What are the best books for African American teens?

asked by Anonymous
274 contributors
32 solutions
  1. 28

    #1The Skin I'm In

    The Skin I'm In
    Maleeka is a thirteen years old girl who is constantly mocked by her classmates, mainly because of her darker skin tone. She is having a rough time until she meets a new teacher, who has a birthmark on her face and will show her how to embrace her different skin color. 



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    Vincent Schultz
    Written on April 17, 2018
    "A revolutionary book that was underrated at its time. Gives realistic insight into the black experience in our society."
  2. 25

    #2The Coldest Winter Ever

    The Coldest Winter Ever

    The Coldest Winter Ever is Sister Souljah's debut novel, centered on a girl named Winter, who needs to utilize her beauty and quick wit if she wants to survive the winter in the streets of Brooklyn.

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    Mildred Miller
    Written on April 3, 2018
    "This debut novel from Sister Souljah is a triumph. The characters are great and the story is engaging from start to finish. I imagine there are some African American teens that will particularly connect with this story, but it's a worthwhile read for all!"
  3. 24

    #3Day of Tears

    Day of Tears
    Back in 1859, the largest slave auction in America took place in Georgia, where more than 400 slaves were sold on March 2 and 3.  While the auction was taking place, it was raining non-stop for the two days, and it only stopped once the transactions were over: this is the starting point of this novel, which narrates the lives of many of those slaves.
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    John Stewart
    Written on March 28, 2018
    "This is an excellent book that delves into a dark time in American history. It's not too difficult for a teen to read and grasp and the unique story really comes to life when you read it!"
  1. 23

    #4Heaven

    Heaven

    Heaven is the first book in Angela Johnson's dramatic and inspirational series for young adults, the Heaven Trilogy. It was published in August 2000. It is about a young girl and her discovery of her past.

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    Nicole Wells
    Written on May 2, 2018
    "I mentor inner city youth in New York and was looking for a good book for them to read. I came across the Heaven trilogy and we all read the first book in the series "Heaven" together. It was so captivating we couldn't put it down. My students found it very inspirational and can't wait to read the other books in the series. Would definitely recommend."
  2. 22

    #5Darkness Before Dawn (Hazelwood High Trilogy)

    Darkness Before Dawn (Hazelwood High Trilogy)

    Keisha is in her senior year, and things are finally starting to go right for her: even though she is still haunted by the suicide of her ex-boyfriend, she is now starting to get along with the principal's son, Jonathan Hathaway, but their relationship will be at stake when she is getting dragged once again to the darkness she fought so hard to escape. 

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    Sara Parker
    Written on April 4, 2018
    "I loved this book, it left me with a feeling of greatness. It is a book that can be really adictive, I couldnt stop reading it and just needed to get to the bottom of it."
  3. 20

    #6Monster

    Monster

    Monster.com is one of the most visited employment websites in the United States and one of the largest in the world. It is a tool for people who are searching for jobs and for companies to help them find the best person to employ.

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    Gary Herrera
    Written on March 28, 2018
    "Monster is a job searching website. This is NOT a website for a book. Therefore, this is not a good website to find books."
  4. 19

    #7Bronx Masquerade

    Bronx Masquerade

    Little thought Wesley Boone that his English class poem would make everyone in his high school class to share their most intimate thoughts with everyone. When he read his poem aloud, sharing his personal issues, his eighteen classmates also wanted to do so, which allowed them to know more about their fellow classmates' fears, dreams and thoughts. 

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    Sandra Stephens
    Written on April 4, 2018
    "Bronx Masquerade is a great book for African American teens. It shows hardships that he must overcome and discrimination in the area that he lives."
  5. 15

    #8Begging for Change (Raspberry Hill Series)

    Begging for Change (Raspberry Hill Series)

    Raspberry is a young girl who thought that the only way to help her mother was to steal money from her own friend. Now, she has to deal with the guilt feeling and all the possible consequences of this act, making sure that this is not the beginning of a thieving life like the one her father has. 



