Celebrating Black Creators: Young Adult Books

Celebrating Black Creators


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On the Come Up Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062498564
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Balzer + Bray - February 5th, 2019

#1 New York Times bestseller · Seven starred reviews · Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor Book

“For all the struggle in this book, Thomas rarely misses a step as a writer. Thomas continues to hold up that mirror with grace and confidence. We are lucky to have her, and lucky to know a girl like Bri.”—The New York Times Book Review

Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least win her first battle. As the daughter of an underground hip hop legend who died right before he hit big, Bri’s got massive shoes to fill.

But it’s hard to get your come up when you’re labeled a hoodlum at school, and your fridge at home is empty after your mom loses her job. So Bri pours her anger and frustration into her first song, which goes viral . . . for all the wrong reasons.

Bri soon finds herself at the center of a controversy, portrayed by the media as more menace than MC. But with an eviction notice staring her family down, Bri doesn’t just want to make it—she has to. Even if it means becoming the very thing the public has made her out to be.  

Insightful, unflinching, and full of heart, On the Come Up is an ode to hip hop from one of the most influential literary voices of a generation. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; and about how, especially for young black people, freedom of speech isn’t always free.


The Black Flamingo Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062990297
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Balzer + Bray - May 26th, 2020

Stonewall Book Award Winner!

A fierce coming-of-age verse novel about identity and the power of drag, from acclaimed poet and performer Dean Atta. Perfect for fans of Elizabeth Acevedo, Jason Reynolds, and Kacen Callender.

Michael is a mixed-race gay teen growing up in London. All his life, he’s navigated what it means to be Greek-Cypriot and Jamaican—but never quite feeling Greek or Black enough.

As he gets older, Michael’s coming out is only the start of learning who he is and where he fits in. When he discovers the Drag Society, he finally finds where he belongs—and the Black Flamingo is born.

Told with raw honesty, insight, and lyricism, this debut explores the layers of identity that make us who we are—and allow us to shine.

"In this uplifting coming-of-age novel told in accessible verse, Atta chronicles the growth and glory of Michael Angeli, a mixed-race kid from London, as he navigates his cultural identity as Cypriot and Jamaican as well as his emerging sexuality." (Publishers Weekly, "An Anti-Racist Children's and YA Reading List")


Piecing Me Together Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9781681191072
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Bloomsbury YA - June 5th, 2018


Acclaimed author Renee Watson offers a powerful story about a girl striving for success in a world that too often seems like it's trying to break her.

Jade believes she must get out of her poor neighborhood if she's ever going to succeed. Her mother tells her to take advantage of every opportunity that comes her way. And Jade has: every day she rides the bus away from her friends and to the private school where she feels like an outsider, but where she has plenty of opportunities. But some opportunities she doesn't really welcome, like an invitation to join Women to Women, a mentorship program for "at-risk" girls. Just because her mentor is black and graduated from the same high school doesn't mean she understands where Jade is coming from. She's tired of being singled out as someone who needs help, someone people want to fix. Jade wants to speak, to create, to express her joys and sorrows, her pain and her hope. Maybe there are some things she could show other women about understanding the world and finding ways to be real, to make a difference.


Not So Pure and Simple Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062349194
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Quill Tree Books - January 21st, 2020

In his first contemporary teen novel, critically acclaimed author and two-time Edgar Award finalist Lamar Giles spotlights the consequences of societal pressure, confronts toxic masculinity, and explores the complexity of what it means to be a “real man.”

Del has had a crush on Kiera Westing since kindergarten. And now, during their junior year, she’s finally available. So when Kiera volunteers for an opportunity at their church, Del’s right behind her. Though he quickly realizes he’s inadvertently signed up for a Purity Pledge.

His dad thinks his wires are crossed, and his best friend, Qwan, doesn’t believe any girl is worth the long game. But Del’s not about to lose his dream girl, and that’s where fellow pledger Jameer comes in. He can put in the good word. In exchange, Del just has to get answers to the Pledgers’ questions…about sex ed.

With other boys circling Kiera like sharks, Del needs to make his move fast. But as he plots and plans, he neglects to ask the most important question: What does Kiera want? He can’t think about that too much, though, because once he gets the girl, it’ll all sort itself out. Right?


Opposite of Always Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9780062748386
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - April 7th, 2020

Debut author Justin A. Reynolds delivers a hilarious and heartfelt novel about the choices we make, the people we choose, and the moments that make a life worth reliving. Perfect for fans of Nicola Yoon and John Green.

