Rad Reads

4 books to add to your TBR for Black History Month (and beyond!)

Calling all bookworms! February is Black History Month, and we're celebrating by cracking open some powerful reads that honor Black stories. If you're waiting on your next book rec, follow along for some of our fave ahh-mazing books...

But, wait. Why should we read diverse stories?

Two words: mirrors and windows. By expanding the range of books on our shelves, we can start to see ourselves reflected in stories that align with our own experiences and identity (aka, a mirror). On the other hand, they also serve as windows into the different lives and cultures of other people. It helps us understand different POVs and creates an opportunity for us to connect with each other on a deeper level. So yeah, it's kind of a win-win!

1. One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

Amazon, $7

If you're looking for an enjoyable read with a whirlwind of emotions, this is the one for you. Rita Williams-Garcia's historical fiction novel follows three young sisters who spend the summer of 1968 in Oakland, California. From meeting the mother who left them to exploring the Civil Rights Movement, this story is full of rich characters and the *sweetest* sisterhood. 

2. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Amazon, $7

Maya Angelou, one of the most influential writers and civil rights leaders, shares her life story through her debut memoir. She writes about her challenging childhood in a small Southern town and the prejudice and pressures she's endured throughout her life. Be ready to shed a tear (or two) and feel empowered by her strength.

3. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Amazon, $10

A gripping novel exploring a girl's struggle for justice, this book captures the Black Lives Movement through the eyes of teens. The story starts with the shooting of Starr's childhood best friend, which sets off a chain of events that dive into social justice, standing up for yourself and the courage it takes to challenge a community. 

4. The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis

Amazon, $9

Is it possible to laugh your heart out from one page but feel deeply moved in the next? Spoiler alert: We say yes. This book captures the journey of one Black family's trip to Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963, a tense period of civil rights and violence. Curtis paints a powerful picture of a 10-year-old's experience, both hilariously entertaining yet achingly tragic.

Want more book recs? Follow us for more on IG @glbestiebookclub!

Still adding to that TBR? Check out these recs:
📚 6 books by our favorite African American authors
📚 We found your next read, based on your favorite Taylor Swift song
📚 Books you should read for Latine/Hispanic Heritage Month

Slider image: @drmayaangelou
Top image: @blackgirlwithbooks


by Anne Chen | 2/1/2024