Hey guys! Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
This week’s TTT theme was a freebie, so I chose to do 10 books by Black authors I want to read in honor of Black History Month!
Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
This one has been on my TBR for a while, and I am really hoping to get this one checked of my list this month.
“Akata Witch transports the reader to a magical place where nothing is quite as it seems. Born in New York, but living in Aba, Nigeria, twelve-year old Sunny is understandably a little lost. She is albino and thus, incredibly sensitive to the sun. All Sunny wants to do is be able to play football and get through another day of school without being bullied. But once she befriends Orlu and Chichi, Sunny is plunged into the world of the Leopard People, where your worst defect becomes your greatest asset. Together, Sunny, Orlu, Chichi and Sasha form the youngest ever Oha Coven. Their mission is to track down Black Hat Otokoto, the man responsible for kidnapping and maiming children. Will Sunny be able to overcome the killer with powers stronger than her own, or will the future she saw in the flames become reality?”
Genres: Fantasy, Young adult, Fiction, Magic
Calling My Name by Liara Tamani
This is a really beautiful book. It is a wonderful story, and is written really well. I would recommend ages 14+ just because there is some sex. My rating for this book is 5/5😄
“This unforgettable novel tells a universal coming-of-age story about Taja Brown, a young African American girl growing up in Houston, Texas, and deftly and beautifully explores the universal struggles of growing up, battling family expectations, discovering a sense of self, and finding a unique voice and purpose.
Told in fifty-three short, episodic, moving, and iridescent chapters, Calling My Name follows Taja on her journey from middle school to high school.”
Genres: Young adult, Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Coming of age
Midnight Without A Moon by Linda Williams Jackson
Another one that’s been on my TBR for forever. I tried to read this one a couple years ago, but I decided that I wasn’t mentally ready, so I’m going to try it again this year.
“Rose Lee Carter, a 13-year-old African-American girl, dreams of life beyond the Mississippi cotton fields during the summer of 1955. Her world is rocked when a 14-year-old African-American boy, Emmett Till, is killed for allegedly whistling at a white woman. A powerful middle-grade debut perfect for readers who enjoyed The Watsons Go to Birmingham and Brown Girl Dreaming.”
Genres: Historical fiction, Young adult
Black Enough by Ibi Zoboi and many more.
This book was really good, it has a bunch of different stories and storyline because it’s an anthology and they are all really good. I would give this one 4/5😄 and for age probably 12+
“Black Enough is a star-studded anthology edited by National Book Award finalist Ibi Zoboi that will delve into the closeted thoughts, hidden experiences, and daily struggles of black teens across the country. From a spectrum of backgrounds—urban and rural, wealthy and poor, mixed race, immigrants, and more—Black Enough showcases diversity within diversity.
Whether it’s New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds writing about #blackboyjoy or Newberry Honor-winning author Renee Watson talking about black girls at camp in Portland, or emerging author Jay Coles’s story about two cowboys kissing in the south—Black Enough is an essential collection full of captivating coming-of-age stories about what it’s like to be young and black in America.”
Genres: Young adult, Short stories, Contemporary, LGBTQ, Anthologies
One Crazy Summer Series by Rita Williams Garcia
This series was really good. The books were quick reads and I really enjoyed them. I feel like pretty much anyone can read these books, so I don’t really have an age recommendation, but I am giving this series 4/5😄
“In the summer of 1968, after travelling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.”
Genres: Historical fiction, Middle grade, Childrens, Fiction
Root Magic by Eden Royce
This book looks and sounds really interesting, and I’m excited to try it. The cover is beautiful, and the title is really intriguing as well. This one is definitely pretty high on my priority list.
“It’s 1963, and things are changing for Jezebel Turner. Her beloved grandmother has just passed away. The local police deputy won’t stop harassing her family. With school integration arriving in South Carolina, Jez and her twin brother, Jay, are about to begin the school year with a bunch of new kids. But the biggest change comes when Jez and Jay turn eleven– and their uncle, Doc, tells them he’s going to train them in rootwork.
Jez and Jay have always been fascinated by the African American folk magic that has been the legacy of their family for generations–especially the curious potions and powders Doc and Gran would make for the people on their island. But Jez soon finds out that her family’s true power goes far beyond small charms and elixirs…and not a moment too soon. Because when evil both natural and supernatural comes to show itself in town, it’s going to take every bit of the magic she has inside her to see her through.”