When Jack and Kate meet at a party, bonding until sunrise over their mutual love of Froot Loops and their favorite flicks, Jack knows he’s falling—hard. Soon she’s meeting his best friends, Jillian and Franny, and Kate wins them over as easily as she did Jack.

But then Kate dies. And their story should end there.

Yet Kate’s death sends Jack back to the beginning, the moment they first meet, and Kate’s there again. Healthy, happy, and charming as ever. Jack isn’t sure if he’s losing his mind.

Still, if he has a chance to prevent Kate’s death, he’ll take it. Even if that means believing in time travel. However, Jack will learn that his actions are not without consequences. And when one choice turns deadly for someone else close to him, he has to figure out what he’s willing to do to save the people he loves.


The Poet X Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9780062662811
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Quill Tree Books - April 7th, 2020

 

Fans of Jacqueline Woodson, Meg Medina, and Jason Reynolds will fall hard for this astonishing New York Times-bestselling novel-in-verse by an award-winning slam poet, about an Afro-Latina heroine who tells her story with blazing words and powerful truth. This young adult novel is an excellent choice for accelerated tween readers in grades 7 to 8, especially during homeschooling. It’s a fun way to keep your child entertained and engaged while not in the classroom.

Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.

But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about.

With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself. So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out. But she still can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.

Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.


Let Me Hear a Rhyme Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780062840332
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - May 19th, 2020

Brooklyn, 1998. Biggie Smalls was right: Things done changed. But that doesn’t mean that Quadir and Jarrell are cool letting their best friend Steph’s music lie forgotten under his bed after he’s murdered—not when his rhymes could turn any Bed Stuy corner into a party.

With the help of Steph’s younger sister Jasmine, they come up with a plan to promote Steph’s music under a new rap name: the Architect. Soon, everyone wants a piece of him. When his demo catches the attention of a hotheaded music label rep, the trio must prove Steph’s talent from beyond the grave.

As the pressure of keeping their secret grows, Quadir, Jarrell, and Jasmine are forced to confront the truth about what happened to Steph. Only, each has something to hide. And with everything riding on Steph’s fame, they need to decide what they stand for or lose all that they’ve worked so hard to hold on to—including each other.


Dear Haiti, Love Alaine Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781335777096
Availability: Usually Ships from Wholesaler in 1-5 Days
Published: Inkyard Press - September 3rd, 2019

Alaine Beauparlant has heard about Haiti all her life...

 

But the stories were always passed down from her dad--and her mom, when she wasn't too busy with her high-profile newscaster gig. But when Alaine's life goes a bit sideways, it's time to finally visit Haiti herself.

 

What she learns about Haiti's proud history as the world's first black republic (with its even prouder people) is one thing, but what she learns about her own family is another. Suddenly, the secrets Alaine's mom has been keeping, including a family curse that has spanned generations, can no longer be avoided.

It's a lot to handle, without even mentioning that Alaine is also working for her aunt's nonprofit, which sends underprivileged kids to school and boasts one annoyingly charming intern.

But if anyone can do it all...it's Alaine.


Full Disclosure Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781984829955
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Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - October 29th, 2019

The uplifting story of an HIV-positive teen, falling in love and learning to live her truth.

Simone Garcia-Hampton is starting over at a new school, and this time things will be different. She's making real friends, making a name for herself as student director of Rent, and making a play for Miles, the guy who makes her melt every time he walks into a room. The last thing she wants is for word to get out that she's HIV-positive, because last time . . . well, last time things got ugly.
     Keeping her viral load under control is easy, but keeping her diagnosis under wraps is not so simple. As Simone and Miles start going out for real--shy kisses escalating into much more--she feels an uneasiness that goes beyond butterflies. She knows she has to tell him that she's positive, especially if sex is a possibility, but she's terrified of how he'll react! And then she finds an anonymous note in her locker: I know you have HIV. You have until Thanksgiving to stop hanging out with Miles. Or everyone else will know too.
     Simone's first instinct is to protect her secret at all costs, but as she gains a deeper understanding of the prejudice and fear in her community, she begins to wonder if the only way to rise above is to face the haters head-on. . . .


Long Way Down Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9781481438261
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books - April 2nd, 2019

An ode to Put the Damn Guns Down, this is National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestseller Jason Reynolds’s fiercely stunning novel that takes place in sixty potent seconds—the time it takes a kid to decide whether or not he’s going to murder the guy who killed his brother.

