Celebrate Audiobook Month with 20 Books Written by Black Authors and Read by Black Narrators

Guest Blogger  //  Jun 22, 2020

Celebrate Audiobook Month with 20 Books Written by Black Authors and Read by Black Narrators

Today and always we want to amplify the voices of our Black creators by sharing their stories. This June, we’re celebrating Audiobook Month by spotlighting 20 must-hear audiobooks written by Black authors and read by Black narrators. Check out this list to find your next listen!

Martin Rising: Requiem for a King

Written by: Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney

Narrated by: Andrea Davis Pinkney

For ages: 9-12

With imagination and power, the award-winning Pinkney duo celebrates MLK's nonviolent struggle for civil rights as he transforms America through the spirit of love.

 

Hurricane Child

Written by: Kacen Callender

Narrated by: Krystel Roche

For ages: 8-12

Prepare to be swept up by this exquisite novel that reminds us that grief and love can open the world in mystical ways. In Hurricane Child, Caroline must find the strength to confront her feelings for Kalinda, brave the spirit stalking her through the islands, and face the reason her mother abandoned her.

 

King and the Dragonflies

Written by: Kacen Callender

Narrated by: Ron Butler

For ages: 8-12

In a small but turbulent Louisiana town, one boy's grief takes him beyond the bayous of his backyard, to learn that there is no right way to be yourself.

 

Neon Aliens Ate My Homework and Other Poems

Written by: Nick Cannon

Narrated by: Nick Cannon

For ages: 8-12

Nick Cannon – the unstoppable entertainer, comedian, actor, and musician – was inspired to write Neon Aliens Ate My Homework and Other Poems as a way to combine the worlds of poetry and hip-hop, two mediums that have shaped Nick into the prolific artist he is today.

 

Dear America: With the Might of Angels

Written by: Andrea Davis Pinkney

Narrated by: Channie Waites

For ages: 8-12

Bestselling author and Coretta Scott King Award winner Andrea Davis Pinkney presents a moving fictional account of school desegregation in the Civil Rights Era.

 

Unstoppable Octobia May

Written by: Sharon Flake

Narrated by: Bahni Turpin

For ages: 8-12

Bestselling and award-winning author, Sharon G. Flake, delivers a mystery set in the 1950s that eerily blends history, race, culture, and family.

 

The Forgotten Girl

Written by: India Hill

Narrated by: Imani Parks

For ages: 8-12

The Forgotten Girl is a spooky original ghost story with a timely and important storyline about reclaiming an abandoned segregated cemetery.

 

The Parker Inheritance

Written by: Varian Johnson

Narrated by: Cherise Boothe

For ages: 8-12

When Candice finds a letter describing an injustice that happened decades ago, a mystery enfolding its writer, and the fortune that awaits the person who solves the puzzle, she begins to decipher the clues. The challenge will lead her and a friend deep into her town's history, full of ugly deeds, forgotten heroes, and one great love; and deeper into their own families, with their own unspoken secrets.

 

Child of the Dream (A Memoir of 1963)

Written by: Sharon Robinson

Narrated by: Sharon Robinson

For ages: 8-12

An incredible memoir from Sharon Robinson about one of the most important years of the civil rights movement, 1963. This is the story of how one girl finds her voice in the fight for justice and equality.

 

The Harlem Charade

Written by: Natasha Tarpley

Narrated by: Bahni Turpin

For ages: 8-12

In this remarkable tale of daring and danger, novelist Natasha Tarpley explores the way a community defines itself, the power of art to show truth, and what it really means to be home.

 

Dark Sky Rising: Reconstruction and the Dawn of Jim Crow

Written by: Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Tonya Bolden

Narrated by: Dion Graham

For ages: 9-12

This is a story about America during and after Reconstruction, one of history's most pivotal and misunderstood chapters. In a stirring account of emancipation, the struggle for citizenship and national reunion, and the advent of racial segregation, young readers are introduced to the resiliency of the African American people at times of progress and betrayal.

 

Shuri: A Black Panther Novel

Written by: Nic Stone

Narrated by: Anika Noni Rose

For ages: 9-12

The first book in an original series starring the break-out character from the Black Panther comics and films: T'Challa's younger sister, Shuri! Shuri is a skilled martial artist, a genius, and a master of science and technology. But, she's also a teenager. And a princess. This story follows Shuri as she sets out on a quest to save her homeland of Wakanda.

 

Marley Dias Gets It Done

Written by: Marley Dias

Narrated by: Damaras Obi

For ages: 10+

In this accessible "keep-it-real" guide, Marley explores activism, social justice, volunteerism, equity and inclusion, and using social media for good. Drawing from her experience, Marley shows kids how they can galvanize their strengths to make positive changes in their communities, while getting support from parents, teachers, and friends to turn dreams into reality.

 

Untwine

Written by: Edwidge Danticat

Narrated by: Bahni Turpin

For ages: 12+

Award-winning author Edwidge Danticat brings her extraordinary talent to this graceful and unflinching examination of the bonds of friendship, romance, family, the horrors of loss, and the strength we must discover in ourselves when all seems hopeless.

 

Spin

Written by: Lamar Giles

Narrated by: Bahni Turpin, Shawana Carter, and Sisi Aisha Johnson

For ages: 12+

When rising star Paris Secord (aka DJ ParSec) is found dead on her turntables, it sends the local music scene reeling. No one is feeling that grief more than her shunned pre-fame best friend, Kya, and ParSec's chief groupie, Fuse – two sworn enemies who happened to be the ones who discovered her body. Don’t miss this story of a fandom that will stop at nothing in their obsessive quest for answers.

 

You Should See Me in a Crown

Written by: Leah Johnson

Narrated by: Alaska Jackson

For ages: 12+

Liz Lighty is running for prom queen to win a scholarship for college. Will falling for a fellow prom queen contender keep her from her dreams…or help them come true?

 

Love Is The Drug

Written by: Alaya Dawn Johnson

Narrated by: Simone Missick

For ages: 14+

Emily Bird was raised not to ask questions. But a chance meeting with a homeland security agent at a party leads to Bird waking up in a hospital, days later, with no memory of the end of the night. Meanwhile the world has fallen apart, and the agent is convinced Bird knows something. As time goes on, Bird finds that she might know more than she remembers. And what she knows could unleash the biggest government scandal in US history…

Plus, don’t miss these three titles coming out later this year:

Overwatch: The Hero of Numbani

Written by: Nicky Drayden

Narrated by: Cherrelle Skeete

For ages: 12+

On sale: August 2020

The world still needs heroes. Are you with us? Enter the first-ever original novel for Overwatch, the worldwide gaming sensation from Blizzard Entertainment!

 

The True Definition of Neva Beane

Written by: Christine Kendall

Narrated by: Channie Waites

For ages: 8-12

On sale: September 2020

The True Definition of Neva Beane is the story of a girl whose dictionary is helping make sense of the world, her changing body, friendships, and a family that's struggling to stay strong amidst the turbulent backdrop of activism, across generations.

 

All Because You Matter

Written by: Tami Charles

Narrated by: Tami Charles

For ages: 4-8

On sale: October 2020

A lyrical, heart-lifting love letter to black and brown children everywhere: reminding them how much they matter, that they have always mattered, and they always will, from powerhouse rising star author Tami Charles.