2022 Black/African American Authored MG&YA Books

Don’t ever think there’s a single story for people of African descent in the United States. From the very beginning, some of us were from western Africa, while other were from the north. Some were explorers while too many others were enslaved. Some were always free, others had to purchase freedom or to fight for it. African Americans experienced all of this in our country’s history while Blacks are newer immigrants. This list of books includes African Americans, Ghanaian Americans, Afro Latine/x, Dominican Amerians, and Blacks who reside in England, Canada, and Nigeria.There is no single story.

People of African descent have practiced many different faith systems, developed a variety of skills, and attained various levels of education. We’ve built highly successful careers in the United States. We have been publishers, engravers, artisans, cattle ranchers, pilots, poets, entrepreneurs and business leaders, entertainers… name it! That diversity is finally, finally, beginning to be reflected in the stories that are being published in the United States by mainstream publishers.

This year’s list has names like Traci L. Jones, Barbara Binns, Coe Booth, and Debbie Rigaud that have I haven’t seen in quite a while. There are multiple books from Justin A. Reynolds, Stephanie Keuhn, Kekla Magoon, Zetta Elliott, J. Elle and Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich.

Of course this list isn’t as long as it should be. Of course there is too much gatekeeping and whitewashing that occurs in and around these books because the number of those employed in publishing itself who manage these books remains even whiter that the pool of authors. This is one of the reasons why workers at HarperCollins are on strike. Still, this year’s list has grown from 56 fiction titles in 2010 (the year Zetta Elliott and I began this project) to 209 books in 2022. Last year, I counted 144. Let’s assume there were 6000 MG & YA books published in 2022 (here’s how I get that number). We’re looking at 3% of these books being authored by Black writers. The mere fact that someone can list them all should tell you there aren’t very many.

When I realized that I’d spent over a week doing my initial work to prepare this list, I sensed the list had grown a bit. There are a lot of debut authors on this list, and among them are people who have build careers as blues singers, screen writers, comic artists, leaders in tech fields, chefs, and actors. Will these books be one-offs, or will they continue their careers in this direction? Only time will tell.

As I’m posting now, the list is at 209 books. However, I know this is an incomplete list. PLEASE!! @me on the socials or drop a comment to let me know the MG or YA books I’m missing. They should be from traditionally published (large or small publishers) to maintain consistency.

We’ve demanded these stories for over 100 years. Parents have wanted them for their children; teachers have searched for books by Black authors for their curriculum and people like Langston Hughes, Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop and librarian Augusta Baker have demanded these books to so that all children could expand their notion of what it means to be an American. We cannot stop now. The size of increase may seem impressive considering where we were 10, 50 or 75 years ago, but it’s still a ripple in a pond. Keep buying books by Black authors. Don’t let publishers develop a short memory and forget what diversity and inclusion mean to all of us. Write letters or visit you school and library boards to let administrators know you support these books; get ahead of short sighted people who want to censor or ban books by BIPOC authors. Request your local library to purchase them. Let you friends on Facebook know which of these books you’ve enjoyed by recommending them in your posts. Give them as gifts.

Because, Black stories matter.

