Between the World and Me takes the form of a letter Coates is writing to his son about what he should know about being a black man in America. This book is a wonderful combination of personal memoir and engaging history told through Coates’s own educational experiences. – Katlyn
You may know Trevor Noah as host of The Daily Show, and his memoir combines the comedy he is known for with an honest account of what it was like to be born a black mother and white father under apartheid in South Africa. Because of Noah’s mixed race, he always stood out in a post-apartheid Johannesburg that was still highly segregated, and Noah recounts the various uncomfortable, unpleasant, and sometimes dangerous experiences with an entertaining comedic flair. – Katlyn
In The Fifth Season, the world is subject to periodic climate change disasters called fifth seasons that kill millions and stunt societal growth. There are people with power over geological energy called orogenes who are either enslaved to manage the climate or murdered by fearful mobs. In the prologue, an orogene sets off a cataclysmic fifth season, and we watch the world attempt to survive through the eyes of Essun, an orogene in hiding. In 2016 The Fifth Season won Best Novel at the Hugo Awards, making author N.K. Jemisin the first African American to win it. She also won the Best Novel Hugo in 2017 and 2018 for The Fifth Season's sequels, The Obelisk Gate and The Stone Sky, making her the first author ever to win it in three consecutive years. – Carl H.
Georgia Congressman John Lewis, recipient of the Medal of Freedom, recounts his experience in 1963 March on Washington in a powerful graphic novel. Lewis was one of the “Big Six” leaders who led the March. Check out this conclusion of the March trilogy (Book 1 & Book 2) and discover the book that won the Printz, Coretta Scott King, YASLA, National Book, and Sibert Medal awards in 2017. – Stephanie
When The Snowy Day was published in 1962, the hero, a little boy named Peter, broke the color barrier in popular children’s literature. A Poem for Peter uses poetry and beautiful illustrations to reveal the man who created this ground breaking picture book. – Stephanie
During the Great Migration, from approximately 1915 to 1970, around six million African Americans left the South for better opportunities in cities up north. In that time, the South changed from being the home of 90% of African Americans to around 50%. Wilkerson tells the story of that major historical shift by moving between general history and the lives of three people who made the journey. The Warmth of Other Suns won the National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction and was a New York Times Best Book of the Year. – Carl H.