Keep Me Posted!

Sign me up for the latest news from Penguin Teen, including new books, special offers, and promotions.

9 YA Books to Read for #Blackathon2020

SHARE

It’s February, which means Blackathon is back! #Blackathon2020 is an Afrocentric read-a-thon challenge inspired by Black History Month. Helmed by BookTubers Jesse from Bowties & Books and Lauren from The Novel Lush, Blackathon has created fun opportunities to celebrate books and works by Black and African American authors and creators throughout the entire month of February.

Visit the Blackathon Twitter to find out how you can participate across Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube! And make sure to check out Jesse’s Blackathon announcement video:

 

You can watch Lauren’s #Blackathon2020 announcement video, too!

 

Jesse also shared why they created #Blackathon and brought the read-a-thon back for another year:

Black BookTubers/readers have been asking more people to pay attention to our stories for years, but those voices went largely unheard. Afrocentric narratives weren’t on the collective radar of BookTube. Across readers of various genres—romance, fantasy, contemporary, etc.—TBRs were full of books that had no Black faces on them and “representation” for Black characters was limited to supporting roles. Blackathon was created simply because we wanted to see the rich narratives from the black diaspora reflected in the BookTube Community we’ve come to love so entirely. We wanted to see this community full of people that we love and spend so much virtual time supporting support us back.

We created Blackathon to 1) intentionally celebrate Black narratives, 2) show the publishing industry that readers of all backgrounds are geeked about the stories Black authors have to tell and 3) combat the notion that Black stories are not vital to everyone’s shelves. Blackathon was a party last year – it was the most fun we have had on BookTube, the most “seen,” and connected we have felt to our community. Apparently others felt the same because in December, we began getting messages asking when it would return! Given how much it meant to us and clearly to the community as well—there was simply no way we wouldn’t bring it back for round 2.

 

We’re ecstatic that #Blackathon2020 is happening, and we have a few suggestions for books that you can add to your TBR for the read-a-thon!

 

War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi

war-girls-cover

Inspired by the real-life Nigerian–Biafran War, this action-packed story of sisterhood and survival is perfect for fans of Black Panther. Set over 150 years in the future, it stars dual protagonists who are sisters—one of whom, Ify, is a tech genius at the level of Princess Shuri.

 

A River of Royal Blood by Amanda Joy

RiverofRoyalBlood_CV_ONLINE

Another complicated sister story, where Princess Eva must battle her older sister Isa—in a fight to the death—in order to ascend to the Queendom of Myre. It’s the perfect mashup of Three Dark Crowns meets Children of Blood and Bone.

 

Obviously by Akilah Hughes

Obviously

Perfect for fans of Tiffany Haddish’s The Last Black Unicorn, Obviously spotlights comedian and YouTuber Akilah Hughes as she takes readers on her journey from small-town Kentucky to New York City in a series of intimate and personal essays.

 

The Stars and the Blackness Between Them by Junauda Petrus

stars-and-the-blackness-between-them

16-year-old Audre has just been uprooted when her dad moved them from from Trinidad to Minneapolis, where she meets 16-year-old Mabel. When romance blossoms between them, they must find the courage to stay together in a world that seems to want to keep them apart.

 

If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson

IfYouComeSoftly20_JK.indd

This star-crossed love story of two teens from different backgrounds who collide at a Manhattan prep school recently celebrated its twentieth anniversary, and it’s perfect for fans of The Hate U Give.

 

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

Pet

A finalist for the National Book Award, Pet is a genre-defying novel that follows Jam, a young resident of the city of Lucille. When Jam meets Pet, a creature who emerges from her mother’s paintings and a drop of Jam’s blood, she must work with Pet to hunt down a monster that no one will admit exists.

 

Jackpot by Nic Stone

Jackpot

Nic Stone, the acclaimed author of Dear Martin, returns with another must-read contemporary novel, a romance that takes a critical eye toward class and privilege and explores what happens when have and have-nots collide.

 

A Phoenix First Must Burn edited by Patrice Caldwell

phoenix-first-must-burn-cover

For readers who grew up with Octavia Butler, to fans of YA anthologies, A Phoenix First Must Burn is a must-read. The anthology explores the Black experience in fantasy and sci-fi, through sixteen short stories that center Black women and gender-nonconforming characters. These heroines are ones you will remember.

