Must-Read Books by Black Authors in 2022

The results of a poll that was done in 2013 by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center among 3,600 school librarians were published under the title List of Required Reading by Black Writers. It should not come as a surprise that the majority of respondents, consisting of 67% of those polled, claimed they had “not confidence” or “very little confidence” in their ability to recommend novels with significant African-American content. Following the dissemination of the results of that study to the general public, I had a conversation with the owner of Lemuria Books, an independent bookstore that I frequently visit. During the course of our discussion, we zeroed in on the relevance of increasing the gender and racial diversity of the staff working at the retail location.

Janae Melvin, proprietor of Lemuria, noticed that her business did not carry a significant quantity of books penned by black authors. She was disappointed by this. One author has been quoted as saying that “there are just so many outstanding books being released by African-Americans that it is hard to know where to start.” [Citation needed] This is the justification for why.

This article features a list of the top 18 black authors that you should read this year.

1. Michelle Moran’s novel “Nefertiti,” which is a historical fiction.


Nefertiti, an Egyptian princess who is fifteen years old when the story takes place in the fourteenth century, is the most important character in Moran’s story. The story takes place in Egypt. When Nefertiti’s younger sister gets sick, she goes to a skilled healer for advice. The healer gives her the ingredients she needs to make an elixir that will cure her sister’s illness. Even though Nefertiti is aware that her sister could be put to death if it is discovered that she is producing this concoction, she is unable to bear the idea of her sister being executed. This is despite the fact that Nefertiti is fully aware that her sister could be executed in this scenario.

2. “The Lonely Sea,” a piece of writing that was created by Virginia Lee Burton.

A young girl by the name of Marnie lives on Cape Cod with her fisherman father in the story that was selected to receive the Caldecott Medal. Marnie is the main character in the book. Marnie is unable to tolerate her husband and the other fishermen being gone for such a long time, and as soon as she sees them drive away one morning, she starts counting the days until they come back. The story that drives “The Lonely Sea” is Marnie’s journey toward self-acceptance and the cultivation of patience as she learns to wait for the people she cares about, including the fact that fisherman are sometimes late. Specifically, the story focuses on how Marnie learns to wait for the fisherman. The voyage that Marnie takes is also the plot of “The Lonely Sea.”

3. Carolivia Herron’s original composition and performance of “Nappy Hair”

In this picture book for children, the main character is a young girl who nags her mother to comb and oil her hair. However, the mother tells her daughter that the most important thing is that she is aware of who she is. Herron reflects the thoughts of a significant number of young girls who are establishing their own distinct sense of self-worth through the delivery of a supportive message concerning natural hairstyles.

4 To paraphrase what Wallace Thurman wrote in “The Blacker the Berry,” I would say the following:

This insightful look at the Harlem Renaissance was initially published in 1929 as a short story companion to Thurman’s masterwork The Blacker the Berry: A Novel of Negro Life. It was written by Thurman and was first published in the year 1929. Since then, it has grown to become one of the most widely read works on the topic. The Blacker the Berry is a book that was written during a period of time when there was a renaissance in African-American writing. This book delves into a number of challenging ideas that are associated with race and identity.

5 book in the series is titled “Swing” and was written by Robert Fleming.


After his father’s passing, Bobby, a young African-American boy who lives in New York City with his mother and grandmother, is starting school for the first time. Bobby lives with his mother and grandmother. As a direct result of the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, this is taking place. After witnessing one of his classmates engage in a hostile act, Bobby begins swinging at “enemies” on playgrounds, and he continues to do so until he swings too far and gets in trouble with the principal. Bobby’s behavior eventually gets him in trouble with the principal. The fact that Bobby witnessed one of his classmates engage in antagonistic conduct served as the impetus for his actions. The novel written by Fleming is a coming-of-age story that is set against the backdrop of the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001. It deals with topics that have always been fundamental to the literature that is written for young adults.

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6 Theodore Taylor’s “The Bomb,” which was authored by him 

During World War II, the United States drops an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima, which is located in Japan. This book was selected for the Newbery Honor List because it tells the story of two Japanese boys who are abandoned in a city. During the time that they are waiting for rescue, the younger brother of a child who is buried alive watches as his elder sibling makes the ultimate sacrifice in order to liberate him from a heavy beam. He is well aware that his parents will be furious with him if he is able to survive as well because he let his brother to die in such a valiant manner and because he did not liberate him from the heavy beam as quickly as possible. This revised account of the events that transpired during World War II has a reoccurring motif that places an emphasis on the unyielding strength of the bonds shared within families.

