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Middle School | African American Voices
After the Shot Drops by
When Bunny takes a scholarship to a prestigious prep school with a championship basketball team, his relationship with his best friend Nasir is ruined. When Nasir learns that his cousin, Wallace, and his grandmother are being evicted, he tries to get over Bunny's betrayal. But as Wallace's situation becomes desperate, both Bunny and Nasir will have to face bigger and bigger consequences and decide just how much they're willing to risk.
Before the Ever After by
ZJ's friends Ollie, Darry and Daniel help him cope when his father, a beloved professional football player, suffers severe headaches and memory loss that spell the end of his career.
The Black Friend: on Being a Better White Person by
Chronicles the reflections of Frederick Joseph, award-winning marketing professional and writer, and other prominent African American artists, writers, and activists on their experiences with racism and white supremacy. Discusses ways for white people to be anti-racist through their behavior and knowledge.
Isabella is only eleven, but she is already so used to hearing about how "exotic" and unusual she is due to her black father and white mother that she is sick of her biracial identity. Now that her parents are divorced and fighting over her worse than ever, Isabella needs a way to define her identity so she can feel not like two halves, but a whole.
Brown Girl Dreaming by
"The author shares her childhood memories and reveals the first sparks that ignited her writing career in free-verse poems about growing up in the North and South"--Provided by publisher.
Class Act by
African American eighth grader Drew Ellis is used to working hard, but he's starting to realize that even if he works ten times as hard as his classmates at the privileged Riverdale Academy Day School, he still won't be given the same opportunities as they are. To make things worse, Drew begins to feel that his good friend Liam is one of those privileged kids, especially after a visit to Liam's giant house. Drew wants to pretend like everything's fine, but it's hard not to treat Liam differently and their mutual friend Jordan doesn't know how to keep their group together.
Clean Getaway by
William Lamar, known as "Scoob," goes on a road trip through the South with his grandmother in her recreational vehicle, visiting some of the major sites in the Civil Rights movement and learning about how people like him have been treated.
Colin Kaepernick by
This graphic biography shows readers the moments that have defined Colin Kaepernick’s life as a quarterback and an activist. His talent and determination made him a college football success and brought him to the National Football League. As a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, he led his team to multiple playoffs and even competed in the Super Bowl. When outrage over violence against African Americans became a national movement, Kaepernick joined the protests. His decision cost him his career in football, but he gained a voice heard worldwide.
Color Me In by
Growing up in an affluent suburb of New York City, sixteen-year-old Nevaeh Levitz never thought much about her biracial roots. When her Black mom and Jewish dad split up, she relocates to her mom's family home in Harlem and is forced to confront her identity for the first time. Nevaeh wants to get to know her extended family, but because she inadvertently passes as white, her cousin thinks she's too privileged, pampered, and selfish to relate to the injustices African Americans face on a daily basis. In the meantime, Nevaeh's dad decides that she should have a belated bat mitzvah instead of a sweet sixteen, which guarantees social humiliation at her posh private school. But rather than take a stand, Nevaeh does what she's always done when life gets complicated: she stays silent.Only when Nevaeh stumbles upon a secret from her mom's past, finds herself falling in love, and sees firsthand the prejudice her family faces that she begins to realize she has her own voice. And choices. Will she continue to let circumstances dictate her path? Or will she decide once for all who and where she is meant to be?
The Crossover by
Fourteen-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health.
The Crossover (graphic Novel) by
Presents a graphic novel adaptation of Kwame Alexander's novel of the same name. Josh Bell has a talent for composing raps, and he and his twin brother Jordan are kings of the basketball court. But when the twins' close relationship begins to unravel under the strain of changes in their lives, the brothers start to realize life isn't always about winning.
For Black Girls Like Me by
Eleven-year-old Makeda June Kirkland struggles to find her place in her new school after her family moves from Maryland to New Mexico. Makeda, who is of African American decent and has been adopted into an all white family, finds herself wondering how life might be different if she were part of a family that looks like her. In the midst of it all, she must deal with her mother's recent mental health diagnosis and mood swings that come with her being bipolar.
Genesis Begins Again by
Thirteen-year-old Genesis tries again and again to lighten her black skin, thinking it is the root of her family's troubles, before discovering reasons to love herself as is.
"Ghost, a naturally talented runner and troublemaker, is recruited for an elite middle school track team. He must stay on track, literally and figuratively, to reach his full potential"--Provided by publisher.
How High the Moon by
In 1944, Ella lives in a segregated South Carolina town with her grandparents. Constantly teased for her “white” appearance, she spends most of her days with her best friend and cousin. Her mother, a jazz singer in Boston, invites Ella to join her at Christmas. While there, she is shocked to learn some of her mother's secrets, especially regarding the father Ella has never known. When she returns to South Carolina, she discovers that a schoolmate has been charged with the murder of two young white girls.
Hurricane Child by
On the island of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, twelve-year-old Caroline is known for her bad luck because she was born during a hurricane. A new student from Barbados named Kalinda arrives and becomes Caroline's only friend--and her first crush. As Caroline works through her feelings for Kalinda, the two set out in a hurricane to find Caroline's missing mother and are followed by a mysterious spirit.