  1. African Town by Charles Waters and Irene Latham. G.P. Putnam’s Sons
  2. Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me ’Round: My Story of the Making of Martin Luther King Day by Kathlyn J. Kirkwood. Versify
  3. The Chosen One: A First-Generation Ivy League Odyssey by Echo Brown. Christy Ottaviano Books
  4. The Girl in the Lake by India Hill Brown. Scholastic Press
  5. How to Fight Racism: A Guide to Standing Up for Racial Justice (Young Reader’s Edition) by Jemar Tisby and Josh Mosey. Zonderkidz
  6. The Kindred by Alechia Dow. Inkyar
  7. One True Loves by Elise Bryand. HarperTeen
  8. Operation Sisterhood by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich. Crown
  9. Overground Railroad: The Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in American (YA adaption) by Candacy Taylor. Amulet Books
  10. Pizza My Heart: A Wish Novel by Rhiannon Richarson. Scholastic
  11. Pauli Murray: The Life of A Pioneering Feminist and Civil Rights Activity by Rosita Stevens-Holsey and Terry Catasus Jennings. Yellow Jacket
  12. She Persisted: Coretta Scott King by Kelly Starling Lyons and Gillian Flint. Philome
  13. Symbiosis (Shuri: A Black Panther Novel #3) by Nick Stone. Scholastic
  14. The Upper World by Femi Fadugba. HarperTeen
  15. Ain’t burned All The Bright by Jason Reynolds and Jason Griffin. Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
  16. Ashes of Gold (Wings of Ebony) by J. Elle. Denene Millner/Simon and Schuster
  17. Mango Delight: Mango All the Time by Fracaswell Hyman. Sterling Children’s Books
  18. The Monarchs (The Ravens) by Kass Morgan and Danielle Paige. Clarion
  19. When Winter Robeson Came by Brenda Woods. Nancy Paulsen Books
  20. Who Sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott?: Rosa Parks: A Who HQ Graphic Novel by Insha Fitzpatrick, Abelle Hayford and Hanna Schroy. Penguin Workshop
  21. Vinyl Moon by Mahogany L. Browne. Crown Books
  22. Akata Woman by Nnedi Okorafor. Viking
  23. Freedom! The Story of the Black Panther Party by J.G. Martin, J. Bloom & W.E. Martin Jr. Levine Querido
  24. The Mirror Shattered Midnight by Dhonielle Clayton. Disney-Hyperion
  25. The Witch’s Apprentice (Dragons in a Bag) by Zetta Elliott. Random House
  26. Augusta Savage: The Shape of a Sculptor’s Life by Marilyn Nelson. Christy Ottaviano Books
  27. Dream Annie, Dream by Waka T. Brown. Quill Tree Books
  28. Mister Miracle: The Great Escape by Varian Johnson. DC Comics
  29. Star Child by Ibi Zoboi. Penguin Dutton
  30. And We Rise: The Civil Rights Movement in Poems by Erica Martin, Philomel
  31. Black History Matters by Robin Walker. Franklin Watts
  32. Black Panther Spellbound by Ronald L. Smith. Marvel Press
  33. Cameron Battle and the Hidden Kingdoms by Jamar J. Perry. Bloomsbury
  34. Freewater by Amina Luqman-Dawson. Little, Brown
  35. Kemosha of the Caribbean by Alex Wheatle. Black Sheep
  36. Murder of Crows (Lethal Lit, Novel #1) by K. Ancrum. Scholastic Inc.
