21 Books By Black Authors To Add To Your TBR!

Zakiya Jamal  //  Feb 28, 2022

21 Books By Black Authors To Add To Your TBR!

Black History Month is coming to a close, but reading books by Black authors isn't something we do for one month of the year. We do it all year round! Check out these incredible books by Black authors that are coming out later this year and enter for a chance to win a few here!

Stand Up!: 10 Might Women Who Made a Change by Brittney Cooper & Cathy Ann Johnson

Stand Up! tells the story of ten historic female figures who changed the world by standing up for what's right, including legendary Civil Rights activists like Ruby Bridges and Rosa Parks and spanning to contemporary role models like Bree Newsome, who removed the confederate flag from the South Carolina state house grounds, and Mari Copeny, a youth activist who fought for clean water in Flint, Michigan. 

Because of You, John Lewis by Andrea Davis Pinkney & Keith Henry Brown

Ten-year-old Tybre Faw is obsessed with history and the civil rights movement, and he devours every book he can find on the subject. When he learns of Congressman John Lewis's harrowing and heroic march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in the fight for the right to vote, Tybre is determined to meet him.

Tybre's two grandmothers take him on the seven-hour drive to Selma. And as the two meet and become fast friends, Tybre joins Lewis for the annual walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge!

When John Lewis is laid to rest, Tybre is invited to read Lewis's favorite poem, "Invictus," at the funeral service. Pinkney weaves this story of a boy with a dream — with the story of a true-life hero (who himself was inspired by Martin Luther King when he was a boy). Both John Lewis and Martin Luther King, Jr. have left indelible marks on future generations. Will Tybre be next to carry the mantle?

Caprice by Coe Booth

This should be an exciting time for Caprice. She has been offered a place at the school of her dreams, where she's just had a fantastic summer. But this great opportunity coincides with a lot of internal doubt and the disturbing news that her long-estranged grandmother has fallen ill and may be near death. As Caprice tries to figure out her future, she is pulled back toward her past, and the abuse she endured from her uncle when she was little — an abuse she's never told anyone about.

Behind the Mountains by Edwidge Danticat

Celiane Esperance and her family escape a politically unstable and impoverished Haiti, where street shootings and pipe bombs are becoming more and more frequent. After years of separation, Celiane, her brother, Moy, and their mother all join Papa in Brooklyn, New York. The harsh concrete landscape of New York is a shock to Celiane, whose story is a passionate journey into a new land, sometimes tender, sometimes painful, but always infused with author Edwidge Danticat's signature narrative grace.

I Color Myself Different by Colin Kaepernick & Eric Wilkerson

When Colin Kaepernick was five years old, he was given a simple school assignment: draw a picture of yourself and your family. What young Colin does next changes his whole world and worldview, allowing him to embrace and celebrate his Black identity through the power of radical self love and knowing your inherent worth.

Moonflower by Kacen Callender

Moon has been plunged into a swill of uncertainty and confusion. They travel to the spirit realms every night, hoping never to return to the world of the living. But when the realm is threatened, it's up to Moon to save the spirit world, which sparks their own healing journey through the powerful, baffling, landscape that depression can cause.

Shuri and T'Challa: Into the Heartlands by Roseanne A. Brown, Claudia Aguirre, Dika Araújo, & Natacha Bustos

Twelve-year-old Shuri is a lot of things. Scientist. Princess. All around cooler person than her pain-in-the-butt big brother T’Challa. Shuri knows she could do so much more, but everyone is obsessed with T’Challa because he’s the next Black Panther.

That is, until Soul Washing Day, one of the most important rituals of Wakandan society. This is the annual day when the royal family receives the blessings of the ancestors so that Wakanda may prosper. When an argument between T’Challa and Shuri leads to one of Shuri’s inventions accidentally destroying the sacred ceremony site, instead of prosperity, chaos reigns. Vibranium-based technology all throughout Wakanda begins to malfunction, leaving their nation vulnerable to attacks. Soon rumors spread that this curse is the ancestors revoking their blessing from the current royal family, and that the only way to lift it is to pass the throne and Black Panther role to a new family entirely.

Shuri doesn’t believe any of this “curse” nonsense, but that doesn’t change the fact that if someone doesn’t fix their tech soon, the kingdom could be in danger. Her research leads her to believe the answer to all their problems lies in a power core hidden deep inside the oldest vibranium mine in all of Wakanda. But to reach it, she’ll have to cross the Heartlands, the deepest part of Wakanda, where legends tell of ancient beasts and dark magic few have survived. And even worse, she’ll have to figure out how to sneak out without her parents noticing.

Joining Shuri on her journey is none other than a meddling T’Challa. If Shuri and T’Challa can set aside their jealousy and resentment of each other long enough to survive this journey, they might just discover that they are far more powerful together than they could ever be apart. But if they can’t face their fears in the Heartlands and lift the so-called curse, it may not be just the end for their family, but the end of Wakanda as they know it.

