This past month, in recognition of Black History Month, I’ve been reading almost entirely books by black authors. But even though February is coming to an end, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be appreciating black authors and black stories all year round!
So today, I’m recommending books by black authors, from ones that I’ve read for the first time this month to long-time favorites. You don’t need to wait for the next Black History Month for an excuse to read these amazing books. Go read them! Go read them now!!
Dread Nation by Justina Ireland
I’ve talked about this book (and its recently released sequel, Deathless Divide) a lot already, but if you haven’t heard: zombie-killing black girls in post-Civil War American South! This series is one of my absolute favorites.
The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
A single-day New York romance between a black girl and a Korean boy? In addition to being absolutely adorable and fantastic, this book also deals with immigration and interracial romance.
Beloved by Toni Morrison
I’m pretty sure that anything Toni Morrison has written can be considered a classic, and this is my favorite of hers that I’ve read. Following a family of women dealing with the aftermath of slavery, its gut-wrenching and weird and incredible in all the right ways.
The Hate U Give and On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
I feel a little silly recommending these, since who hasn’t heard of them? But just in case you’re still on the fence: read them. Angie Thomas does such an amazing job writing about black teens in today’s America.
The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark
This 112-page novella is a quick read, but it manages to pack a lot in. Set in an steampunk 19th century New Orleans, it follows a girl living on the streets with a storm goddess speaking inside her head.
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
Written in verse, this book takes place almost entirely over the course of a single elevator ride, following a boy setting out to avenge his brother’s death. Jason Reynolds managed to make a wild concept like that both affecting and beautiful.
The Deep by Rivers Solomon
All about underwater merpeople descended from pregnant African women thrown from slave ships, this novella is so unique and atmospheric and well done.
Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann
Who doesn’t need a cute, summery library romance in their life? This book follows an ace girl who finds herself falling for her cute coworker, and it’s just as fun and happy as the cover looks.
My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
A Nigerian woman reluctantly helps her sister cover it up every time she “accidentally” kills her boyfriend. This book is darkly funny and clever from start to finish.
Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
This is another quick novella, all about an African girl leaving her home to attend a prestigious intergalactic university and encountering danger along the way.
Pride and American Street by Ibi Zoboi
Pride is a Pride & Prejudice retelling set in present-day Brooklyn, and American Street is about a Haitian immigrant adjusting to her new home in Detroit. Both are absolutely wonderful!
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
African-inspired YA epic fantasy with incredible worldbuilding! What’s not to love? Even though I wasn’t a huge fan of the sequel, I really enjoyed this first book in the series.
Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
This was actually the most recent book that I finished! If you want a romance where the chronically ill black main character gets a happy ending, then this is the book for you.
The Fifth Season and How Long ’til Black Future Month? by N.K. Jemisin
Here is your daily reminder to go read N.K. Jemisin if you like smart, socially aware sci-fi/fantasy. The Fifth Season is the first in the incredible Broken Earth trilogy, and How Long ’til Black Future Month? is a collection of short stories.
Have you read any of these books? What books by black authors do you recommend?