We’re celebrating #BlackHistory this month and beyond by digging into books from some of Girls Write Now’s incredible Teaching Artists! These authors have led us through workshops on poetry, fiction, horror stories, novel writing, magical realism, and more. Your 2022 TBR list just got bigger and even better!
by Mahogany l. browne
Penguin Random House
With gritty and heartbreaking honesty, Mahogany L. Browne delivers a novel-in-verse about broken promises, fast rumors, and when growing up means growing apart from your best friend.
Mahogany L. Browne
by dhonielle clayton, tiffany d. jackson, nic stone, angie thomas, ashley woodfolk, and nicola yoon
Six critically acclaimed, bestselling, and award-winning authors bring the glowing warmth and electricity of Black teens in love to this charming, hilarious, and heartwarming novel that shines a bright light through the dark.
Tiffany, Ashley, and Nicola
ida b. the queen
by michelle duster
Ida B. the Queen tells the awe-inspiring story of an pioneering woman who was often overlooked and underestimated—a woman who refused to exit a train car meant for white passengers; a woman brought to light the horrors of lynching in America; a woman who cofounded the NAACP. Written by Wells’s great-granddaughter Michelle Duster, this story is a unique visual celebration written by her granddaughter of Wells’s life, and of the Black experience.
black girl, call home
by jasmine mans
Penguin Random House
An unforgettable poetry collection about race, feminism, and queer identity. With echoes of Gwendolyn Brooks and Sonia Sanchez, Mans writes to call herself—and us—home. Each poem explores what it means to be a daughter of Newark, and America—and the painful, joyous path to adulthood as a young, queer Black woman.
who’s your daddy
by arisa white
A lyrical, genre-bending coming-of-age tale featuring a queer, Black, Guyanese American woman who, while seeking to define her own place in the world, negotiates an estranged relationship with her father.
by natalie baszile
A mother-daughter story of reinvention about an African American woman who unexpectedly inherits a sugarcane farm in Louisiana. She soon learns, however, that cane farming is always going to be a white man’s business. As the sweltering summer unfolds, she struggles to balance the overwhelming challenges of a farm in decline with the demands of family and the startling desires of her own heart.
The vanishing half
by brit bennett
Weaving together multiple strands and generations from the Deep South to California, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person’s decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.
by bernice l. mcfadden
The author brings to life a 1950s Southern black town in a powerful exploration of the sometimes unrelenting depths of grief and despair, the seeds of hope that can grow in even the bleakest of circumstances, and the role that love and friendship can play in helping us find redemption within ourselves.
Bernice L. McFadden
when the reckoning comes
by latanya mcqueen
A haunting novel about a Black woman who returns to her hometown for a plantation wedding and the horror that ensues as she reconnects with the blood-soaked history of the land and the best friends she left behind.
no heaven for good boys
by keisha bush
Penguin Random House
Six-year-old Ibrahimah loves snatching pastries from his mother’s kitchen, harvesting string beans with his father, and searching for sea glass with his sisters. But when he is approached in his rural village one day by Marabout Ahmed, a seemingly kind stranger and highly regarded teacher, the tides of his life turn forever. Ibrahimah is sent to Dakar to join his cousin Étienne in studying the Koran under Marabout Ahmed for a year, but instead of the days of learning that Ibrahimah’s parents imagine, the young boys, called Talibé, are forced to beg in the streets in order to line their teacher’s pockets. Drawn from real incidents and transporting readers between rural and urban Senegal, No Heaven for Good Boys is a tale of hope, resilience, and the affirming power of love.
The Officer’s Daughter:
A Memoir of Family and Forgiveness
by Elle Johnson
The author reflects on a terrible tragedy that forever altered the fabric of her family in this remarkable memoir, a heart-wrenching story of love, violence, coming of age, secrets, justice, and forgiveness. The Officer’s Daughter is a piercing memoir that explores with unflinching honesty what parents can and cannot do to protect their children, the reverberations of violence on survivors’ lives, and the overwhelming power of forgiveness, even in the face of unspeakable tragedy.
by megan giddings
When Lena Johnson’s beloved grandmother dies, she takes a job in the mysterious and remote town of Lakewood, Michigan. On paper, her new job is too good to be true. All Lena has to do is participate in a secret program—and lie to her friends and family about the research being done in Lakewood. An eye drop that makes brown eyes blue, a medication that could be a cure for dementia, golden pills promised to make all bad thoughts go away. The discoveries made in Lakewood, Lena is told, will change the world—but the consequences for the subjects involved could be devastating. Lakewood is a breathtaking novel that takes an unflinching look at the moral dilemmas many working-class families face, and the horror that has been forced on black bodies in the name of science.