No pressure, right?

It's the End of the World and I'm in My Bathing Suit by Justin A. Reynolds

Twelve-year-old Eddie Gordon Holloway has concocted his most genius plan ever to avoid chores especially the dreaded L-A-U-N-D-R-Y. If he can wear all the clothes he owns, he'll only have to do the laundry once during his school break.

On the day of the highly-anticipated Beach Bash, Eddie's monstrous pile of dirty laundry is found by his mom. And Eddie's day has just taken a turn for the worst. Now he's stuck at home by himself, missing the bash, and doing his whole pile of laundry. But mid-cycle, the power goes out!

With his first load of laundry wet and the rest of his stuff still filthy, he sets out to explore the seemingly empty neighborhood in his glow-in-the-dark swim trunks, flip-flops, and a beach towel. He soon meets up with other neighborhood kids: newcomer Xavier (who was mid-haircut and has half his head shaved), Eddie's former friend Sonia (who has spent her entire break trying to beat a video game and was mid-battle with the final boss), and siblings Trey and Sage (who are dealing with major sibling drama).

As they group up to cover more ground and find out what happened, they realize that their families aren't coming back anytime soon. And as night falls, the crew realizes that they aren't just the only people left in the neighborhood, they might be the only people left anywhere.

Charlie Makes a Splash by Holly Robinson Peete, RJ Peete, & Shane Evans

Like many kids on the autism spectrum, Charlie finds solace and empowerment in pools, ponds, sprinklers, visiting the aquarium, and swimming in the ocean. Through his adventures and discoveries, he shows the world that even though he has autism, autism doesn't have him.

Daddy and Me and the Rhyme to Be by Chris Bridges

Karma and her Daddy love to make music together! Karma sets up the rhyme and Daddy finishes it. Together, they're the perfect team! But when it's time for Karma to write her Daddy a rap for his birthday all on her own, she can't quite make it perfect. What rhymes with banana anyway? Told with heart and humor, Karma soon realizes that she never has to do anything alone with her Daddy by her side.

Last Gate of the Emperor #2: The Royal Trials by Kwame Mbalia and Prince Joel Makonnen

Yared has traveled a long way to find his place in the universe. Light years, even. Though the battle of Addis Prime is over, tensions between the technologically advanced Axum Empire and the duplicitous Werari continue to boil.

Yared finds himself at the center of the conflict when he's brought to the Royal Trials, an intergalactic competition that also happens to be the site of an important hearing on the Weraris' crimes. As a superstar player in his own right, Yared can't help but want to compete.

His wish is granted in the worst possible way when Yared is kidnapped and forced into an exo-suit, then ordered to fight through the Trials without revealing himself. If he does, it's game over.

Now Yared must discover who's kidnapped him and why, all while facing the fiercest opponents of all — his own allies.

Future Hero: Race to Fire Mountain by Remi Blackwood

Jarell has never quite known where he belongs. He’s ignored at home and teased at school for wanting to draw instead of playing sports with the other boys. The only place he’s ever felt truly at ease is his local barbershop where the owner hangs Jarell’s art up on the walls.

When Jarell discovers a hidden portal in the barbershop, he’s transported to a magical world that’s unlike anything he’s seen before. But it’s not just the powerful gods and dangerous creatures that makes this world different — it’s that everyone believes Jarell is the hero they’ve been waiting for.

Mimi and the Cutie Catastrophe by Shauna J. Grant

Meet Mimi. She's charming! She's cheerful! She's cute!

But that's not all! She's also a loyal friend and fun playmate, who has the best adventures with Penelope, her magical toy dog. But when Mimi notices people treating her like she's too cute, can she show them that she's much more than meets the eye? Or will she be stuck in this cute-astrophe?

Just Like Jesse Owens by Andrew Young, Paula Young Shelton, & Gordon James

As a boy, Andrew Young learned a vital lesson from his parents when a local chapter of the Nazi party instigated racial unrest in their hometown of New Orleans in the 1930s. While Hitler's teachings promoted White supremacy, Andrew's father, told him that when dealing with the sickness of racism, "Don't get mad, get smart." To drive home this idea, Andrew Young Senior took his family to the local movie house to see a newsreel of track star Jesse Owens racing toward Olympic gold, showing the world that the best way to promote equality is to focus on the finish line. The teaching of his parents, and Jesse Owens' example, would be the guiding principles that shaped Andrew's beliefs in nonviolence and built his foundation as a civil rights leader and advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The story is vividly recalled by Paula Young Shelton, Andrew's daughter.

