March a Graphic Novel By John Lewis, Nate Powell, and Andrew Aydin
First in a trilogy, this graphic novel is covered in awards. March is a harrowing account of Representative John Lewis’ childhood and beginning civil rights activism. The illustrations can be tough to look at, but it’s an important time in history to study and remember. It’s an absolutely stunning account of a part of our history that isn’t that far back.
Listen to an excerpt above!
Dear Martin by Nic Stone
Dear Martin is Nic Stone’s debut novel, and it is spectacular. Justyce is one of the only black boys in his fancy white private school. He starts writing letters to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as a way to understand what is going on around him. Police brutality is at the center of this timely and well written novel.
The Rock and the River by Kekla Magoon
It’s 1968 in Chicago and Sam’s father is a civil rights activist, specifically a nonviolent one. When Sam’s brother gets involved with the Black Panthers, Sam is stuck wondering if change needs violence or if he will follow in his father’s footsteps.
Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
Laurie Halse Anderson is an incredibly prolific writer and in Chains she has created characters who are easy to root for. Isabel is just 13 years old and after freedom is promised to her and her sister, it’s swiftly taken away and her dreams of not being a slave are out of reach once again. This first book in a trilogy is an action packed historical fiction novel you won’t want to miss!
X: A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon
Malcolm X was a pretty famous figure, but this novel is written by his daughter and it’s all about his childhood. It portrays a side of Malcolm X that you won’t see in the history books and goes all the way into his 20s when he is in prison, and comes out as the Malcolm X we’ve read about.
All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
Written in two perspectives by two different authors, All American Boys is a fascinating story. Rashad was just trying to buy a bag of chips when he gets beaten horribly by a cop. Quinn sees it happen, but is friends with the cop and doesn’t know what to do. This book is spectacularly written and does a great job describing race relations in our current society.