Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
In this #1 New York Times bestseller, Jodi Picoult tackles tough issues of race and moral decisions. When Ruth Jefferson is reassigned to another patient in the hospital where she works, the only thing to blame is her skin color; A set of white supremacist parents have just had a baby and refuse to let Ruth work on her due to her being African American. But when the baby goes into cardiac distress and Ruth is the only one around to save its life, she’ll find that one calculated and life-saving decision could bring an end to everything she has worked for.
All American Boys by Brendan Kiely and Jason Reynolds
When a fist-happy cop beats a black teenager, the entire town is divided as to whether Rashad was attempting to steal from the local bodega like Paul Galluzo said or if the white officer’s actions were racially motivated. The only witnesses are Quinn, one of Rashad’s classmates who was raised by Paul and the shop’s video cameras. Will the town rally behind the white officer or side with Rashad?
More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
Arron Soto hasn’t been happy since his father’s suicide. Despite his mother and girlfriend’s best attempts to help him through the loss, it isn’t until he becomes close with Thomas that he begins to feel a glimmer of the happiness he used to know. Will Arron turn to a new medical memory altering procedure to return to his old self and risk forgetting who he truly is? Though not as racially charged as the other titles on this list, if you loved The Hate U Give, you will not be able to put More Happy Than Not down.
Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro
Ever since his father was murdered by an Oakland police officer six years ago, Moss Jeffries has suffered from horrible panic attacks. Now as his school introduces new policies like random locker searches and police officers stationed in hallways, Moss and his friends begin to feel more like prisoners than students. Moss must learn that his anger can actually be a gift or it will surely consume him.
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
Gun violence has been a part of 15-year-old Will’s life for as long as he can remember, so he knows the rules. Which is why when his brother is murdered, he shoves his brother’s gun into the waistband of his jeans and sets off for revenge. On the elevator ride down, ghosts from his past reveal to him pieces of the story that he has been missing and slowly reveal a bigger picture. Now Will has to decide how the story will end.
Dear Martin by Nic Stone
You wouldn’t expect someone with Ivy League aspirations to be getting hassled by law enforcement when he’s not in class. For Justyce McAllister, however, it is a regular part of life as a young black man. During a run-in with a white officer over Justyce and his friend’s choice of music, words and bullets fly. Relying on the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr., Justyce has to navigate the fallout that ensues.
(photo by @tarinannuppuja)