A cannon. A strap.
A piece. A biscuit.
A burner. A heater.
A chopper. A gat.
A hammer
A tool
for RULE

Or, you can call it a gun. That’s what fifteen-year-old Will has shoved in the back waistband of his jeans. See, his brother Shawn was just murdered. And Will knows the rules. No crying. No snitching. Revenge. That’s where Will’s now heading, with that gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, the gun that was his brother’s gun. He gets on the elevator, seventh floor, stoked. He knows who he’s after. Or does he? As the elevator stops on the sixth floor, on comes Buck. Buck, Will finds out, is who gave Shawn the gun before Will took the gun. Buck tells Will to check that the gun is even loaded. And that’s when Will sees that one bullet is missing. And the only one who could have fired Shawn’s gun was Shawn. Huh. Will didn’t know that Shawn had ever actually USED his gun. Bigger huh. BUCK IS DEAD. But Buck’s in the elevator? Just as Will’s trying to think this through, the door to the next floor opens. A teenage girl gets on, waves away the smoke from Dead Buck’s cigarette. Will doesn’t know her, but she knew him. Knew. When they were eight. And stray bullets had cut through the playground, and Will had tried to cover her, but she was hit anyway, and so what she wants to know, on that fifth floor elevator stop, is, what if Will, Will with the gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, MISSES.

And so it goes, the whole long way down, as the elevator stops on each floor, and at each stop someone connected to his brother gets on to give Will a piece to a bigger story than the one he thinks he knows. A story that might never know an END…if WILL gets off that elevator.

Told in short, fierce staccato narrative verse, Long Way Down is a fast and furious, dazzlingly brilliant look at teenage gun violence, as could only be told by Jason Reynolds.


Monday's Not Coming Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780062422682
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - April 23rd, 2019


From the critically acclaimed author of Allegedly, Tiffany D. Jackson, comes a gripping new novel perfect for fans of E. Lockhart and Gillian Flynn about the mystery of one teenage girl’s disappearance and the traumatic effects of the truth.

Monday Charles is missing, and only Claudia seems to notice. Claudia and Monday have always been inseparable—more sisters than friends. So when Monday doesn’t turn up for the first day of school, Claudia’s worried.

When she doesn’t show for the second day, or second week, Claudia knows that something is wrong. Monday wouldn’t just leave her to endure tests and bullies alone. Not after last year’s rumors and not with her grades on the line. Now Claudia needs her best—and only—friend more than ever. But Monday’s mother refuses to give Claudia a straight answer, and Monday’s sister April is even less help.

As Claudia digs deeper into her friend’s disappearance, she discovers that no one seems to remember the last time they saw Monday. How can a teenage girl just vanish without anyone noticing that she’s gone?


Monster Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780064407311
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Amistad - March 5th, 2019

This New York Times bestselling novel from acclaimed author Walter Dean Myers tells the story of Steve Harmon, a teenage boy in juvenile detention and on trial.

Presented as a screenplay of Steve's own imagination, and peppered with journal entries, the book shows how one single decision can change our whole lives. This young adult novel is an excellent choice for accelerated tween readers in grades 7 to 8, especially during homeschooling. It’s a fun way to keep your child entertained and engaged while not in the classroom.

Monster is a multi-award-winning, provocative coming-of-age story that was the first-ever Michael L. Printz Award recipient, an ALA Best Book, a Coretta Scott King Honor selection, and a National Book Award finalist.

Monster is now a major motion picture called All Rise and starring Jennifer Hudson, Kelvin Harrison, Jr., Nas, and A$AP Rocky.

The late Walter Dean Myers was a National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, who was known for his commitment to realistically depicting kids from his hometown of Harlem.


Ordinary Hazards: A Memoir Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781629798813
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Wordsong - October 8th, 2019


In her own voice, acclaimed author and poet Nikki Grimes explores the truth of a harrowing childhood in a compelling and moving memoir in verse.

Growing up with a mother suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and a mostly absent father, Nikki Grimes found herself terrorized by babysitters, shunted from foster family to foster family, and preyed upon by those she trusted. At the age of six, she poured her pain onto a piece of paper late one night - and discovered the magic and impact of writing. For many years, Nikki's notebooks were her most enduing companions. In this accessible and inspiring memoir that will resonate with young readers and adults alike, Nikki shows how the power of those words helped her conquer the hazards - ordinary and extraordinary - of her life.


The First Part Last Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780689849237
Availability: Usually Ships from Wholesaler in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon Pulse - January 1st, 2005

Bobby's a classic urban teenager. He's restless. He's impulsive. But the thing that makes him different is this: He's going to be a father. His girlfriend, Nia, is pregnant, and their lives are about to change forever. Instead of spending time with friends, they'll be spending time with doctors, and next, diapers. They have options: keeping the baby, adoption. They want to do the right thing.
If only it was clear what the right thing was.


