Black History Month Book Reviews

Black history month is happening now, so we decided to look at some books, movies and quotes related to Black history to learn more!

*FEATURED* Based on Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

Jane McKeene is a Black girl, born when dead Civil War soldiers, or Shamblers, have begun to rise up. The Negro and Native Reeducation Act says that all children of color are required to go to combat schools to learn how to get rid of the Shamblers. Jane has left her childhood home at Rose Hill in Kentucky and the mistress, who happens to be Jane’s momma, to go to Miss Preston’s school and learn to become an Attendant. An Attendant is someone who will go on to be a white lady’s servant and protector. But things begin to change when families in nearby Baltimore disappear and Jane is caught in the traps of white men, angry that people of color are being treated as equals. Who can she no longer trust and who will she have to start trusting? Read Dread Nation to find out!

*FEATURED* Based on The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas

Starr Carter lives in two worlds and the shooting of a childhood friend, unarmed and unaggressive will tip both of her worlds into one another. People are trying to alter the true story; Starr is being threatened by a variety of people and saying the right thing is like walking on the edge of a knife. How will Starr find the justice Khalil deserves while preserving her own life? Read The Hate U Give to learn more about the Black Lives Matter Movement, justice and navigating a biased-world.

Based on Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

The world was once filled with magic, until one night when the merciless and cruel king of Orïsha ordered the maji tribes killed and magic to be destroyed forever. Zélie Adebola remembers this moment clearly…her mother, a Reaper, was murdered in front of young Zélie’s very eyes. Since then, however, life has not gotten better. In fact, if anything, the torture the maji are being put through seems to grow everyday. But one day, Zélie, her brother, Tzain, and none other than the princess of Orïsha, set off on a journey to restore magic. The plot of Children of Blood and Bone twists in amazing and unique ways as the trio fight their way to bring about a chance for the maji to fight on. Tomi Adeyemi brings elements of African culture, slavery and magic into one wonderous novel of a girl who is fighting to save her world and her people.

Based on Concrete Rose – Angie Thomas

A prequel to the Hate U Give, the ‘Concrete Rose’ is about Starr’s father (Maverick Carter). This story is riveting and shows the difficult truth of problems in different communities. Maverick Carter must take care of his family, but at what cost will it take him to do that. Will he have to drop out of school, join the nearby gang, or fulfill his real dreams? Hopes, dreams, and legacies all come together in this amazing book by Angie Thomas.

Based on Dear Martin – Nic Stone

Justyce McAllister is an honor student on his way to Yale…but he’s also Black. This is a very important factor in Dear Martin. Jus’s story begins as he is accused of assaulting his ex-girlfriend, who was drunk and struggling to get home. Soon after, he begins writing letters to Martin Luther King Jr. Though this is long after MLK Jr.’s time, writing helps Jus understand what is going on and what he can do about it. When two Black boys are killed due to police brutality, the debate team at Jus’s prodigious school begin a deep discussion on how race affects people, specifically Americans today. But Jus doesn’t agree with everything the white kids are saying…he has lived a different life then they have and knows that things aren’t equal and fair, despite what history seems to claim. A series of gut-wrenching events occur and Justyce must think on which path he wants he life to turn down and how he is going to achieve all of his goals and more. Nic Stone has put together an amazing novel that shows readers exactly what is wrong with our justice system and what has yet to be fixed.

Based on The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave by Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass was born into slavery on a plantation in Maryland. Experiencing the brutality forced upon slaves was something no human or living thing should ever go through, yet Douglass, like so many enslaved Africans did experience this. The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass recounts some of these horrors as well as Douglass’s journey to free himself and educate himself.

Based on On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

Bri is a rapper…and plans to become the greatest one yet. As the daughter of a rap legend she has lots to achieve, but life isn’t as easy as ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ Bri’s family is struggling with bills and a job loss. Bri must fight for her dreams to achieve these goals she has set for herself. In life, there comes a certain desperation for being the best you, you can be. Bri will reach above and beyond this in On the Come Up!