The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones by
In 1955, biracial Ethan, who was raised in Washington state, is sent to live with his grandparents in Alabama for the summer. Ethan's eyes are opened to blatant racism for the first time, but also to kindness, when a young red-head named Juniper Jones befriends him and they spend the summer exploring the town and having adventures. Their friendship becomes a lifeline for Ethan when the town's ugliness turns deadly.
It's Trevor Noah: Born A Crime by
This fascinating memoir blends drama, comedy, and tragedy to depict the day-to-day trials that turned a boy into a young man. In a country where racism barred blacks from social, educational, and economic opportunity, Trevor surmounted staggering obstacles and created a promising future for himself, thanks to his mom's unwavering love and indomitable will.It's Trevor Noah: Born a Crime not only provides a fascinating and honest perspective on South Africa's racial history, but it will also astound and inspire young readers looking to improve their own lives.
My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich by
Harlem is an exciting and terrifying place for a sheltered girl from Hunstville, and Ebony-Grace’s first instinct is to retreat into her imagination. But soon 126th Street begins to reveal that it has more in common with her beloved sci-fi adventures than she ever thought possible, and by summer's end, Ebony-Grace discovers that Harlem has a place for a girl whose eyes are always on the stars.
New Kid by
"Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade. As he makes the daily trip from his Washington Heights apartment to the upscale Riverdale Academy Day School, Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds--and not really fitting into either one. Can Jordan learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his friends and staying true to himself?"--Provided by publisher.
One Crazy Summer by
In the summer of 1968, after travelling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicatedpoet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.
The Parker Inheritance by
When Candice finds the letter addressed to her grandmother inside a box in the attic, she's not sure she should read it. But curiosity pulls Candice into a mystery generations before her time. And with the help of her neighbor, Brandon, she is determined to find the truth even if it means revealing her own deep secrets in the process.
A Phoenix First Must Burn by
A collection of sixteen stories of fantasy, science fiction, and magic featuring black and gender non-conforming characters.
Say Her Name by
A collection of forty illustrated poems celebrating the vulnerability and strength of black women and girls.
The Season of Styx Malone by
A diverse middle-grade novel that follows ten-year-old Caleb and his big brother Bobby over the summer that they meet their new neighbor, sixteen-year-old Styx Malone. Styx convinces the boys to attempt an "escalator trade" that exchanges one small thing for something better until they achieve the object of their dreams--a moped. But their plan spirals out of control and the brothers quickly learn that Styx has secrets that could ruin everything and get the boys into big trouble.
An honors student at Jefferson Academy and one of the only black kids there, seventeen-year-old Keira enjoys playing "Slay," a secret, multiplayer online role-playing game celebrating black culture that she secretly developed, until the two worlds collide after a Kansas City teen is murdered over a dispute in the game. Keira's previously safe space is now labeled racist, exclusionist, and violent. Now she sets out to defend her game while keeping her identity hidden.
So Done by
Jamila Phillips and Tai Johnson have been inseparable since they were toddlers, having grown up across the street from each other in Pirates Cove, a low-income housing project. As summer comes to an end, Tai can’t wait for Mila to return from spending a month with her aunt in the suburbs. But both girls are grappling with secrets, and when Mila returns she’s more focused on her upcoming dance auditions than hanging out with Tai.
The Stars Beneath our Feet by
It’s Christmas Eve in Harlem, but twelve-year-old Lolly Rachpaul and his mom aren’t celebrating. They’re still reeling from his older brother’s death in a gang-related shooting just a few months earlier. Then Lolly’s mother’s girlfriend brings him a gift that will change everything: two enormous bags filled with Legos. Lolly’s always loved Legos, and he prides himself on following the kit instructions exactly. Now, faced with a pile of building blocks and no instructions, Lolly must find his own way forward. His path isn’t clear—and the pressure to join a “crew,” as his brother did, is always there. When Lolly and his friend are beaten up and robbed, joining a crew almost seems like the safe choice. But building a fantastical Lego city at the community center provides Lolly with an escape—and an unexpected bridge back to the world.
Stella by Starlight by
When a burning cross set by the Klan causes panic and fear in 1932 Bumblebee, North Carolina, fifth-grader Stella must face prejudice and find the strength to demand change in her segregated town.
Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky (a Tristan Strong Novel, Book 1) by
After Tristan fails to save his best friend when they were in an accident together, all he has left of Eddie is his journal. Tristan goes to spend the summer on his grandparents' farm in Alabama, but on his first night there, a sticky creature shows up in his bedroom and steals Eddie's notebook. In an attempt to wrestle the journal out of the creature's hands, Tristan punches a tree, accidentally ripping open a chasm into the MidPass, a volatile place with iron monsters that are hunting the inhabitants of this world.
What Lane? by
Fast-paced, engaging, and short, this book takes readers through the experience of what a Black boy says and feels as he grows bigger and others shift their perception from seeing him as a cute child to viewing him as a potential threat.