War Girls Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9780451481696
Availability: Usually Ships from Wholesaler in 1-5 Days
Published: Razorbill - September 8th, 2020

Two sisters are torn apart by war and must fight their way back to each other in a futuristic, Black Panther-inspired Nigeria.

The year is 2172. Climate change and nuclear disasters have rendered much of earth unlivable. Only the lucky ones have escaped to space colonies in the sky.

In a war-torn Nigeria, battles are fought using flying, deadly mechs and soldiers are outfitted with bionic limbs and artificial organs meant to protect them from the harsh, radiation-heavy climate. Across the nation, as the years-long civil war wages on, survival becomes the only way of life.

Two sisters, Onyii and Ify, dream of more. Their lives have been marked by violence and political unrest. Still, they dream of peace, of hope, of a future together.

And they're willing to fight an entire war to get there.

Acclaimed author, Tochi Onyebuchi, has written an immersive, action-packed, deeply personal novel perfect for fans of Nnedi Okorafor, Marie Lu, and Paolo Bacigalupi.


Edited by National Book Award finalist Ibi Zoboi, and featuring some of the most acclaimed bestselling Black authors writing for teens today—Black Enough is an essential collection of captivating stories about what it’s like to be young and Black in America. This young adult novel is an excellent choice for accelerated tween readers in grades 7 to 8, especially during homeschooling. It’s a fun way to keep your child entertained and engaged while not in the classroom.

Black is...sisters navigating their relationship at summer camp in Portland, Oregon, as written by Renée Watson.

Black is…three friends walking back from the community pool talking about nothing and everything, in a story by Jason Reynolds.

Black is…Nic Stone’s high-class beauty dating a boy her momma would never approve of.

Black is…two girls kissing in Justina Ireland’s story set in Maryland.

Black is urban and rural, wealthy and poor, mixed race, immigrants, and more—because there are countless ways to be Black enough.


The Stars and the Blackness Between Them Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780525555490
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Penguin Books - June 23rd, 2020

"Fearless."—Teen Vogue

"Like Toni Morrison, who redrew the narrative of black experience with novels set in Midwestern small towns, Petrus is redrawing a map, creating an Eden where Caribbean, black and LGBT culture can find beauty and lushness, spirituality, history and sustenance."—Minneapolis Star Tribune

Petrus’s prose is rhythmic, colloquial, and unabashedly erotic.”—City Pages

"Petrus's storytelling brings the ancestors to life."—Layla F. Saad, New York Times bestselling author of Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor

"The Stars and The Blackness Between Them
 is an ambitious first work and its pages are full of tender juxtapositions and time traveling love stories. The ways we feel love and grief are not bound to adulthood. Junauda lets us remember our first knowing of ourselves, our earliest resistance to those who would deny us, our first brush with the brevity of life. Enjoy this sweet and magical work."—adrienne maree brown, New York Times bestselling author of Pleasure Activism

“The most gorgeous, profound, spiritually uplifting, queer Black Afro-futuristic-magical, ancestral love oracle/book I've ever read in my whole life. I'm shook with joy.”—Gabby Rivera, author of Juliet Takes a Breath and America

"Deeply spiritual and bursting with light, The Stars and the Blackness Between Them is a gorgeous love letter to the African diaspora."—Brandy Colbert, Stonewall Award–winning author of Little & Lion

“The Stars and the Blackness Between Them
 is a sweeping, heartfelt, and engrossing debut, a story so expertly crafted and beautifully written that you’ll want to return to it again and again. I got lost in the poetic, infectious voices of Audre and Mabel, two teens struggling with their own identities in a world that wants them to be easily categorized. This is THE queer read of 2019, and its final pages will haunt you long afterward. If Petrus is the future of YA (and I sure hope she is), then we are in good hands."—Mark Oshiro, award winning author of Anger Is a Gift

"I keep buying this novel for friends and saying, 'So, it's a prison abolitionist Black queer wild magic teen love story that's also a rich Black earth, fresh and salt water, wild intergenerational, diasporic, magic healing spell?' I inhaled this book. It's sweet deep water, slaking a thirst you (maybe) didn't know you had. It also made me cry, thankful that Black queer and trans youth now have this book and the worlds within it, and wishing we'd had it when me and my friends were queer Black and brown youth twenty years ago. Junauda Petrus has written a triumph, and I'm grateful."—Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, author of Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice

