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Fiction by Black Authors

This list of some our favorite fiction by Black authors is roughly organized from youngest to oldest.

Playlist Tags: Wild Rumpus Books genre: Fiction & Literature fiction black authors juneteenth-featured

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Magnificent Homespun Brown

A Celebration

By Samara Cole Doyon
Narrated by: Chrystal Bethell
Length: 10 minutes

This exploration of the natural world and family bonds through the eyes of a young mixed-race narrator is a living, breathing, dazzlingly multi-faceted, exuberant masterpiece, firmly grounded in her sense of self-worth and belonging. If Walt Whitman were reborn as a vibrant young woman of color, this is the book he might write. America, we hear...

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Audiobook details

I Believe I Can

By Grace Byers
Narrated by: Grace Byers
Length: 3 minutes

From the New York Times bestselling creator of I Am Enough comes an empowering follow-up that celebrates every child’s limitless potential.

Don't miss this audiobook edition, read by the author, Grace Byers!

I Believe I Can is an affirmation for boys and girls of every background to love and believe in themselves, from actress and activist Grace...

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Saturday

By author
Narrated by: Tracey Leigh
Length: 8 minutes

In this warm and tender story by the Caldecott Honor-winning creator of Thank You, Omu!, join a mother and daughter on an up-and-down journey that reminds them of what's best about Saturdays: precious time together.

Today would be special. Today would be splendid. It was Saturday! But sometimes, the best plans don't work out exactly the way you... Read more »

Audiobook details

From the Desk of Zoe Washington

By Janae Marks
Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
Length: 6 hours 9 minutes

From the Desk of Zoe Washington

“Zoe loves to bake. She wants to be a professional pastry chef when she grows up, and her mom landed her an internship at a local bakery this summer! But when she receives a letter from her birth father in prison on her 12th birthday, everything changes. Marcus sounds very nice in his letter, but he's in jail for murder. Zoe's not sure at first, but as she writes back and forth with Marcus (secretly—her mom would never allow it), she sees that he's really a good person. Could innocent people go to prison? With friendship challenges, cupcake creations, and a fight for justice—not to mention Bahni Turpin's peppy narration—From the Desk of Zoe Washington is an absolute delight to listen to.”

Raven Book Store image Mary, Raven Book Store
Audiobook details

Clean Getaway

By Nic Stone
Narrated by: Dion Graham
Length: 3 hours 56 minutes

Clean Getaway

“William "Scoob" Lamar's white G'ma fell in love with his black G'pa at a time when a mixed-race relationship between adult Americans was illegal in many parts of the country. It was especially difficult for them in the conservative south where they lived. Now G'ma is on a mission to revisit places she and G'pa traveled and to take Scoob along with her. She wants to show him many of the historic sights that were a part of the early civil rights movement and part of Scoob's heritage. But G'ma also seems to have some secrets and Scoob isn't sure where this journey is really taking them. Nic Stone, famous for her best-selling YA novels, has written a terrific middle-grade story, with historic significance, that would be perfect for reading circles or middle-grade book clubs. Dion Graham's voice enriches the story for those who enjoy a "read-along" experience.”

Rediscovered Books image Becky, Rediscovered Books
Audiobook details

When Stars Are Scattered

By Victoria Jamieson & Omar Mohamed
Narrated by: Faysal Ahmed, Barkhad Abdi, Victoria Jamieson, Omar Mohamed, Robin Miles, Ifrah Mansour, Bahni Turpin, Hakeemshady Mohamed, Sadeeq Ali, Dominic Hoffman, Christine Avila, JD Jackson & Various
Length: 3 hours 42 minutes

An Odyssey Honor audiobook and National Book Award Finalist, this remarkable graphic novel—adapted for audio—is about growing up in a refugee camp, as told by a former Somali refugee to the Newbery Honor-winning creator of Roller Girl.

Omar and his younger brother, Hassan, have spent most of their lives in Dadaab, a refugee camp in Kenya. Life... Read more »

Audiobook details

King and the Dragonflies

By Kacen Callender
Narrated by: Ron Butler
Length: 5 hours 3 minutes

King and the Dragonflies

“Kingston (King) James and his parents are grieving the loss of Khalid-- King's older brother. When Khalid was alive and the two shared a bedroom, he would talk in his sleep, telling his younger brother stories about the universe and its magic. King continues to see Khalid in his dreams, and is convinced Khalid has transformed into a dragonfly. The Louisiana bayou provides the backdrop for both a colorful landscape and a tense, fearful place where racism festers. When King's former friend, Sandy, who is white, and the son of the racist police chief, goes missing, King ends up helping hide Sandy from his abusive father. Woven seamlessly into this wise story is King's slow awakening of his sexuality, brought to the fore by his renewed friendship with Sandy, who is known to be gay. Callender's writing is so authentic and their characters are so tenderly portrayed by Ron Butler's superb narration I mourned its conclusion. The whole package is a crowning achievement.”

Bear Pond Books image Jane, Bear Pond Books
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My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich

By Ibi Zoboi
Narrated by: Ibi Zoboi
Length: 7 hours 39 minutes

National Book Award-finalist Ibi Zoboi makes her middle-grade debut with a moving story of a girl finding her place in a world that's changing at warp speed.

