African-American Teen Fiction

Anderson, M.T. The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation. Volume 1: The Pox Party. 2006.
Also available: CD, eAudiobook
Octavian is raised by a group of philosophers, unaware that he is part of an experiment to study Africans. A re-imagining of the past, this novel is set during the Revolutionary War.
Barnes, Derrick. The Making of Dr. Truelove. 2006.
Sixteen-year-old Diego and his friend J invent an online adviser, Dr. Truelove. Trouble begins when Diego decides to become Dr. Truelove in the flesh, in order to win back his girlfriend.
Brooks, Bruce. The Moves Make the Man. 1984. Also available: Large Type
A black basketball player and a white baseball player forge a friendship that carries them through family disturbances arising from racial discrimination.
Buckhanon, Kalisha. Upstate. 2005. Also available: CD
Seventeen-year-old Antonio and his girlfriend Natasha have their world turned upside down when Antonio finds himself in jail, accused of a shocking crime, in a story told through letters.
Butler, Octavia E. Kindred. 1979. Also available: Cassette
Dana travels through time and space to rescue the white ancestor who held her family in slavery.
Davidson, Dana. Jason and Kyra. 2004.
Handsome and popular Jason tries to come to terms with his often absent father and his growing attraction to the studious Kyra.
Diepen, Allison van. Street Pharm. 2006.
While his father is in prison, 17-year-old Ty Johnson is taking care of the family business— drug dealing.
Draper, Sharon M. Copper Sun. 2006.
Fifteen-year-old Amari is forced onto a slave ship and sold to a cruel plantation owner in the Carolinas. She and a white indentured servant together plot their escape.
Flake, Sharon G. The Skin I’m In. 1998.
Thirteen-year-old Maleeka, uncomfortable because her skin is very dark, meets a new teacher with a birthmark on her face and makes some discoveries about how to love who she is and what she looks like.
Frank, E. R. America. 2002.
America is a mixed-race boy born to a crack-addicted mother.  The victim of an incompetent foster-care system, this powerful story begins with America in a treatment facility after a suicide attempt.
Gaines. Ernest J. A Lesson Before Dying. 1993. Also available: CD, Cassette
A young man in the wrong place at the wrong time, is tried for murder, found guilty, and condemned to die.
Grimes, Nikki. Bronx Masquerade. 2002. Also available: CD
Bronx high school students read aloud poems that reveal their innermost thoughts to their classmates.
Hamiliton, Virginia. A White Romance. 1987.
Track and field is the main bond between Talley, a black student, and her white friend Didi, until Talley falls for David, a white boy from Didi's neighborhood.
Johnson, Angela. The First Part Last. 2003. Also available: CD
Nia is pregnant and 16-year-old Bobby is the father. Their lives are about to be changed forever.
Jordan, Dream. Hot Girl. 2008.
Fourteen-year-old Kate, a former gang member, risks losing her first good foster home when her friend Naleejah leads her down a treacherous path.
Kincaid, Jamaica. Annie John. 1985.
The Caribbean island of Antigua is the setting for the struggle between Annie John and her strong-willed mother.
Lipsyte, Robert. The Contender. 1967. Also available: CD
A high school dropout in Harlem escapes a gang to become a boxer.
Meyer, Carolyn. Denny’s Tapes. 1987.
When 17-year-old Denny falls in love with his white stepsister and her father throws him out, he finds himself on the road searching for his black heritage.
Millner, Denene. If Only You Knew: A Hotlanta Novel. 2008.
Wealthy and beautiful twins face boyfriend problems as they continue to delve into a mystery that somehow involves both their father and stepfather.
Myers, Walter Dean. Street Love. 2006.
Damien is an academic star headed for Brown University when he falls in love with Junice, a girl whose mother has just been incarcerated for drugs. Written in hip-hop style free verse.
Packer,  ZZ. Drinking Coffee Elsewhere. 2003. Also available: CD, Digital Player
The characters in this provocative collection of short stories are young African-Americans faced with challenging experiences and difficult choices.
Porter, Connie. Imani All Mine. 1999.
Tasha, a 15-year-old unwed mother, lives in a part of town where gunshots and drug deals are commonplace. Determined to be a good mother, her strength and faith are tested by tragedy.
Volponi, Paul. Black and White. 2005.
Two basketball stars, known as Black and White, shun demeaning jobs in favor of armed robbery. When they are caught, society’s racial divide and tough personal decisions alter the boys’ futures.
Voigt, Cynthia. Come a Stranger. 1986.
A young African-American dancer struggles with racism at dance camp, and falls in love with a married man.
Walker, Alice. The Color Purple. 1982.
Celie, a poor, barely literate Southern black woman, struggles to escape the brutality and degradation of her treatment by men.
Williams-Garcia, Rita. Blue Tights. 1988.
When Joyce is dropped from a traditional ballet class, she joins an African dance group.
Woodson, Jacqueline. From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun. 1995.
Fourteen-year-old Melanin Sun’s comfortable, quiet life is shattered when his mother begins an affair with a woman.