"The Stars and the Blackness Between Them is an incantation, a meditation on love—love of the self, of the family, of the desired, of blackness, of the natural and cosmic worlds, of life itself. Written in the poetics of black vernaculars, it tells the stories of two young women who love each other, the diasporic communities they come from, and the transformational power that is the multilayered blackness between them. This rich and magical novel addresses and goes beyond easy notions of young queer love. What joy to welcome such a vibrant new voice."—Alexis De Veaux, author of Yabo and Warrior Poet, A Biography of Audre Lorde

★ "Readers seeking a deep, uplifting love story will not be disappointed as the novel covers both flourishing feelings and bigger questions around belief and what happens when we face our own mortality. ... A cosmically compelling read.”—Kirkus, starred review

★"Petrus provides compelling depth to both Audre and Mabel while conveying the powerful message that those we love on earth remain with us through a connection that can only be described as celestial. Striking an agile balance between humor and heartbreak, Petrus delivers an immersive queer romance set in in a world much like our own but touched with the slightest tint of magic realism.”—Booklist, starred review

★"Petrus’s earnest debut successfully, touchingly combines elements of fantasy, bittersweet realism, and potent, affecting spirituality to tell the coming-of-age story of two complex, beautifully drawn young black women whose friendship and love draw them together."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

"[T]here's a delightful queering of narrative expectations in this thoroughly sex-positive debut novel from Petrus, and the trippy flair and lush intensity will have considerable appeal."--BCCB

"Be ready to lose a day once you start reading; Mabel and Audre will draw you into their worlds and not release their grip on you even after the last page."—Teen Librarian Toolbox

A Coretta Scott King Honor Book
Kirkus Reviews Best Book

A YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Top Ten Book
An ALA Rainbow List Book
A Minnesota Book Award Finalist


Black Panther: World of Wakanda Cover Image
By Ta-Nehisi Coates (Text by), Roxane Gay (Text by), Yona Harvey (Text by), Alitha Martinez (Illustrator), Afua Richardson (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781302906504
Availability: Usually Ships from Wholesaler in 1-5 Days
Published: Marvel - June 27th, 2017

The world building of Wakanda continues in a love story where tenderness is matched only by brutality! You know them now as the Midnight Angels, but in this story they are just Ayo and Aneka, young women recruited to become Dora Milaje, an elite task force trained to protect the crown of Wakanda at all costs. Their first assignment will be to protect Queen Shuri... but what happens when your nation needs your hearts and minds, but you already gave them to each other? Meanwhile, former king T'Challa lies with bedfellows so dark, disgrace is inevitable. Plus, explore the true origins of the People's mysterious leader, Zenzi. Black Panther thinks he knows who Zenzi is and how she got her powers - but he only knows part of the story!


Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur Vol. 1: BFF Cover Image
By Amy Reeder (Text by), Brandon Montclare (Text by), Natacha Bustos (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781302900052
Availability: Usually Ships from Wholesaler in 1-5 Days
Published: Marvel - July 5th, 2016

LUNELLA LAFAYETTE is a preteen super genius who wants to change the world-but learned the hard way that it takes MORE than just big brains. Fearful of the monstrous INHUMAN genes inside her, life is turned upside down when a savage, red-scaled tyrant is teleported from prehistoric past to a far-flung future we call TODAY. The pair are many things, and together the most amazing Marvel Team-Up.

COLLECTING: MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR 1-6


A Song Below Water: A Novel Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250315328
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Tor Teen - June 2nd, 2020


Bethany C. Morrow's A Song Below Water is the story for today’s readers — a captivating modern fantasy about black sirens, friendship, and self-discovery set against the challenges of today's racism and sexism.

In a society determined to keep her under lock and key, Tavia must hide her siren powers.

Meanwhile, Effie is fighting her own family struggles, pitted against literal demons from her past. Together, these best friends must navigate through the perils of high school’s junior year.

But everything changes in the aftermath of a siren murder trial that rocks the nation, and Tavia accidentally lets out her magical voice at the worst possible moment.

Soon, nothing in Portland, Oregon, seems safe. To save themselves from drowning, it’s only Tavia and Effie’s unbreakable sisterhood that proves to be the strongest magic of all.

“An enthralling tale of Black girl magic and searing social commentary ready to rattle the bones.” — Dhonielle Clayton, New York Times bestselling author of The Belles


Dread Nation Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780062570611
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Balzer + Bray - June 4th, 2019

New York Times bestseller; 6 starred reviews!

At once provocative, terrifying, and darkly subversive, Dread Nation is Justina Ireland's stunning vision of an America both foreign and familiar—a country on the brink, at the explosive crossroads where race, humanity, and survival meet.

Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania—derailing the War Between the States and changing the nation forever.

In this new America, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Education Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead.

But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It's a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.

But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston's School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose.

But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies. 

And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.