7 Gloria Naylor’s rendition of “The Sunday Blues” in its entirety

Because her mother works as a maid at a hotel in the surrounding region, a young African-American girl from New Orleans must occupy her time alone on a Sunday afternoon in order to ensure that she does not become bored. The young woman knows that she would face harsh consequences if she is found leaving the house, but she can’t help but sneak out nonetheless since she is fascinated by the prospect of seeing her prized doll being enjoyed by another child. She rapidly discovers that stepping outside is not the only way to have an interesting experience; rather, there are a lot of other possibilities to choose from.

8. Varian Johnson’s composition titled “Before I Forget,” which was published in

Justin, who is twelve years old, needs to keep his composure for the sake of his father, who is battling cancer, and his mother, who is too focused on her career to pay attention to the rest of the family. Justin’s mother is too preoccupied with her career to give attention to the rest of the family. On the other hand, when Justin finds a miraculous baseball, he can’t help but wish he could travel back in time by five days to correct the mistake he made. This wish is brought on by the realization that he could fix the mistake he made by using the baseball. A coming-of-age story written in the form of a novel, with aspects of time travel and the dynamics of families included in the narrative.

9 The Bronze Bow” by Elizabeth George Speare comes in at number nine (also known as “The Bronze Bow”).


Daniel is uprooted from his home in Galilee and forced to make his way to Jerusalem in this book that was awarded the Newbery Honor. Before Daniel meets Jesus for the first time, he is on his way to Jerusalem. Katherine Applegate is the author of the book, and David Wiesner is responsible for the illustrations. Daniel makes the decision to become a disciple of Jesus after witnessing the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. This is in spite of the fact that his parents do not agree with the teachings that Jesus preached. This piece of writing provides a fascinating viewpoint on the life of Christ, in spite of the fact that the main character, Daniel, has his fair share of internal struggles on whether or not he should adhere to Christ’s teachings or give attention to what others have to say.

10 The order in which I would position all of the books that I have ever read is as follows: The tenth slot goes to Markus Zusak’s novel, “The Book Thief.”


After the death of her brother and her mother’s inability to provide the appropriate level of care for her, the protagonist of the novel titled Death, Liesel Meminger, is relocated to live with a set of foster parents. The story takes place in Nazi Germany. Liesel makes the acquaintance of a young Jewish guy who eventually becomes a close friend of hers prior to the Nazis kidnapping him during the time that she spends with her new father teaching him how to read. During this time, Liesel also spends time with her new father. These works will be of great assistance to her in getting over the loss that she went through during World War II. This historical coming-of-age story has its fair share of sad moments, but in the end, it serves as an encouraging reminder that people can demonstrate courage and compassion beyond their years even when confronted with immense misfortune. This story is a coming-of-age story set in the past. An adaptation of the novel that will be filmed and directed by Brian Percival and star Geoffrey Rush, Sophie Nélisse, and Emily Watson has also been optioned, and it is scheduled to be published in 2013. Brian Percival will be the director of the film version of the novel.

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11. “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas,” written by John Boyne and published for younger readers.

In the best-selling book published by The New York Times, a little German boy named Bruno has his first encounter with a Jewish boy named Shmuel when the two are both living in Germany during World War II. Because Shmuel lives on the other side of the fence from Bruno, Bruno only refers to him as “the boy in the striped pajamas.” This is because Shmuel is Bruno’s neighbor on the other side of the fence. As Bruno and his friend grow closer to one another, the authorities believe that he is becoming too educated for his own good and decide to send him away to boarding school. Bruno does not see his friend for a number of years after being sent away, but they eventually reunite. This story, which has allegoric implications on discrimination, will move readers who are interested in historical writing.

12 The work of fiction penned by Markus Zusak titled “The Book Thief.”


Because her original mother was unable to care for her and her brother had passed away while World War II was going on, Liesel Meminger was given up for adoption and placed with a family who took care of orphans. During the time that Liesel is spending with her new father teaching her to read, she makes a new friend who is a young Jewish man. The Nazis eventually kidnap Liesel’s new father and bring her back to their concentration camp. These books will be helpful to her in the future when she is trying to cope with the loss of a loved one during World War II. This historical coming-of-age story has its fair share of sad moments, but in the end, it serves as an encouraging reminder that people can demonstrate courage and compassion beyond their years even when confronted with immense misfortune. This story is a coming-of-age story set in the past.