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    Diana Banks
    Written on April 11, 2018
    "I like the Raspberry Hill Series a lot. I iterate that the Begging for Change (Raspberry Hill Series) is the best book for African American teens. I think it should be a must-read for all."
  6. 15

    #9Money Hungry (Raspberry Hill Series)

    Money Hungry (Raspberry Hill Series)

    Raspberry Hill is desperate for money: she still can remember perfectly those days she slept in the streets and the only thing she could eat were handouts, so she is going to do whatever is necessary to get the money to bring her and her family a better life. 

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    Russell Ruiz
    Written on March 28, 2018
    "Definitely a great read as an "urban" coming of age story while learning about Raspberry's troubles. I've read this book 3 and can say I thoroughly enjoyed it. "
  7. 13

    #10Bud, Not Buddy

    Bud, Not Buddy

    Despite having a hard time, Bud is determined to find his father. This 10-year old kid from Flint, Michigan is ready to find him, and only carrying his suitcase, he will hit the road in order to find the mysterious man that has been missing his whole life. 

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    Edward Obrien
    Written on April 8, 2018
    "I didn't think it earth-shattering or even groundbreaking...just a nice story from Mr. Christopher Paul Curtis. He came to the school that I was teaching at, Schulze Elementary School, shortly after he wrote "Bud, Not Buddy" and gave a cool presentation to the kids...nice guy and an inspiration to any aspiring author"
  8. 12

    #11If You Come Softly

    If You Come Softly
    This book is the story of Jeremiah, a black kid whose parents are divorced, and Ellie, a white girl who has been abandoned by her mother two times. They both fall in love with each other, and will have to deal with societies reactions and their relationship's many challenges. 



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    Tejas Rangarajan
    Written on April 7, 2018
    "Book was inappropriate for African american teens. Actually this book isn't pretty bad for any teen. IT focuses on irrelevant subject matter. The entire book is just the author trying to convince themselves that their former relationship was okay. Not worth reading ever."
  9. 11

    #12The First Part Last

    The First Part Last
    Through beautiful time skips, this book tells the story of Bobby, a sixteen-year-old teen that despite having his parents support, he struggles with his child upraise. The book explains why Bobby does what he does, and in a dramatic turn of events, we find out why he is a single father. 



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    Jeremy Reed
    Written on March 30, 2018
    "This is a great choice in books for almost any African American teen and any teen for that matter. It’s an extremely well written story that someone can easily relate to. This book captivates from the start. Highly recommended!"
  10. 7

    #13Forged by Fire (Hazelwood High Trilogy)

    Forged by Fire (Hazelwood High Trilogy)

    After living a terrible childhood, Gerald managed to make it to the basketball team, while her little half-sister, was also having a great time developing her dancing skills. But when he thought that their terrible past was left behind, it will only take a bad decision to understand that old enemies can get to your life very easily. 

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    Nicholas Beck
    Written on April 6, 2018
    "Very good book at an affordable price, and i love its a trilogy"
  11. 4

    #14The Watsons Go to Birmingham 1963

    The Watsons Go to Birmingham 1963

    The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963 is a Newbery Honor book written by Christopher Paul Curtis. This historical fiction book for children and young adult readers was originally published in 1995.

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    Zachary Duncan
    Written on May 3, 2018
    "The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963 is a classic of young adult literature, confronting complex issues of racism and civil rights in accessible way. Reading this book, I feel like these are real people that I know and care about. A great entry point for young people into a difficult discussion."
  12. 3

    #15The Trail of Bohu

    The Trail of Bohu

    The Trail of Bohu is a book by Charles Saunders that tells a story of Imaro. He is a warrior who already settled in living his life as a husband and father to his kingdom. But he has to fight again when Imaro came. 

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    Tyler Mills
    Written on March 31, 2018
    "This is a great book for motivation of African American teens. I love the setting and the theme of this book. It talks greatly about an African warrior who is a father and a husband but has to go and fight to protect his kingdom. This book is sure to give kids pride to live as African men and be proud of themselves."
  13. 1

    #16The Broken Kingdoms (The Inheritance Trilogy)

    The Broken Kingdoms (The Inheritance Trilogy)
    The Broken Kingdoms is the second book in the series The Inheritance Trilogy written by N.K Jemisin that tells the story of Oree Shoth. She is a blind girl but she can see magic which she inherited from her father. 
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    Verónica Montiel
    Written on March 28, 2018
    "The solution is good and describes the product well. It would be nice to have a little more information on the subject."
  14. 0

    #17The Silence of Our Friends : The Civil Rights Struggle Was Never Black and White

    The Silence of Our Friends : The Civil Rights Struggle Was Never Black and White

    The Silence of Our Friends : The Civil Rights Struggle Was Never Black and White is a Sequential Art, Historical, Young Adult Graphic Novel written by Mark Long, Jim Demonakos and illustrated by Nate Powell.