  37. When the World Turned Upside Down by K. Ibura. Scholastic
  38. Bold Words from Black Women Inspiration and Truths from 50 Extraordinary Leaders by Tamara Pizzoli and Monica Ahanonu. S&S/Millner
  39. Cherish Farrah by Bethany C. Morrow. Dutton Books
  40. A Comb of Wishes by Lisa Stringfellow. Quill Tree Books
  41. Mirror Girls by Kelly McWilliams. Little, Brown
  42. You Truly Assumed by Laila Sabreen. Inkyard Press
  43. Bitter by Akwaeke Emezi. Knopf
  44. Just Right Jillian by Nicole D. Collier. Versify
  45. Adora and the Distance by Mark Bernaroin. Dark Horse Comics
  46. Alicia Keys Girl of Fire by Alicia Keys and Andrew Weiner; illustrated by Brittney Williams. Harper Alley
  47. Blood Scion (Blood Scion #1) by Deborah Falaye. HarperTeen
  48. Caprice by Coe Booth. Scholastic
  49. Every Variable of Us by Charles A. Bush. Flux
  50. Pilar Ramirez and the Escape from Zafa by Julian Randall. Henry Holt & C
  51. Black Girls Unbossed: Young World Changers Leading the Way by Khristi Lauren Adams. Beaming Books
  52. Okoye to the People: A Black Panther Novel by Ibi Zoboi, illus. by Noa Denmon. Marvel Press
  53. The Rumor Game by Dhonielle Clayton and Sona Charaipotra. Disney Hyperion
  54. Turning by Joy L. Smith. Denene Millner Books
  55. The Black Hole by L. Marie Wood. Mocha Memoirs Press
  56. Right Where I Left You by Julian Winters. Viking
  57. The Deep Blue Between by Ayesha Harruna Attah. Carolrhoda Lab
  58. Survive the Dome by Kosoko Jackson. Sourcebooks Fire
  59. Afrotistic by Kala Allen Omeiza. I’m Heard. YA
  60. Nothing Burns as Bright as You by Ashley Woodfolk. Versify
  61. A Perfect Score (Hunt A Killer Original Novel) by A. M. Ellis. Scholastic
  62. It’s the End of the World and I’m in My Bathing Suit by Justin A. Reynolds. Scholastic Press
  63. Nothing Burns as Bright as You by Ashley Woodfolk. YA
  64. Saving Earth: Climate Change and the Fight for Our Future by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, illus. by Tim Foley. FSG
  65. Scout’s Honor by Lily Anderson. Henry Holt
  66. Simon B. Rhymin’ Takes a Stand (Simon B. Rhymin’ 2) by Dwayne Reed. Little, Brown
  67. You Are More Than Magic: The Black and Brown Girls’ Guide to Finding Your Voice by Minda Harts. Dial Books
  68. The Lucky Ones by Linda Williams Jackson. Candlewick
  69. Moonwalking by Zetta Elliott and Lyn Miller-Lachmann.  Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  70. Red Panda and Moon Bear: The Curse of the Evil Eye (Book 2) by Jarod Roselló. Top Shelf Productions 
  71. Shuri and T’Challa: Into the Heartlands by Roseanne A. Brown, illus. by Dika Araújo et al.. Graphix
  72. Unfadeable by Maurice Broaddus. Katherine Tegen Books
  73. Windmaker Vol 1 by Roye Okupe, Sunkanmie Akinboy and Toyin Anetunmobi. Dark Horse Press
  74. In the Key of Us by Mariama Lockington. Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  75. Burn Down, Rise Up by Vincent Tirado. Sourcebook Fire.