Twelve-year-old Ebony-Grace Norfleet has lived with her beloved grandfather Jeremiah in Huntsville, Alabama ever since she was little. As one of the first black engineers to integrate NASA,... Read more »

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Genesis Begins Again

By Alicia D. Williams
Narrated by: Alicia D. Williams
Length: 8 hours 48 minutes

“Reminiscent of Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye.” —The New York Times

“One of the best books I have ever read…will live in the hearts of readers for the rest of their lives.” —Colby Sharp, founder of Nerdy Book Club

“An emotional, painful, yet still hopeful adolescent journey…one that needed telling.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“I really... Read more »

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Tristan Strong Punches A Hole In The Sky

Tristan Strong: Book #1

By Kwame Mbalia
Narrated by: Amir Abdullah
Length: 10 hours 56 minutes

Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents Kwame Mbalia's epic fantasy, a middle grade American Gods set in a richly-imagined world populated with African American folk heroes and West African gods.

Seventh grader Tristan Strong feels anything but strong ever since he failed to save his best friend when they were in a bus accident together. All he... Read more »

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Pet

By Akwaeke Emezi
Narrated by: Christopher Myers
Length: 5 hours 32 minutes

National Book Award Finalist

Stonewall Book Award Winner

"[A] beautiful, genre-expanding debut...Pet is a nesting doll of creative possibilities." (The New York Times)

The award-winning, genre-defying novel by the New York Times best-selling author of The Death of Vivek Oji that explores themes of identity and justice and asks: How do you share the... Read more »

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Black Girl Unlimited

The Remarkable Story of a Teenage Wizard

By Echo Brown
Narrated by: Echo Brown
Length: 8 hours 29 minutes

This program is read by the author

"Just brilliant."—Kirkus Reviews

Heavily autobiographical and infused with magical realism, Black Girl Unlimited fearlessly explores the intersections of poverty, sexual violence, depression, racism, and sexism—all through the arc of a transcendent coming-of-age story for fans of Renee Watson's Piecing Me...

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Felix Ever After

By Kacen Callender
Narrated by: Logan Rozos
Length: 8 hours 23 minutes

A Stonewall Honor Book

A Time Magazine Best YA Book Of All Time

From Stonewall and Lambda Award–winning author Kacen Callender comes a revelatory YA novel about a transgender teen grappling with identity and self-discovery while falling in love for the first time.

Felix Love has never been in love—and, yes, he’s painfully aware of the irony. He...

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The Black Flamingo

By Dean Atta
Narrated by: Dean Atta
Length: 3 hours 40 minutes

The Black Flamingo

“Michael is a mixed-race gay teen growing up in London who goes to college and can't find a place to fit in, until he discovers The Drag Society. This story, told in poetry, is full of stunning language and the joy of finding your place in the world.”

Blue Willow Bookshop image Ann, Blue Willow Bookshop
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SLAY

By Brittney Morris
Narrated by: Kiersey Clemons
Length: 8 hours 26 minutes

SLAY

“Whoa. This is hardcore awesome. I hate to use popular books to compare, but it definitely is Ready Player One meets Hate U Give. And my favorite thing, there isn’t a specific heavy-handed message (at least in my opinion) which is the reason I don’t read too many popular books like this one. It asked some hard questions and left some of the decisions about the ‘correct’ answers for your own pondering. And the Libro.fm narration is great! A handful of narrators that made it feel rounded out and enthusiastic.”

Bright Side Bookshop image Leah, Bright Side Bookshop
Audiobook details

Not So Pure and Simple

By Lamar Giles
Narrated by: Korey Jackson
Length: 11 hours

An Indie Next List Pick!

In his first contemporary teen novel, critically acclaimed author and two-time Edgar Award finalist Lamar Giles spotlights the consequences of societal pressure, confronts toxic masculinity, and explores the complexity of what it means to be a “real man.”

Del has had a crush on Kiera Westing since kindergarten. And now,...

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Dear Haiti, Love Alaine

By Maika Moulite & Maritza Moulite
Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
Length: 10 hours 38 minutes

“I couldn’t put Dear Haiti, Love Alaine down!” —New York Times bestselling author Jasmine Guillory

Co-written by sisters Maika and Maritza Moulite, this exceptional debut novel captures a sparkling new voice and irrepressible heroine in a story sure to thrill fans of Nicola Yoon and Ibi Zoboi!

Alaine Beauparlant has heard about Haiti all her... Read more »

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The Stars and the Blackness Between Them

By Junauda Petrus
Narrated by: Junauda Petrus, Bahni Turpin & JD Jackson
Length: 9 hours 20 minutes

A Coretta Scott King Honor Book

Told in two distinct and irresistible voices, Junauda Petrus's bold and lyrical debut is the story of two black girls from very different backgrounds finding love and happiness in a world that seems determined to deny them both.


Port of Spain, Trinidad. Sixteen-year-old Audre is despondent, having just found out... Read more »

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Black Brother, Black Brother

By Jewell Parker Rhodes
Narrated by: Barrie Buckner
Length: 4 hours 36 minutes

From award-winning and bestselling author, Jewell Parker Rhodes comes a powerful coming-of-age story about two brothers, one who presents as white, the other as black, and the complex ways in which they are forced to navigate the world, all while training for a fencing competition.
Framed. Bullied. Disliked. But I know I can still be the best.

... Read more »

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Clap When You Land

By Elizabeth Acevedo
Narrated by: Elizabeth Acevedo & Melania-Luisa Marte
Length: 5 hours 32 minutes

Clap When You Land

“Clap When You Land is a story of sisterhood unlike any I've experienced before, with characters as multi-faceted as the places they come from. The free verse is rhythmic and pounding in all the right places, soft and lyrical in all the others. And for a story so rife with grief and struggle and anxiety and (the list goes on)... it's hopeful, but not without being real. Acevedo proves that tragedy can bring strangers together and make them family in ways both literal and metaphorical, and gives voice to the survivors whose pain outlasts the media coverage every time. This is one to be savored, and enjoyed by readers of all ages.”

Second Star to the Right image Britt, Second Star to the Right
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