28 #BlackJoy Middle Grade Novels

Back in March, I posted about 28 #BlackJoy Picture Books because #weneeddiversebooks that feature Black protagonists just living their lives. The post was inspired by my frustration with the book lists faithfully trotted out every February for Black History Month. They were all full of books about Black trauma. So I decided to make a list which turned out to be much more popular than I expected—a big thank you to everyone who commented to let me know the recommendations were useful!

I didn’t want to leave out the older kids (sorry it’s taken so long), so here are 28 #BlackJoy Middle Grade Novels. In order to highlight authors who are writing right now, the list features predominately newer titles (most published within the last five years). Most titles are #ownvoices.

As I said in my previous post books about slavery are important. Books about Jim Crow America are important. Books about the Civil Rights Era are important. Books that feature Black characters experiencing joy are also important. These #BlackJoy books are great reads for Black History Month and all year long!

 

Enjoy,

~Stephanie

Children’s Room & North Branch

P.S. Click on images to enlarge. When you click the “Click here to request!” link a new tab will open. In the new tab, click on the title of the book you’re interested in to check availability/request it.

 

Click here to request!

Click here to request!

Click here to request!

Click here to request!

Click here to request!

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Click here to request!

14 comments on “28 #BlackJoy Middle Grade Novels


  1. Regina says:

    Thank you for creating another list of wonderful books that my daughter can look to and see a piece of herself in – the piece that is often not matched in popular protagonists! After loving Moon Girl and Devil Dino for a few years no, she is especially enjoying Princeless!

    1. Stephanie says:

      You’re welcome, Regina! I’m so happy that these books can provide mirrors for your daughter. And so glad she’s enjoyed Moon Girl and Princeless–two of my favorite graphic novels 🙂

  2. Laquitea Vaughn says:

    Thank you so much for this information! My brown children need to read about other brown children living a modern life. I can’t wait to add some of these to our library.

    1. Stephanie says:

      You’re very welcome, Laquitea! I agree with you heartily and am glad these books can fill that need. Happy reading!

  3. Rose says:

    Thanks for the new list! So many new-(to-me) titles to share with the children I work with. It’s far easier to teach the enjoyment of reading when the kids can identify with the main characters. Just like March’s post, I love that the stories aren’t about big struggles, but just daily modern life (and the struggles of the dreaded MIDDLE SCHOOL). Thanks Stephanie!

    1. Stephanie says:

      You’re welcome, Rose! So happy to hear these titles will be making their way into the hands of children you work with. Being able to identify with characters in the books you read is so important! And agreed: not just books about people like you struggling (though middle school is its own special struggle).

  4. Jim Hill says:

    Some of my favorite books are on this list. 8th Grade Super Zero hit me when I started down the path of writing for kids. It’s so good.

    1. Stephanie says:

      Hooray for favorites! I thought 8th Grade SuperZero was really good as well–the humor in it really got me laughing 😀

  5. Sasha says:

    Thank you for all the work in making this!

    1. Stephanie says:

      You’re very welcome, Sasha, it’s my pleasure!

      1. Fiona says:

        What a great list! These books are so, so important. Thank you for making this, Stephanie!

        1. Stephanie Seales says:

          Thanks, Fiona! I agree that they’re very important books and it’s my pleasure to help make sure people know about them!

  6. Joslynn Burks says:

    Thank you so much for this much-needed list. I will definitely be sharing this!!

    1. Stephanie Seales says:

      You’re very welcome, Joslynn! So glad you’ll be passing the list along 🙂

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