  76. Confessions of an Alleged Good Girl by Joya Goffney. HarperTeen.
  77. Inheritance by Elizabeth Acevedo and illustrated by Andrea Pippins. Quill TreeBooks. Ages 12 and up
  78. The Marvellers (Marvellerverse #1) by Dhonielle Clayton, illus, by Khadijah Khatib. Henry Holt and Co. Ages 9-12.
  79. Unequal: A Story of America by Michael Eric Dyson and Marc Favreau.
  80. Wildseed Witch (Book 1) by Marti Dumas. Amulet Books ages 10-14
  81. Cookies and Milk by Shawn Amos. Little, Brown. Ages 8-12
  82. How to Live Without You by Sarah Everett. Clarion Books
  83. Rising Troublemaker: A Fear-Fighter Manual for Teens by Luvvie Ajayi Jones. Philomel
  84. Break This House by Candice Iloh. Penguin Young Readers. ages 9-12
  85. Mae Makes a Way: The True Story of Mae Reeves, Hat & History Maker by Olugbemisola Rhudya-Perkovich. Ages 7-10
  86. Only on the Weekends by Dean Atta. Balzer+Bray
  87. All Signs Point to Yes ed. by G. Haron Davis, Cam Montgomery and Adrianne White. Inkyard
  88. Deep in Providence by Riss M. Nelson. Henry Holt
  89. Finding Jupiter by Kelis Rowe. Crown Books
  90. Kings of B’More by R. Eric Thomas. Kokila
  91. Islands Apart: Becoming Dominican American by Jasminne Mendez. Pinata Books
  92. Love Radio by Ebony Ladelle. Simon and Schuster
  93. The Merciless Ones (The Gilded Onese #2) by Namina Forna. Delacorte
  94. Happy Monstah: An Action-Adventure Multicultural Graphic Novel by Tiana Scott and Nia Scott. Andrews MeMeel Publishing
  95. Batter Royale by Leisl Adams. Amulet Books
  96. Because of You, John Lewis by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illus. by Keith Henry Brown. Scholastic MG
  97. Empress Crowned in Red by Ciannon Smart. HarperTeen
  98. Fibbed by Elizabeh Agyemang. Razorbill
  99. From Me to You: The Power of Storytelling and it’s Inherent Generational Wealth – An African American Story by Deidra Moore. Mascot Books
  100. Funny Gyal: My Fight Against Homophobia in Jamaica by Angeline Jackson, with Susan McClelland. Dundurn Press
  101. The Loophole by Naz Kutub. Bloomsbury YA
  102. Omari McQueen’s Best Bites Cookbook by Omari McQueen. BuzzPop
  103. She Persisted : Marian Anderson by Katheryn Russell-Brown and Gillian Flint. Philomel Books
  104. Zyla and Kai by Kristina Forest. Kokila
  105. Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun by Tolá Okogwu. Margaret K. McElderry Books
  106. The Sun Does Shine: An Innocent Man, a Wrongful Conviction, and the Long Path to Justice (Young Readers ed.) by Anthony Ray Hinton with Lara Love Hardin and Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich. Feiwel and Friends.
  107. That Summer Night on Frenchman Street by Chris Clarkson. Tu Book
  108. We Weren’t Looking to Be Found by Stephanie Kuehn. Disney Hyperion
  109. This Wicked Fate (This Poison Heart) by Kalynn Bayron. Bloomsbury YA
  110. Bad Things Happen Here by Rebecca Barrow. Margaret K. McElderry Book
  111. The Black Girls Left Standing by Juliana Goodman. Feiwel and Friends
  112. High Score by Destiny Howell. Scholastic
  113. The Kaya Girl by Mamle Wolo. Little Brown Books
  114. My Name Is Jason. Mine Too. by Jason Reynolds and Jason Griffin. Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
