Book Recs Class of 2K20 Blog Series

Black Lives Matter: Class of 2K20 Authors Suggest MG and YA Reading That Centers Black Voices


Black lives matter.

And so do stories that center Black experiences. Because Black kids deserve to see themselves in fiction, and because all kids deserve books that tell the stories of Black characters.

We believe all kinds of stories are important. Stories that take up and transform pain and stories that center Black protagonists’ light and laughter. Stories that are set here in the real world and stories that are set in magical places. Stories that take place in the future, in the present day, and in the long-ago past. 

It was such a pleasure for us to take a moment to think about books by Black authors that have brought us joy, and we hope you’ll find your next read for yourself or your kids below.

Class of 2K20 Blog Series How I Got My Agent Kit Rosewater

Kit Rosewater on Failed Projects & Choosing the Wrong Agent: The Beauty of Second Chances

I rarely get things right on the first try.

I used to wish I did. I wanted to present a polished version of myself to the world. A version that was innately smart and talented, who could stow away in her little writing cave and emerge with shiny, polished works of brilliance.

I’m cringing at this description now, because who the heck likes that kind of person?! But the allure of perfection is still ever-present. It was certainly present back when I was working on my first book. Despite snippets of advice from authors I admired encouraging writers to leap into the next project, I stubbornly clung to the idea that my FIRST book needed be the one to make it. That I wouldn’t have to go back all the way to the drawing board and try again with a new story.

Class of 2K20 Blog Series How I Got My Agent Raquel Vasquez Gilliland

How I Got My Agent: Raquel Vasquez Gilliland

Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything isn’t the first novel I’ve written. Nor the second. I suppose you could say it was my third full and finished novel, but that doesn’t feel like anywhere near the whole of it. It feels like it erases all those words I’d written before and between—the two novellas, the hundreds, maybe thousands of poems, the short stories and flash pieces, journal and diary entries, letters and notes, fanfiction, prayers. Millions of words, I’d reckon.