Celebrate this Black History Month with books for tween readers by Black authors. These books are generally for children between 8 and 12 years old and feature themes centered on family, friendships, pursuing personal interests, and experiencing emotions. The protagonists are witty, charming, and brave, and if that sounds like your tween, then we’ve rounded up some top-rated picks from Amazon that come with rave reviews.
Amari and The Night Brothers by B.B. Alston
This fantasy novel is the first of a supernatural series following Amari, whom we meet defending her family and embarking on a quest to find her brother who went missing. Along the way, she’ll develop her identity and sense of right versus wrong.
Becoming: Adapted for Young Readers by Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama’s original memoir detailing her childhood, finding her voice, her role in the political sphere, and motherhood was adapted for younger readers who will see what they can accomplish with tenacity.
Black Boy Joy: 17 Stories Celebrating Black Boyhood edited by Kwame Mbalia
This anthology features accounts and advice from male and nonbinary authors celebrating boyhood- the good, the bad, and the challenging. The narratives are presented as short stories, poems, and comics.
Portico’s sworn duty is to keep everyone safe, especially while he faces his own threats: a bully, arguing parents, and anxiety. In the end, will he be triumphant? Like every superhero worth their salt, his adventures are told through animated text and illustrations that draw the reader in.
The 1619 Project: Born on the Water by Renée Watson and Nikole Hannah-Jones
Adapted from "The 1619 Project," which contextualizes the history and legacy of slavery in America, this book follows a student’s attempt to trace their family genealogy and their grandmother’s explanation of how their family history is related to the wider backdrop of slavery.
Marcus finally has a chance to make his dream come true: bring his superhero cartoon to life through a superhero movie. In his book, he demonstrates what can be accomplished when you’re determined, seek help, and stick to your passion.
"Scoob" goes on a road trip with his eccentric grandma, who seems to have some secrets. As they travel through the South, Scoob learns about race and history, and family relationships and secrets, that impact how he sees his beloved grandma.
Isabella is an 11-year-old biracial girl who is challenged to find her fit within the two sides of her family. Her parents are of different races and different levels of wealth, and Isabella sees that she has a lot to sort out for herself.
Ebony- Grace is a 12-year-old girl who is passionate about space exploration. Originally from Alabama, she spends a summer in New York and experiences a world entirely different from what she is used to, yet she bravely decides to find her place.