African-American Authors (Young Adult Fiction)

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Article in Young Adult Fiction and African American

Jaime Adoff

In this book in verse, 12 year old Keith leaves Brooklyn after his dad's death and has to deal with racism with the music of Jimi Hendrix.

Coe Booth

Tyrell doesn't want to end up like his dad in prison. But how else is he going to get some money to impress the girls when he lives in homeless shelter?

Christopher Paul Curtis

Kenny and his family's funny road-trip from Flint, Michigan to Birmingham, Alabama turns serious when they face tragedy at Grandma's church.

Tanita Davis

In alternating chapters, sixteen-year-old twins Ysabel and Justin share their conflicted feelings as they struggle to come to terms with their father's decision to dress as a woman.

Teens Octavia and Tali learn about strength, independence, and courage when they are forced to take a car trip with their grandmother, who tells about growing up Black in 1940s Alabama and serving in Europe during World War II as a member of the Women's Army Corps.

L. Divine

Sharon Draper

Hazelwood High

Jericho is psyched to be pledging the Warriors of Distinction, the coolest club in high school. Can he stand up when the pledging pushes his Dana too far?

Sharon Flake

After being homeless, all Raspberry can think of are schemes to make money. She's worried, though, that that won't fix what's really wrong with her life. Read more about her struggles with her dad in Begging for Change

Nikki Grimes

Poet Nikki Grimes gives us the parallel stories of Ishmael, son of Abraham and Sam, a teen in New York and their similar father-issues.

Angela Johnson

Sixteen year old Bobby was living it up in New York until he and his girlfriend Nia realize they are going to be parents. Will they keep the baby or give it up for adoption?

Janet McDonald

Cameron is the only white girl living in her projects. Or is she? Her mother's revelation makes her question her identity.

Walter Mosley

47 is the name of a 14 year old slave who learns about magic and freedom from runaway Tall John.

Shelia P. Moses

Walter Dean Myers

While on trial as an accomplice to a murder, sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon records his experiences in prison and in the courtroom in the form of a film script as he tries to come to terms with the course his life has taken.

This story told in free verse is set against a background of street gangs and poverty in Harlem in which seventeen-year-old African American Damien takes a bold step to ensure that he and his new love will not be separated.

Teenaged Robin "Birdy" Perry knew serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom wouldn't be like the living in Harlem, but he didn't know how close he would become to Marla, Jonsey and the rest of the soldiers he meets. Not all of them come home.

Lori Aurelia Williams

There's only one place in town that will hire a 14 year old drop out: the local strip club. But China Cup Cameron only has her paralyzed uncle for support and she's trying to raise a two year old daughter. Will she make the right decision?

Sherri Winston

Kayla's grandmother taught her to be a feminist before she died. Her friend and fellow feminist Rosalie thinks Kayla should infiltrate the dance team for the school newpaper. Is there more than one way to have girl power?

Jacqueline Woodson

It's 1996 and Neeka and her friend are locked down on the block. Not D, though. She's a foster kid who roams New York. The girls bond of Tupac but do they ever really know each other?

Bil Wright

Lahini is the only black girl in her school . . . and in her family. Now that her parents are separated, she feels more alone than ever. To pull off a solo in the school concert, she turns to the gospel choir of her new church and finds a place to belong.