 

All the Days Past, All the Days to Come by Mildred D. Taylor

all-the-days-past-cover

If you loved Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, you’ll need to add this book to your TBR because it’s the life-changing finale to the saga of the Logan family. Cassie Logan, who was only nine in Roll of Thunder, is now a young woman fresh out of college, and All the Days Past, All the Days to Come brings her family’s story to its conclusion as the Logans face historical moments in twentieth-century America.

 

 

Don’t forget to check out how you can participate in #Blackathon2020!

#WhatsTrending

COVER REVEAL: Edie in Between

Edie in Between by Laura Sibson is a modern-day Practical Magic about love, loss, and embracing the mystical. It’s been one year since Edie’s mother died—but her ghost has never left. And when her mother’s teenage journal tumbles into her life, her family’s mystical inheritance becomes once and for all too hard to ignore. As … Continued
See More

5 Reasons it’s time to hop on the House of Hollow hype train

House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland is the talk of the (bookish) town, and here are just a few reasons we invite you to hop on the House of Hollow hype train!   1. THE PLOT TWIST via GIPHY No spoilers, but…you’re not ready.   2. The writing will give you chills. via GIPHY “She was a … Continued
See More

See the cover of DARK AND SHALLOW LIES and read an excerpt!

We are so excited to show you the cover for Dark and Shallow Lies by Ginny Myers Sain! A teen girl disappears from her small town deep in the bayou, where magic festers beneath the surface of the swamp like water rot, in this chilling debut supernatural thriller for fans of Natasha Preston, Karen McManus, and Rory Power. … Continued
See More

House of Hollow quotes that give us CHILLS

House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland is filled to the brim with quotes that give us CHILLS. It was hard to narrow down, but here are our top 7 favorites!   About House of Hollow:  A dark, twisty modern fairytale where three sisters discover they are not exactly all that they seem and evil things really … Continued
See More

Cover Reveal: THE GIRLS ARE NEVER GONE by Sarah Glenn Marsh

Cover reveal time! The Conjuring meets Sadie in The Girls Are Never Gone by Sarah Glenn Marsh when seventeen-year-old podcaster Dare takes an internship in a haunted house and finds herself in a life-or-death struggle against an evil spirit. Scroll down to see the cover and read an excerpt of this chilling read! Jacket design: Kristin Boyle Photographer: Marko Nadj   Once … Continued
See More

Cover Reveal: HELLO (FROM HERE)

Cover reveal time! Hello (From Here) is a witty and thought-provoking YA love story set during the COVID-19 quarantine, written by two NYT bestselling authors, with shades of Five Feet Apart and Anna and the French Kiss. Maxine and Jonah bump into each other in the canned goods aisle of the grocery store just as the state of California is going into lockdown, … Continued
See More

5 Things We Can’t Wait to See in the Shadow and Bone Netflix Series

Onward to Ravka, my dear Grisha. We couldn’t be more excited that the TV adaptation of Leigh Bardugo’s unforgettable Shadow and Bone trilogy is magicking its way onto Netflix this Friday, April 23rd. It’s finally time to see Alina, Mal, Genya, Zoya, the Darkling, and many others of our favorite Grishaverse characters take their rightful … Continued
See More

Start reading HOUSE OF HOLLOW

One of 2021’s most anticipated reads is just around the corner! House of Hollow is a dark, twisty modern fairytale where three sisters discover they are not exactly all that they seem and evil things really do go bump in the night. Scroll down to start reading! PROLOGUE I was ten years old the first … Continued
See More

Unforgettable Siblings in YA for National Siblings Day!

There are a lot of siblings with protagonist brothers or sisters who have a knack for stealing the spotlight on account of being awesome, and we want to take a moment to appreciate them! So, here are 10 of our favorite siblings from YA in honor of National Sibling Day!   House of Hollow by … Continued
See More

COVER REVEAL: When We Make It

When We Make It by Elisabet Velasquez is an unforgettable young adult debut novel-in-verse that redefines what it means to “make it,” touching on themes of mental illness, sexual assault, food insecurity and gentrification, in the Nuyorican literary tradition of Nicholasa Mohr and the work of contemporary writer Elizabeth Acevedo. Scroll down to see the … Continued
See More
BACK TO TOP