List curated by Kavita & Ari
In honor of Black History Month, we're sharing book recommendations for all ages! This list highlights some of our favorite middle grade fiction by Black authors. Middle grade fiction is geared towards children ages 8 to 12, but can also be enjoyed by teens and adults! Be sure to check out these books, and to read Black authors all year long, not just in February.
From the Desk of Zoe Washington
by Janae Marks: Avid baker Zoe Washington receives a letter on her twelfth birthday from her biological father, who is in prison for a terrible crime.
Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky
by Kwame Mbalia: Seventh-grader Tristan Strong tumbles into the MidPass and, with allies John Henry and Brer Rabbit, must entice the god Anansi to come out of hiding and seal the hole Tristan accidentally ripped in the sky.
The Forgotten Girl
by India Hill Brown: When eleven-year-old Iris sneaks out at night to make snow angels, she was not expecting to raise the ghost of Avery Moore, a girl her own age; but bringing to light the segregated and abandoned black cemetery seems like the perfect way to help Avery getthe recognition she craves, and it will also be a good idea for the school project about the history of her small North Carolina town, where racial tensions are never far from the surface--only it seems that if Avery gets everything she wants Iris will join her as a ghost, best friends forever.
A Good Kind of Trouble
by Lisa Moore Ramée: After attending a powerful protest, Shayla starts wearing an armband to school to support the Black Lives Matter movement, but when the school gives her an ultimatum, she is forced to choose between her education and her identity.
Something to Say
by Lisa Moore Ramée: A friendless girl who has developed a knack for keeping her head down at school resists a red-headed newcomer who wants to make friends, before the two are paired for a class assignment that she hopes will secure her position on the debate team
by Sharon M. Draper: Piano-prodigy Isabella, eleven, whose black father and white mother struggle to share custody, never feels whole, especially as racial tensions affect her school, her parents both become engaged, and she and her stepbrother are stopped by police.
For Black Girls Like Me
by Mariama J. Lockington: Eleven-year-old Makeda dreams of meeting her African American mother, while coping with serious problems in her white adopted family, a cross-country move, and being homeschooled.
My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwhich
by Ibi Zoboi: In the summer of 1984, twelve-year-old Ebony-Grace of Huntsville, Alabama, visits her father in Harlem, where her fascination with outer space and science fiction interfere with her finding acceptance.
As Brave as You
by Jason Reynolds: When two brothers decide to prove how brave they are, everything backfires--literally.
by Kwame Alexander: Fourteen-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health.
Betty Before X
by Ilyasah Shabazz & Renée Watson: Raised by her aunt until she is six, Betty, who will later marry Malcolm X, joins her mother and stepfamily in 1940s Detroit, where she learns about the civil rights movement.
Some Places More than Others
by Renée Watson: Amara visits her father's family in Harlem for her twelfth birthday, hoping to better understand her family and herself, but New York City is not what she expected.
by Nic Stone: William Lamar, known as "Scoob," goes on a road trip thorugh the South with his grandmother in her recreational vehicle, visiting some of the major sites in the Civil Rights movement and learning about how people like him have been treated.
Black Brother, Black Brother
by Jewell Parker Rhodes: When an incident with "King" Alan leads to Donte's arrest and suspension, he knows the only way to get even is to beat the king of the school at his own game: fencing.
Brown Girl Dreaming
by Jacqueline Woodson: The author shares her childhood memories and reveals the first sparks that ignited her writing career in free-verse poems about growing up in the North and South.
by Paula Chase: When best friends Metai and Jamila are reunited after a summer apart, their friendship threatens to combust from the pressure of secrets, middle school, and looming auditions for a potentially life-changing new talented-and-gifted program.
The Usual Suspects
by Maurice Broaddus: Thelonius Mitchell, a special education student known for his pranks and tired of being labeled, is falsely accused of hiding a gun at a neighborhood hangout and tries to clear his name with the help of his best friend.
Love Like Sky
by Leslie C. Youngblood: Eleven-year-old Georgie is still adjusting to leaving Atlanta for a small town, having a stepfather, and being unable to get close to her stepsister when her six-year-old sister, Peaches, suddenly becomes very ill.
Isaiah Dunn is My Hero
by Kelly J. Baptist: Referring to his late father's journal for advice on how to be the man of the house, young Isaiah taps the support and ideas of two school friends who help him navigate rules and manage without superpowers.
Genesis Begins Again
by Alicia D. Williams: Thirteen-year-old Genesis tries again and again to lighten her black skin, thinking it is the root of her family's troubles, before discovering reasons to love herself as is.
by Kacen Callendar: Born on Water Island in the Virgin Islands during a hurricane, which is considered bad luck, twelve-year-old Caroline falls in love with another girl--and together they set out in a hurricane to find Caroline's missing mother.
Visit the library's online catalog
to request a book for HPL to Go (curbside pick-up), or check out our online resources
to learn more about ebooks or audiobooks!