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    Keith Burke
    Written on April 30, 2018
    "It's strange learning how different America was during the fight for civil rights. In terms of history this isn't that long ago. I found this book very eye-opening. It showed me a lot of things I didn't know and helped me to understand a little better what it must have been like to live during this time period. "
  15. 0

    #18A Right to Be Hostile: The Boondocks Treasury

    A Right to Be Hostile: The Boondocks Treasury

    A Right to Be Hostile: The Boondocks Treasury is a Sequential Art, Humor, Politics, Fiction Graphic Novel written by Aaron McGrudger. It was published September 23, 2003 by Three Rivers Press.

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    Rakesh Jindal
    Written on April 30, 2018
    "A Right to Be Hostile: The Boondocks Treasury is a very thought provoking book by Aaron McGrudger. Published in 2003, it talks about relevant topics to today's modern age and gives a good perspective on things like art and politics over the past decade."
  16. 0

    #19Fire!!: The Zora Neale Hurston Story

    Fire!!: The Zora Neale Hurston Story

    Fire!!: The Zora Neale Hurston Story is a Sequential Art, Biography, Adult, Cultural, History, Non-fiction Graphic Novel by Peter Bagge. It was published March 21, 2017 by Drawn and Quarterly.

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    Gerald Gonzalez
    Written on May 8, 2018
    "I was looking for something for my son to increase his appreciation of our African-American cultural heritage, but the last place I thought I would find it was a graphic novel from an author who became famous for chronicling the lives of a bunch of Seattle slackers. This story is told with real depth and respect, and since my son is a serious comic book geek it was just about the perfect solution!"
  17. 0

    #20The America Play and Other Works

    The America Play and Other Works
    The America Play and Other Works is a book containing the plays and other works of Pulitzer-nominated playwright Suzan Lori Parks. It was released in 2014. 
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    Sandra Valdez
    Written on May 5, 2018
    "This book contains plays written by Suzan-Lori Parks. I had to read this for a class, and we dived deep into the metaphors, language, and imagery. It is a very interesting read, full of dynamic. It really stretches your imagination."
  18. 0

    #21Bayou

    Bayou

    Bayou is a Sequential Art, Fantasy, Historical, Horror, Young Adult Fiction Graphic Novel written by Jeremy Love. It was published June 2, 2009 by Zuda.

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    Beverly Herrera
    Written on April 28, 2018
    "Bayou is a good book for African American teens"
  19. 0

    #22The Garbage King

    The Garbage King

    The Garbage King is a standalone young adult realistic fiction novel by Elizabeth Laird which is inspired by the true to life story of an African child.

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    Thomas Holland
    Written on May 8, 2018
    "A wonderfully written if heartbreakingly sad piece. I really got to see life in a new perspective in reading this. I recommend this to teens and adults alike."
  20. 0

    #23Where Did Our Love Go?

    Where Did Our Love Go?

    Where Did Our Love Go?: The Rise and Fall of the Motown Sound is an investigative book written by Nelson George with a foreword from Quincy Jones. It was first released in 1986 and has become accepted as a classic.

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    Susan Wilson
    Written on April 30, 2018
    "Decent book on the histories of MoTown. Had alot of little tidbits of information I wouldnt have otherwise known. Worth the read."
  21. 0

    #24Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880

    Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880

    Black Reconstruction in America 1860-1880 is a non-fiction book written by W.E.B. Du Bois which is the introduction into the study of the role of Black Americans during the reconstruction after the Civil War. 

