Urban and African American Teen Books

If you like urban and/or African American teen fiction, here are some recently released and upcoming books to look for:
  • Friends ’Til the End (2/09) by ReShonda Tate Billingsley shows how everything is working out for The Good Girlz, until an unexpected tragedy throws everyone for a loop.
  • Kendra (10/08) by Coe Booth creates the vivid voice of a teen trying to find her place in the world, even though nothing is what she thought it would be.
  • Beacon Hills High (9/08) by Mo’Nique Jackson offers a girl’s coming-of-age story, with 21st-century challenges.
  • If Only You Knew: A Hotlanta Novel (10/08) by Denene Millner and Mitzi Miller finds Sydney reeling from a breakup, while at the center of an unfolding murder mystery.
  • India (10/08) and Veronique (3/09) by Victoria Christopher Murray follow four African-American teen girls who form their own singing group.
  • Amiri and Odette: A Love Story (1/09) by Walter Dean Myers is part poem, part love story, part rap and rhapsody, and book celebrates two hearts that beat together on the mean streets.
  • Dope Sick (2/09) by Walter Dean Myers spins a harrowing urban tale of recreational drug use, violence, perceptions of reality, and second chances.
  • Chameleon (9/08) by Charles R. Smith Jr. evokes the bittersweet summer of transition for an inner-city Los Angeles teen.
  • Trouble in My Way (11/08) by Michelle Stimpson follows Keris, a good-but-grounded teen trying to bend the rules.
  • Hollywood & Maine (1/09) by Allison Whittenberg is about tenth-grader Charmaine experiencing both her first romance and the dream of becoming a Hollywood celebrity.
  • Jumped (3/09) by Rita Williams-Garcia is a gritty novel about bullying and its consequences.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this list. I'm trying to find some books about AA teen girls that my daughter's private school book club could read. Jerry Spinelli isn't the only voice of girls lives (Stargirl). I'm looking for a book where being black is only a part of the story, one part of the girl's definition, and I don't want drugs, teen pregnancy, or domestic violence. Any more suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

The Kids at Latimar High series is a good start. It's fresh, realistic, and funny. My daughter and I read it together and enjoyed it! The author is Debbie Copeland. Also, The Lipgloss Chronicles, another new series. Should be released in May. The author is Sheila Goss. Hope this helps. =)

Gretchen said...

I really like Sweet Thang by Allison Whittenberg. There is a little bit of swearing, but nothing outrageous. And the family is a loving, intact group. It is great for middle schoolers.

Anonymous said...

I would like to suggest Hannah Faye Books. You can go to arapperscollege.weebly.com and click on Current Books for a selection. She is new and there are only two that I would really recommend for teens...they both contain strong language: A Rapper's College and Why You Parents Hate You: Speshally 4 U Teens. The title of the latter is a little misleading. It is actually a really good advice book for teens.