13 The number thirteen spot goes to Mark Haddon’s “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” which was authored by him.


Christopher Boone, who has autism and has trouble reading people’s facial expressions, prefers to solve mysteries like “who killed Mrs. Shears’ dog?” rather than simply avoiding situations that make him uncomfortable. For example, Christopher Boone would rather solve the mystery of “who killed Mrs. Shears’ dog?” Christopher has problems understanding people’s expressions on their faces, therefore this is the result. Despite the mature nature of the story’s subject matter (Christopher does mistakenly kill someone while trying to unearth information), even young readers can take away valuable lessons from Christopher’s experience in learning to cope with their own feelings, even the ones they don’t fully understand. Christopher’s story is about a boy named Christopher who is trying to uncover information about his family. A little child named Christopher is the protagonist of the novel, and he is depicted as making an effort to learn more about his own family.

14 The following are passages from Jack London’s “The Call of the Wild”

The Call of the Wild is a timeless tale that was first written as a novella and published for the first time in the year 1903. It is about a dog named Buck who is taken from California and sold as a sled dog in Alaska. Buck is forced to learn how to survive after being taken from California and sold. The action of the narrative takes place in 1897, during the height of the Klondike Gold Rush. It is one of Jack London’s best-selling books, and it is the book that readers should pick up if they enjoy reading survival stories like Hatchet. Specifically, this is the book that readers should pick up.

15. Kate DiCamillo’s novel “Because of Winn-Dixie,” which was published in 2005. (2005 Newbery Medal)


India Opal Buloni, age ten, and her family have only just recently relocated to Naomi Falls; however, India is certain that things will work out just fine given that she has her much-loved dog Winn-Dixie. Opal finds a new group of friends in the form of two young ladies, and one of the young ladies introduces Opal to the owner of the neighborhood shop. Opal learns from the proprietor’s incredible story that people, and especially dogs, are more important than things. This is especially true in the case of the dog boarding business.

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17 The Westing Game, written by Ellen Raskin, has been ranked as the sixteenth best book (1979 Newbery Medal)


Everyone begins to suspect one another after the body of billionaire Sam Westing is found less than three months after he made a wager with his 16 heirs that if they could solve his murder, they would each receive millions of dollars. Sam Westing bet with his heirs that if they could solve his murder, they would each receive millions of dollars. The reader may initially feel as though the book progresses slowly, but as they get deeper into it, they will love the challenge of deciphering the clues provided by the story’s plot. It was turned into a movie for television in 1997, and viewers at home could watch it on their own time.

Wendelin Van Draanen, “Flipped” (Chapter 17) (2002 Newbery Honor)


Juli Baker, who is also in seventh grade, and “Bruiser” Bryce Loski, who is also in seventh grade, have lived next door to each other for several years, but they do not know each other very well. Both boys are in seventh grade. That is, until such time as a series of misunderstandings causes both parties to begin thinking that the other is perfect. Juli has a change of heart, and she and Bryce begin to see that their feelings for each other may be more nuanced than they had previously believed they were. Juli has a change of heart. When Juli has a change of heart, everyone begins to assume that they are just friends, but then everyone begins to assume that they are just friends because Juli has a change of heart. This book offers an unusual examination of love partnerships, and because it does so by taking into consideration the perspectives of both men and women, it is a good recommendation for those who appreciated The Fault in Our Stars.

18 – John Erickson’s novel, “Sequel: Further Adventures of Lad,” which was published in


Hank the Cowdog, the lovable canine protagonist of books such as “The Case of the One-Eyed Killer Stud Horse” and “The Case of the Halloween Ghost,” has a younger brother named Lad who gets into just as much mischief as he does. Hank and Lad share a birthday. The same day of birth for Hank and Lad. In this story, Lad and his half-coyote sibling take on a villainous coyote by the name of Black Ear who wants to kill them both. The thought has occurred to Black Ear that he could turn rancher John’s cows into tacos.

A Collection of Some of the Most Significant Works Ever Penned by African-American Authors

Thoughts and Reflections on the Topic at Hand:

There is a good chance that older children and their parents will find many of the stories in these books to be quite humorous. Even though some of the novels described above may be too sophisticated for younger readers, there is a good chance that younger children will find many of the stories in these books to be quite humorous. There are a lot of other award-winning children’s books available, and more than a hundred of them have been published up to this point, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding one that appeals to your reading preferences even if your child doesn’t like any of the titles on our list. In fact, even if your child doesn’t like any of the titles on our list, there are plenty of other award-winning children’s books available.

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