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Memorial Hall Library

Racial Justice Books for Tweens & Teens

Here are some fiction books for tweens and teens that deal with racial justice and other issues facing today's youth. (See also our list of racial justice nonfiction books for adults and older teens.) These books are available as ebooks from either Overdrive (Libby) or Hoopla. (If you need help getting started with ebooks, check out the tutorials available on this page or contact us with questions!)

Tyler Johnson was here (Available on Overdrive)
Tyler Johnson was here (Available on Overdrive)
by Jay Coles

Accompanying his twin to a party that is thrown into chaos by a shooting, Marvin is horrified when his brother goes missing and is found dead, possibly at the hands of a racist police officer. 
Say her name (Available on Overdrive)
Say her name (Available on Overdrive)
by Zetta Elliott

Inspired by the African American Policy Forum’s #SayHerName campaign and the work of such notables as Lucille Clifton and Nikki Giovanni, a collection of poems stands as a tribute to Black Lives Matter activists and victims of police brutality.
I'm not dying with you tonight (Available on Hoopla)
I'm not dying with you tonight (Available on Hoopla)
by Kimberly Jones

Told from two viewpoints, Atlanta high school seniors Lena and Campbell, one black, one white, must rely on each other to survive after a football rivalry escalates into a riot.
How it went down (Available on Overdrive)
How it went down (Available on Overdrive)
by Kekla Magoon

When sixteen-year-old Tariq Johnson is shot to death, his community is thrown into an uproar because Tariq was black and the shooter, Jack Franklin, is white, and in the aftermath everyone has something to say, but no two accounts of the events agree.
A good kind of trouble (Available on Hoopla)
A good kind of trouble (Available on Hoopla)
by Lisa Moore Ramée

After attending a powerful protest, Shayla starts wearing an armband to school to support the Black Lives Matter movement, but when the school gives her an ultimatum, she is forced to choose between her education and her identity.
All American boys (Available on Overdrive)
All American boys (Available on Overdrive)
by Jason Reynolds

When sixteen-year-old Rashad is mistakenly accused of stealing, classmate Quinn witnesses his brutal beating at the hands of a police officer who happens to be the older brother of his best friend. Told through Rashad and Quinn's alternating viewpoints.
Ghost boys (Available on Overdrive)
Ghost boys (Available on Overdrive)
by Jewell Parker Rhodes

After seventh-grader Jerome is shot by a police officer who mistakes his toy gun for a real threat, he observes the aftermath of his death and meets the ghosts of other fallen black boys including historical figure Emmett Till.
Dear Martin (Available on Overdrive)
Dear Martin (Available on Overdrive)
by Nic Stone

Profiled by a racist police officer in spite of his excellent academic achievements and Ivy League acceptance, a disgruntled college youth navigates the prejudices of new classmates and his crush on a white girl by writing a journal to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in the hopes that his iconic role model's teachings will be applicable half a century later. 
The hate u give (Available on Overdrive)
The hate u give (Available on Overdrive)
by Angie Thomas

This award-winning novel traces the story of a teen whose uneasy balance between her elite prep school and her disadvantaged home life is shattered when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her best friend by a police officer. 
Watch us rise (Available on Overdrive)
Watch us rise (Available on Overdrive)
by Renée Watson

Fed up with gender imbalances at their progressive NYC high school, two friends start a women's rights club and post poems, essays and videos online until their work goes viral, compelling the principal to shut them down. Co-written by the Newbery Honor-winning author of This Side of Home.
Black enough : stories of being young & black in America (Available on Hoopla)
Black enough : stories of being young & black in America (Available on Hoopla)
by Ibi Zoboi

Edited by the National Book Award finalist and featuring contributions by a prestigious group of best-selling, award-winning and emerging African American young-adult authors, a timely literary collection shares modern insights into what it is like to be young and black in today's America.
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