#BlackVoices in Young Adult Literature

These past few days, I have been thinking long and hard about what I, a white woman from Canada, have to offer to the Black Lives Matter Movement. I desperately wanted to offer my support, but was unsure how I could do so in a meaningful way. Then one night, I realized that I already had a platform – this blog, my Bookstagram, and my other social media accounts – that I could use to support and promote books written by black authors.

This post, focused on #BlackVoices in Young Adult Literature, is the third in a series of posts highlighting literature created by black authors and illustrators. It is by no means a comprehensive list of books, but I hope that it inspire readers of all ages to bring more diverse books into their own lives. This list, in comparison to my previous lists about Black Voices in Kids Literature and Middle Grade Literature, is longer, if only because this is the demographic I read most often, and I wanted to include as many of my favourite reads by black authors as possible.

I look at books as being a form of activism. Sometimes they’ll show us a side of the world that we might not have known about.

– Angie Thomas, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of The Hate U Give and On The Come Up
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The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

“The Hate U – the letter U – Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody. Meaning that what society gives us as youth, it bites them in the ass when we wild out” – Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give, p. 17

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas has quickly become a wildly popular and highly acclaimed Young Adult Contemporary novel. Released in Canada on February 28, 2017, The Hate U Give quickly found itself being referred to as riveting, stunning, important, heart-breaking and powerful – and for good reason. In The Hate U Give, Thomas provides a brilliant look at the complex issues of race, class, age and gender.

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

The Hate U Give

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Alanna’s May Reading List

You all know how this list starts – with one of the most anticipated Young Adult Fantasy releases of the year – A Court of Wings and Ruin by none other than the Queen of YA Fantasy herself, Sarah J Maas. I’ve got plenty of other books to read though, and with the school term (finally) done, I’ve got plenty of time to read them!

This list includes some new releases, some books that have been on my previous TBR’s (but obviously haven’t had the time to read), The YA Readers Alliance Books of the Month, and my entire book haul from the Book Outlet!

Speaking of the YA Readers Alliance, our Main Read for the month of May will be The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, and the Optional Read for the month of May will be A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas! You can find more information about our monthly reads here.

  1.  A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas (Released May 2nd, 2017 – this book is also The YA Readers Alliance May Optional Read!)
  2. Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh (Released May 16th, 2017)
  3. The Crown’s Fate by Evelyn Skye (Released May 16th, 2017)
  4. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
  5. The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova
  6. Wicked Like Wildfire (ARC) by Lana Popovic
  7. Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan
  8. Antigoddess by Kendare Blake
  9. Mortal Gods by Kendare Blake
  10. Ungodly by Kendare Blake
  11. Firewalker by Josephine Angelini
  12. Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige
  13. The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
  14. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (This book is the YA Readers Alliance May Main Read!)