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    Terry Brewer
    Written on April 14, 2018
    "This is a great solution! This book was incredibly comprehensive, and I found that my nephew who is african american, and currently 16 years old. This book delves into some of the lesser known and still vital history, which can be a bit heavy to wade through...but this book seems to hold your hand along the way."
  22. 0

    #25Purple Hibiscus

    Purple Hibiscus
    Purple Hibiscus is a historical fiction novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the author of the award-winning novel Half of a Yellow Sun. It tells the story of Kambili and Jaja, as their country is torn apart by political strife.
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    Cynthia Berry
    Written on April 24, 2018
    "There aren't many books in the mainstream media about african people. Purple Hibiscus is one of those rare books."
  23. 0

    #26Trouble No More

    Trouble No More
    Set all over the American South, this book is a collection of short stories starring many African-America families from the middle class. The book explains both their public and personal issues, rather ordinary lives but in very peculiar times, especially for black families. 




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    Sarah Howard
    Written on April 10, 2018
    "This collection of short stories are masterfully told. Author Anthony Grooms makes you feel as if you are right there with the characters in the American South. You feel the heat, the sweetness, the frustration. These stories will draw you in and leave you breathless."
  24. 0

    #27The Pull of Freedom

    The Pull of Freedom

    The Pull of Freedom is a standalone historical fiction novel written by Brenda Barrett which is about siblings Nanny and Cudjoe who have been separated from each other to look for their future in Jamaica. 

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    Kathy Mitchell
    Written on May 8, 2018
    "The Pull of Freedom is a historical fiction about two slave siblings who escape the chains of slavery. The siblings take two different routes to a new land called Jamaica. You're sure to feel the anxiety from these two young adults as they move forward as freed slaves."
  25. 0

    #28Twilight

    Twilight
    Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 is a book of the dramatic and creative play for young adults written by renowned playwright Anna Deavere Smith. It was published in 1994. It is about the effects of the five-day riots after the Rodney King verdict.

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    Kimberly Schultz
    Written on May 6, 2018
    "This book has great perspective and insights. Highly recommend."
  26. 0

    #29Incognegro

    Incognegro

    Incognegro is a Sequential Art, Historical, Mystery Fiction Graphic Novel written by Mat Johnson and illustrated by Warren Pleece. It was published February 6, 2008 by Vertigo.

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  27. 0

    #30Blind Corners

    Blind Corners

    Blind Corners is a Drama, Mystery, Thriller, Fiction Graphic Novel written by Jemir Robert Johnson and illustrated by Luis Sierra, Winston Blakely et al. It was published October 11, 2013 by CREATIVE Elamentz Studios.

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    Tiffany Yu
    Written on May 5, 2018
    "A riveting story about a private investigator. The character is compelling and it keeps you interested. I read this a few times and will probably read it a few more."
  28. 0

    #315 Shots

    5 Shots

    5 Shots is a Mystery, Sequential Art, Fiction Graphic Novel written by Jemir Robert Johnson. It was published October 3, 2007 by Creative Elamentz Studios.

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    George Mitchell
    Written on May 4, 2018
    "A great read about a smart and witty female detective. The character is very complex and layered with a pension for doing the right thing in adversity. The story itself has a complex crime and her mind reading ability makes the case all that more fascinating. "
  29. 0

    #32The Harlem Hellfighters

    The Harlem Hellfighters

    The Harlem Hellfighters is a Sequential Art, History, War, Non-fiction Graphic Novel written by Max Brooks and illustrated by Caanan White. It was published April 1, 2014 by Broadway Books.

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    Jerry Ward
    Written on May 3, 2018
    "The Harlem Hellfighters is a Sequential Art, History, War, Non-fiction Graphic Novel written by Max Brooks and illustrated by Caanan White. It was published April 1, 2014 by Broadway Books. a very good book for African American teens"

Summary

Best What are the best books for African American teens
RankSolutionsTypeVotesPrice
1The Skin I'm InBooks 28 Paid
2The Coldest Winter EverBooks 25 Paid
3Day of TearsBooks 24 Paid
4HeavenBooks 23 Paid
5Darkness Before Dawn (Hazelwood High Trilogy)Books 22 Paid
6MonsterWebsites 20 Free
7Bronx MasqueradeBooks 19 Paid
8Begging for Change (Raspberry Hill Series)Books 15 Paid
9Money Hungry (Raspberry Hill Series)Books 15 Paid
10Bud, Not BuddyBooks 13 Paid
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