  115. Chester Keen Cracks the Code by Kekla Magoon. Wendy Lamb Books
  116. Ransoming the Captive by Traci L. Jones. Black Rose Writing
  117. Be Real Macy Weaver by Lakita Wilson. Viking
  118. Oblivion Rouge : The Hakkinen (vol 1) by Pap Souleye Fall and Saturday AM. Rockport Publishers
  119. The Royal Trials (Last Gate Emperor #2)by Kwame Mbalia and Prince Joel Makonnen. Scholastic
  120. Beasts of Ruin by Ayana Gray. G.P. Putnam’s Sons
  121. Elephant Girl by Ellen Banda-Aaku and James Patterson. Jimmy Patterson
  122. Children of the Quicksands by Efua Traore. Chicken House Press
  123. Twice as Perfect by Louisa Onomé. Feiwel and Friends
  124. The Witchery by S. Isabelle. Scholastic Press
  125. Booked Graphic Novel by Kwame Alexander and Dawud Anyabwile Oblivion. Clarion
  126. A Girl’s Guide to Love & Magic Debbie Rigaud. Scholastic
  127. I Rise by Marie Arnold. Versify
  128. Isaiah Dunn Saves the Day by Kelly J. Baptist. Crown Books
  129. A Taste of Magic by J. Elle. Bloomsbury Children.
  130. The Tyrell Show: Season One by Miles Grose, illus. by Shaz Enrico Lym. Scholastic
  131. Walking Gentry Home by Alora Young. Hogarth
  132. Blood Like Fate by Liselle Sambury. Margaret K. McElderry
  133. How You Grow Wings by Rimma Onoseta. Algonquin
  134. Sisters of the Reckoning by Charlotte Nicole Davis. Tor Teen
  135. The Undead Truth of Us by Britney S. Lewis. Disney Hyperion
  136. It’s Her Story Josephine Baker: A Graphic Novel by Lauren Gamble, illus. by Markia Jenai. Sunbird Books
  137. Amari and the Great Game (Supernatural Investigations #2) by B. B. Alston. Balzer + Bray
  138. Seton Girls by Charlene Thomas. Dutton
  139. The Beginnings: 1939 (Exploring Civil Rights) by Jay Leslie. Franklin Watt
  140. Black Panther: Uprising (The Young Prince) by Ronald Smith. Marvel Press
  141. Eden’s Everdark by Karen Strong. Simon & Schuster
  142. Film Makers: 15 Groundbreaking Women Directors (Women of Power #5) by Lyn Miller-Lachmann and Tanisia Moore. Chicago Review Press
  143. Lotus Bloom and the Afro Revolution by Sherri Winston. Bloomsbury
  144. Moonflower by Kacen Calender. Scholastic
  145. Prank Day by Kel Mitchell. Thomas Nelson
  146. Serwa Boateng’s Guide to Vampire Hunting by Roseanne A. Brown. Rick Riordan Presents
  147. Shot Clock by Caron Butler and Justin A. Reynolds. Katherine Tegen Books
  148. We Were the Fire: Birmingham 1963 by Shelia P. Moses. Nancy Paulsen Books
  149. The Weight of Blood by Tiffany D. Jackson. Katherine Tegen Books
  150. Astrology for Black Girls: A Beginner’s Guide for Black Girls Who Look to the Stars by Jordannah Elizabeth and Chellie Carroll. Running Press Kid
  151. Maya and the Lord of Shadows (Maya and the Rising Dark, Bk. 3) by Rena Barron. ClarionBook
  152. Call Him Jack: The Story of Jackie Robinson, Black Freedom Fighter by Yohuru Williams and Michael G. Long. FSG
  153. Crabgrass: Comic Adventures by Tauhid Bondia. McMeel Publishing
  154. Eternally Yours by Patrice Caldwell. Viking
  155. The Getaway by Lamar Giles. Scholastic
  156. If You Lived During the Civil War by Denise Lewis Patrick and Alleanna Harris. Scholastic Press
  157. MapMaker by Lisa Moore Ramée. Balzer+Bray
  158. Rust in the Root by Justina Ireland. Balzer+Bray
  159. Snitchers by Stephane Dunn. Cinco Puntos
  160. Until We Break by Matthew Dawkins. Wattpad
  161. The Vanquishers by Kalynn Bayron. Bloomsbury
  162. Black Trailblazers: 30 Courageous Visionaries Who Broke Boundaries, Made a Difference, and Paved the Way by Bijan Bayne, illus. by Joelle Avelino. Andrews McMeel
  163. The Door of No Return by Kwame Alexander. Little, Brown
  164. The Flag Never Touched the Ground: America’s Brave Black Regiment in Battle by Kekla Magoon and Thy Bui. Pushkin Children’s Book
  165. Holler of the Fireflies by David Barclay Moore. Random/Knopf
  166. How to Succeed in Witchcraft by Aislinn Brophy. G. P. Putnam’s Sons
  167. House of Hunger by Alexis Henderson. Ace
  168. The Keeper by Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes; illustrated by Marco Finnegan. Abrams
  169. Lark & Kasim Start a Revolution by Kacen Callender. Amulet Books
  170. Opening My Eyes Underwater: Essays on Hope, Humanity, and Our Hero Michelle Obama by Ashley Woodfolk. Feiwel and Friends
