10 Books Every Teen (And Human) Should Read About Black Lives Matter
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10 Books Every Teen (And Human) Should Read About Black Lives Matter

Young Adult books about the Black Lives Matter Movement to help educate yourself

10 Books Every Teen (And Human) Should Read About Black Lives Matter
Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Here are 10 Young Adult books for teens, but also all ages, about the Black Lives Matter movement to help educate yourself.

1. "The Hate U Give"

Written by New York Times Bestselling author Angie Thomas, her debut book sheds light on what is currently going on in the world today. The young adult novel has won a series of awards including the Audie Award for Young Adult and Goodreads Choice Awards Best of the Best amongst many others.

The story follows the life of 16 year old Starr Carter after she has just witnessed the death of her childhood best friend Khalil, due to being shot by a police officer. His death becomes a national headline and Starr, being the only witness, must make sure he gets the justice he deserves. It's incredible, I've made my family read it, and it's an amazing movie! Go watch it, it's free on all platforms right now!

2. "Tyler Johnson Was Here"

Another incredible story, we follow Tyler Johnson as his brother has just gone missing. Then, suddenly, a video is leaked revealing Tyler's brother, Marvin, was shot and killed by a police officer. Now, his brother is nothing but a hashtag on social media, and Tyler is forced to learn the difference between justice and freedom.

A page turner, this novel will enlighten you on what black people go through on a day to day basis. This one is raw and so powerful, I was left in pieces after reading it.

3. "Dear Martin"

In this stunning debut novel by New York Times bestselling author Nic Stone, we follow the life of teenager Justyce McAllister who is top of his class. But, that doesn't matter to the police officer who has just arrested him. Even after moving out of his old neighborhood, he is still faced with the everyday challenges of a black man.

So Justyce starts to research Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, along with writing a journal to Dr. King himself. Then, everything changes when he becomes the target of a white police officer for blasting his music too loud. Now, he's involved in a shootout and Justyce is under attack. This book is real and relatable and just so good! Highly recommended.

4. "Long Way Down"

Written by New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds, this critically acclaimed young adult novel has won the Edgar Award for Best Young Adult and the John Newbery Medal... and rightfully so. The novel takes place within 60 seconds, the time it takes for Will to decide if he's going to murder the man who murdered his brother. I'm just going to leave it there. This book is undoubtedly powerful and for all ages.

5. "Allegedly"

Mary B. Addison has killed a baby, allegedly. She does not say much to the detectives, so the media has filled in the blanks for her. But, all we know is a white baby has died at the hands of a religious black woman and her nine year old daughter. Mary was convicted, and the jury made it official. But did she do it? This and so much more! Tiffany D. Jackson's debut novel delivers and is one of my all time favorites. I promise you'll be on the edge of your seat the whole time.

6. "I'm Not Dying With You Tonight"

Written by Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal, the NAACP Image Award Nominee follows two teen girls of the opposite race who are forced to face and voice their opinions about racial inequality. When Lena and Campbell attend the Friday night football game, they weren't expecting to get caught up in sudden riots as the city burns. Now, they only have each other to rely on and must survive the night, along with deciding what they stand for. This book is perfect for all ages and sparking conversations on the prejudice and racism that exists in America.

7. "How it Went Down"

16 year old Tariq Johnson has just been shot dead by a white man. The community is now rightfully demanding justice, but the details aren't adding up. As Tariq's loved ones are trying to cope with this tragedy, new details are surfacing every day obscuring the truth. The Correta Scott King Awarded novel written by acclaimed author Kekla Magoon promises twists, turns, but most importantly: the truth.

8. "American Street"

A National Book Award Finalist and Publisher Weekly Best Book of the Year, Ibi Zoboi's debut novel is a powerful coming of age story. After leaving Port-au-Prince, Fabiola Toussaint's mother is suddenly detained by U.S Immigration, leaving Fabiola to look after her younger cousins as she tries to navigate her new life in Detroit. But, Fabiola will soon realize that her freedom comes with a price, and the all American dream may not be worth it after all.

9. "All American Boys"

Another novel written by Jason Reynolds, but also Brendan Kiely, we follow the hardships of Rashad. Rashad has just been accused of stealing, and even though he's innocent, the cops could not care less. Now, Rashad is being beaten, and there's only one witness, a white boy named Quinn. Now, Quinn has to make a choice, and it could mean risking everything. Such a powerful and beautifully written story, Jason Reynolds does it again.

10. "On the Come Up"

Set in the same world as "The Hate U Give" by Angie Thomas, 16 year old Bri wants to escape her neighborhood to pursue rapping. As the daughter of a dead rap legend, Bri has a legacy to fill. Described as a homage to hip hop, Bri is determined to make her way out. But will she?

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