2016 MG & YA Titles by African Americans

15 Dec 2016 news 30 Comments

It’s that time of year again! Using librarian/blogger Edith Campbell’s list of new releases, I’ve put together the middle grade and young adult novels authored by Black writers and published in the US. You can find our 2015 list here. If I’ve missed any titles, please leave them in the comments. We do not include self-published titles for this list since we’re trying to see what US publishers are producing annually. If 3,000 novels for teens are published in the US each year, this list is predictably depressing…


  1. American Ace by Marilyn Nelson; Dial Books (ages 8-12)
  2. Cleo Edison Oliver, Playground Millionaire by Sundee T. Frazier; Arthur A. Levine (ages 8-12)
  3. To Catch a Cheat by Varian Johnson; Scholastic (ages 8-12)
  4. Little White Lies by Brianna Baker and F. Bowman Hastie III; Soho (ages 12 and up)
  5. Peas and Carrots by Tanita S. Davis; Knopf Books for Young Readers ( ages 12 and up)
  6. Dorothy Must Die Stories Volume 2: Heart of Tin, The Straw King, Ruler of Beasts by Danielle Paige; HarperCollins (ages 12 and up)index
  7. Infinity Riders/Voyagers Series by Kekla Magoon (ages 8-12)
  8. Yellow Brick War by Danielle Paige; Harper Collins (ages 12 and up)
  9. The Return: Fall of the Beasts Book 3 by Varian Johnson; Scholastic (ages 8-12)
  10. Keep Me in Mind by Jaime Reed; Scholastic Point (ages 12 and up)
  11. The Misadventures of Max Crumbly #1: Locker Hero by Rachel Renee Russell; Aladdin (ages 9-12)
  12. Booked by Kwame Alexander; HMH (ages 10-13)
  13. Solemn by Kalisha Buckhannon; St. Martin Press (ages 12-18)index
  14. As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds; Atheneum (ages 8-12)
  15. Perfert Liars by Kimberly Reid; Tu Books (ages 12 and up)
  16. Towers Falling by Jewell Parker Rhodes; Little, Brown Books for Young Children (ages 8-12)
  17. Shiny Broken Pieces by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton; HarperTeen (ages 12-18)
  18. Zoe in Wonderland by Brenda Woods; Nancy Paulsen Books (ages 8-12)
  19. Ghost by Jason Reynolds; Atheneum (ages 10 and up)index
  20. Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige; Bloomsbury (ages 14–up)
  21. Pasadena by Sherri L. Smith;  PG Putnam’s Sons. (ages 14–up)
  22. Into White by Randi Pink; Feiwel & Friends (ages 12 and up)
  23. Freedom over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan; Atheneum (ages 6–10)
  24. Rebellion of Thieves by Kekla Magoon; Bloomsbury (ages 8-12)
  25. Garvey’s Choice by Nikki Grimes; Boyds Mills/WordSong (ages 8-12)index
  26. Riding Chance by Christine Kendall, Scholastic (YA)
  27. Girls Like Me by Lola Stvil; HMH Books for Young Readers (ages 12-18)
  28. Dear Yvette by Ni-Ni Simone; Kensington (ages 14 and up)
  29. The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon; Delacorte Press (ages 12-18)
  30. Dork Diaries 11: Tales from a Not-So-Friendly Frenemy by Rachel Renée Russell; Aladdin (ages 9-13)
  31. The Smaller Evil by Stephanie Kuehn; Dutton Books for Young Readers (YA)
  32. Tru & Nelle by G. Neri; HMH Books for Young Readers (age 8-10)index
  33. The Magnificent Mya Tibbs: Spirit Week Showdown by Crystal Allen; Balzer & Bray (ages 8-12)
  34. Trouble Next Door: The Carver Chronicles, Book 4 by Karen English; Clarion Books (ages 6-9)
  35. Everyone We’ve Been by Sarah Everett; Alfred A. Knopf (ages 12+)
  36. Catching a Story Fish by Janice N. Harrington; WordSong (ages 8-12)
  37. Change Up by Derek Jeter with Paul Mantell; Jeter Publishing (ages 8-12)
  38. Twintuition: Double Trouble by Tia and Tamera Mowry; Harper (ages 8-12)index
  39. Two Naomis by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich and Audrey Vernick; Balzer + Bray (ages 8-12)
  40. The Hero Two Doors Down: Based on the True Story of Friendship between a Boy and a Baseball Legend by Sharon Robinson; Scholastic (ages 8-12)
  41. No Ordinary Sound: a Classic Featuring Melody by Denise Patrick; American Girl Publishing (ages 8-10)
  42. Justin #1 (Blacktop) by LJ Alonge; Grosset & Dunlap (age 12+)
  43. Janae #2 (Blacktop) by LJ Alonge; Grosset & Dunlap (age 12+)
  44. Inked by Chris Ledbetter; Evernight Teen (ages 12+)
  45. The Root by Na’amen Gobert Tilahun; Night Shade Books



  1. Same but Different: Life on the Teen Autism Express by Holly Robison Peete; Scholastic (ages 12-17)
  2. This Kid Can Fly: It’s about Ability (NOT Disability) by Aaron Philip and Tonya Bolden. Balzer and Bray (ages 8-12)
  3. Tiny Stitches: The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas by Gwendolyn Hooks. Lee and Low (ages 7-12)
  4. You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Jeffery Boston Weatherford; Atheneum (ages 9-12)
  5. Bessie Stringfield: Tales of the Talented Tenth by Joel Christian Gill; Fucrum Publishing (ages 12 and up)
  6. Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina, Young Readers’ Edition by Misty Copeland and Brandy Colbert; Simon and Schuster (ages 8-12)
  7. March: Book Three by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin; Top Shelf Productions (Grade 8+)
  8. Hidden Human Computers: the Black Women of NASA by Sue Bradford Edwards and Duchess Harris; Essential Library (YA)
  9. How to Build a Museum: Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture by Tonya Bolden; Viking; (ages 10-13)
  10. You Got This by Maya Penn; North Star Way
  11. Hidden Figures, Young Readers’ Edition by Margot Lee Shetterly; HarperCollins (ages 8-12)
  12. Courage to Soar: A Body in Motion, A Life in Balance by Simone Biles & Michelle Burford; Zondervan
  13. A Poem for Peter: the Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day by Andrea Davis Pinkney; Viking Books for Young Readers (ages 7-10)
  14. Aging Out by Alton Carter; Roadrunner Press (ages 14+)