Updated: Aug 16
The Sun Is Also A Star - Natasha's family is about to be deported, and she will do everything she can to stop it, when she meets Daniel, on his way to a college interview. The two have very different ideas on life, but can love prevail? Nicola Yoon brilliantly weaves the stories of two different teens from different cultures and backgrounds, along with the history of their cultures, and scraps of stories from other people's lives. The Sun Is Also A Star casually shows how knock on effects impact Natasha and Daniel's lives.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Half Of A Yellow Sun - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is known for a range of books, perhaps most famously Americanah - and let's not forget her role in Beyoncé's 'Flawless'. But Half Of A Yellow Sun is the story of the Biafran War through the perspectives of Ugwu: a houseboy for a university lecturer; Olanna, the beautiful lover of the lecturer; and Richard, an Englishman in love with Olanna's sister Kainene. Adichie uses these perspectives not just to tell this story, but also to get you to question your own morals, and your view of what beauty really is.
Noughts And Crosses (series) - this series is a brilliant look into what the world could look like if history had played out different. If Africa had colonised Europe. If the positions of black and white were flipped. Through the eyes of Callum and Sephy, a Nought and a Cross.
Pig Heart Boy - Blackman tells the story of a thirteen year old in need of a heart transplant, who is finally given the chance to get a new heart...but it's the heart of a pig.
The Hate U Give - Starr hasn't seen her childhood friend Khalil in a long time, when she meets him again at a party. On the way home in Khalil's car, the two are pulled over by a cop. Khalil is shot, and Starr is the only witness. Angie Thomas tells this story from Starr's point of view, as she re-navigates friendships, relationships, family - and her two worlds: her poor neighbourhood where she's grown up, and her posh high school in the suburbs.
On The Come Up - It is Bri's dream to be a rapper like her father. But when her song blows up for the wrong reasons, she faces being stereotyped as angry and violent. But with her family given an eviction notice, Bri has no choice but to make it, even if she has to play into the stereotype.
The Poet X - Xiomara is quiet and shy. Her outlet, is poetry. Growing up in a Harlem neighbourhood, surrounded by the pressures of her parent's strong Christian views, Xiomara wants to experience love, and voice her love for slam poetry...if only she could do it without upsetting anyone she loves.
Calling My Name - Tamani tells the coming of age story of Taja Brown, as she navigates relationships with family, friends, boys, enemies, school and her religion, as she learns what it is to grow up.
All The Things We Never Knew - A love story between two teenagers who meet over basketball. This beautiful story tests whether love at first sight is enough to keep a relationship going.