High Score by Destiny Howell

Darius James—DJ to his friends—has a head for cons and a heart of gold. He pulled his last con months ago at his old school. Now safely enrolled in the Fitz (Ella Fitzgerald Middle School) he’s determined to keep his head down. But when Conor, his best friend from his old school, suddenly shows up, DJ knows his anonymous days are numbered.

Sure enough, within a week of arriving at the Fitz, Conor runs afoul of Lucky, the seventh-grade bully who runs a complicated contest based on tickets from Starcade, the games-and-pizza joint across the street from the school. Lucky has the power to ruin any kid’s life, including Conor’s, unless DJ agrees to come up with 100,000 Starcade tickets within two weeks.

It’s impossible! Or is it? If anyone can stay on the straight and narrow—and pull off the biggest ticket heist of all time, it’s DJ. In the process, he just might save his friend—and maybe even the whole school—from Lucky.

More Than Peach by Bellen Woodard & Fanny Liem

When Bellen Woodard's classmates referred to the "skin colored" crayon, she realized they needed to understand that not all skin colors are the same. This stunning picture book spreads Bellen's message of inclusivity, empowerment, and the importance of inspiring the next generation of leaders. Bellen created the "More than Peach" campaign to transform the crayon industry and change the way we think about skin color and standing up for what you believe in.

Children of the Quicksands by Efua Traoré

In a remote Nigerian village, twelve-year-old Simi is desperate to uncover a family secret.

Set in Ajao, a remote village deep in the forests of Nigeria where magic still exists, Simi’s mom, secretive about her past, is in a difficult situation and, as a last resort, sends her daughter to Ajao to spend her holidays with the grandmother she has never met.

Simi soon finds herself steeped in legends and superstitions. Her witchlike grandmother dispenses advice and herbal medicine to the village, but she’s tight lipped about their family history. Something must have happened, but what?

Determined to find out, after learning the grim truth about her mother's past, Simi disobeys her grandmother and goes exploring. Caught in the sinking red quicksand of a forbidden lake, her fantastical journey begins

Both modern and fantastical, extraordinary debut talent Efua Traoré takes us to the village of a modern day Ajao and the strange parallel world that lies beneath.

The Witchery by S. Isabelle

Haelsford, Florida is a Hellmouth. Or at least, that’s what Logan, a new witch struggling to control her powers, thinks as she arrives to begin the new school year at Mesmortes Coven Academy. She is immediately taken under the wing of the infamous Red Three. Iris, a deathwitch, who wants nothing more than to break the town’s curse; Thalia, the talented greenwitch, is on the run from her religious family and a past that still haunts her; and Jailah is one of the most powerful witches at the academy but her thirst for power may lead her down a dark path.

With the Haunting Season approaching, Wolves will soon rise from the swamp to kill and the humans and witches must work together to survive the yearly onslaught. And the stakes couldn’t be higher as two boys from the Hammersmitt School prepare to make their first sacrifices to the witches in exchange for protection.

But old dangers lie in wait and the cost to break the curse may be greater than any witch or human could ever know.

A Girl's Guide to Love & Magic by Debbie Rigaud

Cicely Beauvoir, a Haitian American teen living in Brooklyn, loves the annual West Indian Day Parade that takes place in her neighborhood. The colors, clothes, sights, and sounds all celebrating Caribbean culture fill her with pride and joy. This year, Cicely, along with her best friend, Ruby, and her crush (!), Kwame, gets to hang out at the parade with her awesome aunt, Mimose, a social media influencer known for dabbling in Haitian vodou. But when Mimose's dabbling becomes a little too real, and she seems to be possessed by a rogue spirit, it's up to Cicely and her friends to set things right... but can Cicely actually make things happen when she's not quite sure she believes?

The Tyrell Show: Season One by Miles Grose & Shaz Enrico Lym

Eleven-year-old Tyrell is the host of his very own "all in his mind” podcast! As he heads into his final year at Marcus Garvey Elementary he believes he's going to have the best season of his podcast ever…But not so fast! He quickly learns that being a sixth grader does not automatically make you the coolest and wisest kid in school. And when Tyrell’s best friend, Boogie, starts acting weird and Tyrell's highly anticipated audition for his school’s big show goes haywire, Tyrell is really sent for a loop. Told through a combination of graphic illustrations and Tyrell’s internal podcast, The Tyrell Show: Season One is sure to delight any kid looking for an interesting journey complete with big laughs and a happy ending.

Leon the Extraordinary by Jamar Nicholas

In the city where Leon lives, superheroes -- and supervillains -- are commonplace. So how does an ordinary kid like Leon, who has no superpowers himself, become the superhero he wants to be? When all his classmates suddenly become obsessed with a new phone app that turns them into zombies, Leon gets his chance to prove that using his brain and following his heart can save the day.

Don't forget to enter for a chance to win some of advanced readers copies of these books here!