  171. Rain Rising by Courtne Comrie. HarperCollins
  172. Ruby Finley vs the Interstellar Invasion K. Tempest Bradford. FSG
  173. Victory. Stand! Raising My Fist for Justice by Tommie Smith and Derrick Barnes, illus. by Dawud Anyabwile. Norton
  174. Ways to Share Joy (A Ryan Hart Story #3) by Renée Watson; illustrated by Nin Mata.  Bloomsbury
  175. Africana: An Encyclopedia of an Amazing Continent by Kim Chakanetsa, illus. by Mayowa Alabi. Wide Eyed Editions
  176. The Antiracist Kid: A Book About Identity, Justice, and Activism by Tiffany Jewell, illus. by Nicole Miles. Versify
  177. By the Time You Read This I’ll Be Gone (Murder She Wrote #1) by Stephanie Kuehn. Scholastic Press
  178. Children of Stardust by Edudzi Adodo, illus. by Abelle Hayford. Norton Young Readers
  179. Monarch Rising by Harper Glenn. Scholastic Press
  180. Nothing Special (African American Life) by Desiree Cooper, illus. by Bec Sloane.
  181. Undercover Latina by Aya de León. Candlewick
  182. Don’t Look Back: A Memoir of War, Survival, and My Journey from Sudan to America by Achut Deng and Keely Hutton. FSG
  183. Somebody That I Used to Know by Dana L. Davis. Skyscape
  184. We Are the Scribes by Randi Pink. Feiwel and Friends
  185. Unlawful Orders: A Portrait of Dr. James B. Williams, Tuskegee Airman, Surgeon, and Activist by Barbara Binns. Scholastic
  186. Garvey in the Dark by Nikki Grimes. Worldsong
  187. The Sevenfold Hunters by Rose Egal. Page Street Kids
  188. If You Traveled on the Underground Railroad by Ebony Wilkins. Scholastic
  189. Miles Morales: Stranger Tides by Justin A. Reynolds and Pable Leon. Scholastic/Graphix
  190. Who Is the Man in the Air?: Michael Jordan: A Who HQ Graphic Novel by Gabe Soria and Brittany Williams. Penguin Workshop
  191. Black Internet Effect by Shavone Charles, illus. by Ashley Lukashevsky. Penguin Workshop
  192. The Book of Black Heroes and Groundbreakers by M.J. Fievre. Dragonfruit
  193. Briarcliff Prep by Brianna Peppins. Disney Hyperion
  194. Futureland: Battle for the Park by H. D. Hunter and Khadijah Khatib. Random House
  195. Bloodmarked (Legendborn Cycle #2) by Tracy Deonn. Simon and Schuster
  196. Nubia: The Awakening by Omar Epps and Clarence A. Haynes. Delacorte
  197. Apple Black vol 2 Rockpoert Edition: Sunny Eyes by Odunze Oguguo, Sunday AM and Whyt Mango. Rockport Publishers
  198. Terry’s Crew by Terry Crews. Little, Brown Books
  199. Whiteout: A Novel by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, Nicola Yoon. HarperCollins
  200. Beneath the Burning Wave by Jennifer Hayashi Danns. One More Chapter
  201. Briarcliff Prep by Brianna Peppins. Disney Hyperion
  202. Caste (Adapted for Young Adults) by Isabel Wilkerson. Delacorte
  203. The Frenemy Zone by Yolanda Wallace. Bold Strokes Books
  204. Human Body Learning Lab: Take an Inside Tour of How Your Body’s Anatomy Works by Betty Choi, MD. Storey Publishing
  205. Other Side of the Tracks by Charity Alyse. Denene Millner/Simon & Schuster
  206. Who is Ketanji Brown Jackson by Shelia P. Moses.  Delacorte Press
  207. A Child’s Introduction to Jazz: The Musicians, Culture and Roods of the World’s Coolest Music by Jabari Asim and Jerrard K Polk. Black Dog Leventhal
  208. What Was Reconstruction? By Sherri L. Smith. Penguin Workshop
  209. We Deserve Monuments by Jas Hammonds. Roaring Brook Press

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