Books By Black Authors | Student Book Reviews

As much as I love all of my handy digital reading trackers that my 7th graders use, sometimes it’s so nice to just physically see what everyone is reading. For the month of February, we read books by Black authors (we used this Slide deck for inspiration!).

So many YA books have amazing book covers these days, so I wanted to see the covers, as well as read the students’ reviews. I created a template for the students to use, based on the “bookstagram” Instagram posts that fill up my feed.

My students blew me away with their responses! Here are some incredible examples that also serve as a perfect student-chosen list of books by Black authors:

If your students try this out please tag me on Instagram so that I can see their amazing work! I’m just over here trying to decide which book to check out first!

Student Book Recommendations:

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson

Spider-man by Jason Reynolds

Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi

The Mamba Mentality by Kobe Bryant

Ghost by Jason Reynolds

Shooter by Walter Dean Meyers

Blended by Sharon M. Draper

Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds

Swing by Kwame Alexander

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Fast Pitch by Nic Stone

Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon

Fake ID by Lamar Giles

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

Dope Sick by Walter Dean Meyers

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds

Stella By Starlight by Sharon M. Draper

I Wrote a Book!

My first book, Leaders and Thinkers in American History: 15 Influential People You Should Know, is out! I wrote this book during the lockdown when I was feeling very unproductive and helpless. Writing from our 1-bedroom apartment without being able to escape to a library or a coffee shop was incredibly difficult, but researching the stories of these 15 people was therapeutic. Reading about how every day Americans used their talents and passions to create a better America reminded me how important it is to share these stories.

You can see the arduous, months-long process here in this vlog!

I’m so excited to release this book out into the world, and for students, teachers and parents to read about these 15 amazing people. I also wrote lesson plans that correspond with each chapter so that you can use the book in your History, English or Leadership classes! Keep the conversations going with these inspirational quote posters that will look great on your classroom walls!