Tag Archives: Nikki Carter

10 YA Books About African American Teens by African American Writers

It’s Black History Month, which means there are plenty of lists floating around these days about African American history. For a change of pace, here’s a selection of YA novels about African American teens of today, written by African American writers. Descriptions are from Worldcat.

Pull by B.A. Binns (Westside Books) — After his father kills his mother, seventeen-year-old David struggles to take care of his two sisters–and himself–while dealing with his grief, guilt, and trying to fit in at a tough new school while hiding his past.

Kendra by Coe Booth (Push) — High schooler Kendra longs to live with her mother who, unprepared for motherhood at age fourteen, left Kendra in the care of her grandmother.

Not a Good Look by Nikki Carter (K-Teen Dafina) — Sunday Tolliver is this close to making her music industry career dreams come true–until her mother spends her entire college fund. Now Sunday’s only chance to get to college means slaving as a personal assistant to her diva cousin, Dreya.

A la Carte by Tanita S. Davis (Alfred A. Knopf) — Lainey, a high school senior and aspiring celebrity chef, is forced to question her priorities after her best friend (and secret crush) runs away from home.

Fake ID by Lamar Giles (Amistad) — An African-American teen in the Witness Protection Program moves to a new town and finds himself trying to solve a murder mystery when his first friend is found dead.

Saving Maddie by Varian Johnson (Delacorte) — Joshua Wynn is definitely what you would call a good guy. He’s a preacher’s son who chooses abstinence and religious retreats over crazy nights and wild parties … One Sunday, Joshua’s mind drifts from his father’s sermon to a beautiful girl in the fifth row. She’s gorgeous, wearing a dress cut down to there, and she looks like the little girl he crushed on as a kid. It turns out that Maddie Smith is back in town, but instead of throwing her a welcome-back picnic, the community condemns her for her provocative clothes and the rumors about her past … But can Joshua save Maddie without losing himself?

Hot Girl by Dream Jordan (St. Martin’s Griffin) — Kate, a fourteen-year-old Brooklyn girl and former gang member, risks losing her first good foster family when she adopts the risqué ways of her flirtatious new friend, Naleejah.

DJ Rising by Love Maia (Little, Brown) — Sixteen-year-old Marley Diego-Dylan’s career as “DJ Ice” is skyrocketing, but his mother’s heroin addiction keeps dragging him back to earth.

Darius and Twig by Walter Dean Myers (HarperCollins) — Two best friends, a writer and a runner, deal with bullies, family issues, social pressures, and their quest for success coming out of Harlem.

When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds (Atheneum) — Ali lives in Bed-Stuy, a Brooklyn neighborhood known for guns and drugs, but he and his sister, Jazz, and their neighbors, Needles and Noodles, stay out of trouble until they go to the wrong party, where one gets badly hurt and another leaves with a target on his back.

New Releases – May 2013

Get Over It by Nikki Carter (KTeen Dafina)

“Wholesome, down-to-earth fun.” — Kirkus

How To Be a Star by M. Doty (Poppy)

Kindness for Weakness by Shawn Goodman (Delacorte)

“A gripping tale with important lessons for any young man.” — New York Times

Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg (Arthur A. Levine)

“A sometimes painful story of self-discovery, it is also a beautifully written, absolutely captivating romance between two boys, Rafe and Ben, who are both wonderfully sympathetic characters. With its capacity to invite both thought and deeply felt emotion, Openly Straight is altogether one of the best gay-themed novels of the last ten years.” — Michael Cart, Booklist starred review

Mystic (Soul Seekers Book #3) by Alyson Noel (St. Martin’s Press)

Since arriving in the dusty desert town of Enchantment, everything in Daire Santos life has changed…and not always for the better. While she’s come to accept and embrace her new powers as a Soul Seeker, Daire struggles with the responsibility she holds navigating between the worlds of the living and the dead—and her mission to defeat the evil Cade Richter. …

The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler (Simon Pulse)

“Narrator Jude’s voice is steady, honest and clear as she faces head-on her responsibility for her father’s care, her desire to step from her sisters’ shadows, her own genetic connection with her father’s disease and forbidden love. At its core, this is a touching father-daughter story made even stronger by realistic family complications and Jude’s need to find her own voice.” — Kirkus

Swans & Klons by Nora Olsen (Bold Strokes Books)

“Philosophical dystopia fans of all orientations will find much to appreciate in this story that tackles big ideas.” — Kirkus

Death, Dickinson, and the Demented Life of Frenchie Garcia by Jenny Torres Sanchez (Running Press Kids)

“Sanchez’ expertly crafted narrative … [pulls] readers into Frenchie’s anger and pain without straying into clichés of teen angst… . An exceptionally well-written journey to make sense of the senseless.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Prudence Shen and Faith Erin Hicks (First Second)

“Shen’s plot ably balances drama, humor, angst, and robotic geekery, giving the book an immediate YA appeal, but one that’s broad enough to be enjoyable to older readers, as well. Visually, Hicks’s wide-eyed, inky b&w panels infuse the characters with real emotion and personality, capturing the book’s heartfelt youthfulness.” — Publishers Weekly

Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith (HarperCollins)

“Most fascinating in this stirring coming-of-age novel are the blurred lines between perception and reality, genius and madness, peace and turmoil. Debut author Smith embraces the complexities of grief, family dynamics, creativity, mental illness, and love and pens them with a thoughtful, subtle hand.”— The Horn Book

The Language Inside by Holly Thompson (Delacorte)

“A sensitive and compelling read that will inspire teens to contemplate how they can make a difference.” — School Library Journal, starred review

Coda by Emma Trevayne (Running Press)

“Atmospheric and emotionally rich, this intense story practically sings with defiance, swaggering like the rock and punk of old. A strong debut from an author to watch.”— Publishers Weekly (starred review)