Must Reads

These books are from my “Really Enjoyed” list and come highly recommended. I have linked each title to the audiobook on (affiliate). When you buy audiobooks from your purchase supports a local bookstore. Better than that other site.

  • The Skin I’m In by Sharon Flake about a dark-skinned Black girl who grapples with white supremacy and the effects of colorism. Good to pair with The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison as both explore the pervasiveness of racism.
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison follows the life of Sethe who escaped slavery and is haunted by the ghost of her baby. (For more advanced readers/thinkers)
  • Kindred  by Octavia Butler is speculative fiction about a woman who, at random time, is catapulted back into time and faces the horrors and truths of slavery and the systemic racism. Also available as a Graphic Novel
  • Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward about an impoverished family in the days leading up to Hurricane Katrina. It explore what it means to be a community/family.
  • Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron is a retelling of Cinderella where teen girls must find suitors or are never heard from again.
  • Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison an unnamed narrator shares his experiences of not being seen for who he really is and is expected to conform to the identities and expectations of mainstream society.
  • The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates (read the summary here
  • Amari and the Great Game by BB Alston Artemis Fowl meets Men in Black
  • One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia Three sisters go from Brooklyn to California to live with the mother who left them seven years earlier and attend a summer camp run by The Black Panthers.
  • The Deep by Rivers Solomon Yetu, the historian of her people (pregnant enslaved women thrown overboard by enslavers) flees to the surface to escape the horrors of her memories and the expectations of her people. In doing so, she learns about her past and the future of her people and the importance of reclaiming memory.
  • Anything by Jacqueline Woodson (Red at the Bone, Remember Us, Brown Girl Dreaming, Another Brooklyn)
  • Don’t Cry for Me by Daniel Black is an epistolary novel in which a father makes amends with his gay son for the way he reacted and treated his son.
  • The Memory Librarian by Janelle Monae Afrofuturistc collection os stories taking place when the world is controlled by a select few through e Dirty Computer, which can control and erase thoughts.
  • Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia (series) Tristian helps gods and folk heroes.
  • The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi Durrow The daughter of a Danish mother and a Black Veteran moves to a new city with her strict paternal grandmother where she lives in a mostly black community after tragedy. As a biracial girl she struggles to understand society’s expectations of race and class.

Honorable Mentions

This are others that I really enjoy. All are linked to which allows you to borrow audiobooks and e-books from your local library. All you need is an active library card.

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