Genres: Middle grade, Fantasy, Historical fiction, Magic
Little leaders, and Little Legends by Vashti Harrison
“Featuring forty trailblazing black women in American history, Little Leaders educates and inspires as it relates true stories of breaking boundaries and achieving beyond expectations.
Illuminating text paired with irresistible illustrations bring to life both iconic and lesser-known female figures of Black history such as abolitionist Sojourner Truth, pilot Bessie Coleman, chemist Alice Ball, politician Shirley Chisholm, mathematician Katherine Johnson, poet Maya Angelou, and filmmaker Julie Dash. Among these biographies, readers will find heroes, role models, and everyday women who did extraordinary things – bold women whose actions and beliefs contributed to making the world better for generations of girls and women to come.
Whether they were putting pen to paper, soaring through the air or speaking up for the rights of others, the women profiled in these pages were all taking a stand against a world that didn’t always accept them. The leaders in this book may be little, but they all did something big and amazing, inspiring generations to come.”
“An important book for readers of all ages, this beautifully illustrated and engagingly written volume brings to life true stories of black men in history.
Among these biographies, readers will find aviators and artists, politicians and pop stars, athletes and activists. The exceptional men featured include artist Aaron Douglas, civil rights leader John Lewis, dancer Alvin Ailey, filmmaker Oscar Micheaux, musician Prince, photographer Gordon Parks, tennis champion Arthur Ashe, and writer James Baldwin. The legends in this book span centuries and continents, but what they have in common is that each one has blazed a trail for generations to come.”
Genres: Nonfiction, History, Biography, Middle grade
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
This is a truly beautiful book. It is a poem book, so it is a pretty easy read. This is a great story of finding your true self, learning how you don’t need to change for anyone but yourself and standing up for what you believe in. I think that the author did really well making such a big world fit into these pages. Probably 13+ for age and I’m giving it 5/5😄
“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.
But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about.
With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself. So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out. But she still can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.
Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.”
Genres: Poetry, Young adult, Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Murder Of Crows by K. Ancrum
A murder mystery, detective thriller with Nancy Drew vibes? Yes please! I have to say I’m impressed with this book. When I picked it up at the library I wasn’t expecting much, but this book did not disappoint. For age 13+ and I’m rating it 4/5😄
“Lethal Lit follows Tig Torres, a Cuban American teen detective, in her hometown of Hollow Falls. In season one of the hit podcast, Tig used her smarts and fearlessness to track down the infamous “Lit Killer,” a serial killer who staged his murders after death scenes from famous books. But there’s no rest for courageous, mystery-solving teens in a place like Hollow Falls, and though the Lit Killer is now behind bars, his protégé, Tig’s classmate and crush Oly, has disappeared! And that’s not the only game afoot. Tig has caught the attention of the town’s local armchair detective group, the Murder of Crows. They’re obsessed with Hollow Falls’ dark past and fixated on a dangerous search for the missing body of the town’s founder. There are rumors about what’s buried with the body that could be life-changing for whoever finds it, and with a mission like that underway, it’s not long before a member of the Murder of Crows turns up dead. Tig, along with her friends Max and Wyn, steps in to help, but the stakes are getting higher and the hunt more deadly. Someone’s willing to kill to keep the town’s secrets buried, and if Tig’s not careful, she’ll be the Murder of Crows’ next victim.”
Genres: Mystery, Young adult, LGBTQ, Fiction
The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk
My mom found me this book when she was looking for more uplifting books, when in fact this one is actually kinda sad. It also has some adult language and discuses some pretty heavy topics, including suicide. In the end the characters learn ways to deal with their grief. I am going to say 14 and up. This one is getting 4/5😄 from me.
“Autumn always knew exactly who she was—a talented artist and a loyal friend. Shay was defined by two things: her bond with her twin sister, Sasha, and her love of music. And Logan always turned to writing love songs when his love life was a little less than perfect.
But when tragedy strikes each of them, somehow music is no longer enough. Now Logan can’t stop watching vlogs of his dead ex-boyfriend. Shay is a music blogger struggling to keep it together. And Autumn sends messages that she knows can never be answered.
Despite the odds, one band’s music will reunite them and prove that after grief, beauty thrives in the people left behind.”
Genres: Young adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ, Mental health
Have a great day and happy reading!
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