Good Reads: Books by Black Authors


Good Reads: Books by Black Authors

I love books because they do not talk back. I can read something and have time to reflect and to re-read. Reading helps me see perspectives that I may not otherwise see, and it helps me gain insight into topics I am not knowledgeable about.

As an English teacher, I have seen a decline in reading across the board. I suspect this is because we can get all of our information from the web in seconds. And while that has its perks, I feel the art of reading is slowly moving away from young people. Even more, away from adults. I can’t count the number of times I see people post online based on a headline without having read the entire article. That’s why it’s important that we take the time to become knowledgeable about issues that are important to us, and that starts with reading.

As we celebrate Black History Month, I’ve compiled a list of books by African American authors. I think it’s important for all children to see themselves in books and to see others reading about people who look like them. The list below ranges from board books to teen series and includes a couple of great adult books that help bring insight into African American culture. While this list does not scratch the surface of books by African American authors, these are books that my kids, students and I have enjoyed over the years! Happy Reading!


Please Baby Please by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee

Whose toes are those? by Jabari Asim

Baby Says by John Steptoe

Young Children

The Adventures of King: My Red Guitar by David L. Yancey (Local Author)

Dancing in the Wings by Debbie Allen and Kadir Nelson

Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale by John Steptoe

The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson

Max and the Tag-Along Moon by Floyd Cooper

Tween/Middle School

As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds

The Steam Chasers: We made that by Doresa A. Jenning

Blended by Sharon Draper

The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

Tristan Strong Punches A Hole in the Sky (Vol 1) by Kwame Mbalia


Children of Blood and Bones by Tomi Adeyemi

Monster by Walter Dean Myers

Calling My Name by Liara Tamani

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds


Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reed

Black Leopard Red Wolf by Marlon James

Do you have books you’d add to this list? Let us know by leaving a comment below!


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