: vote. They may have started out as strangers, but as Duke and Marva team up to beat a rigged system (and find Marva's missing cat), it's clear that there's more to their connection than a shared mission for democracy. Romantic and triumphant, The Voting Booth is proof that you can't sit around waiting for the world to change?but some things are just meant to be.
This Is My America by  Kim Johnson
Sending weekly letters to an organization she hopes will save her innocent father from death row, 17-year-old Tracy uncovers racist community secrets when her track star brother is wrongly accused of murder.
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
Watch Us Rise by  Renee Watson and Ellen Hagan
Jasmine and Chelsea are best friends on a mission--they're sick of the way women are treated even at their progressive NYC high school, so they decide to start a Women's Rights Club. They post their work online--poems, essays, videos of Chelsea performing her poetry, and Jasmine's response to the racial microaggressions she experiences--and soon they go viral. But with such positive support, the club is also targeted by trolls
Who Put This Song On? by  Morgan Parker
Morgan can't count the number of times she's been the only non-white person at the sleepover, been teased for her "weird" outfits, and been told she's not "really" black. She's spent most of her summer crying in bed; it feels like the whole world is listening to the same terrible track on repeat, and Morgan sees life as a never-ending hamster wheel of agony. She knows why she's in therapy. When Morgan makes friends with fellow outcasts, blasts music like there's no tomorrow, and discovers what being black means to her, she finally puts her mental health first. After all, darkness doesn't have to be a bad thing
Updated 06/08/2020