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New West Youth Services - Black History Month Reads

Updated: Feb 18

Did you miss our reel on Instagram of our curated reading list for Black History Month? Here are our top youth-focused reads! All titles are part of the New Westminster Public Library's catalogue.




What are some of your favourite Black stories or works by Black authors? We'd love to hear about them and share them. Drop them in the comments!



Sure, I'll Be Your Black Friend

Ben Philippe


Presents Ben Philippe's memoir-in-essays, chronicling a lifetime of being the Black friend in predominantly white spaces. From cheating his way out of swim tests to discovering stray family members in unlikely places, he finds the punchline in the serious while acknowledging the blunt truths of existing as a Black man in today's world.



The Black Kids

Christina Hammonds Reed

Ashley Bennett is almost done with her senior year of high school when the VERDICT in the Rodney King trial comes out, shaking up her halcyon life. In Los Angeles in 1992, Ashley is the lone Black girl among her group of white friends who don't understand that she has to behave better than them to be seen as just as good.



Black Women Who Dared

Naomi M. Moyer


Short biographies of ten Black women from Canada and the United States, ranging from 1793 to the present. Anti-slavery activists, business women, community organizers, and educators; they were, and are, leaders committed to uplifting their communities.



The Field Gu ide to the North American TeenagerThe Field Guide to the North American Teenager

Ben Philippe

Seventeen-year-old Norris Kaplan has just had his world turned upside-down. When his mother has to relocate to find work in her field, Norris finds his identity as a Black, French-Canadian hockey fan challenged by his new existence in the suburbs of Austin, Texas



Learning to Breathe

Janice Lynn Mather


Sixteen-year-old Indy, sent to live with relatives in Nassau, struggles to conceal that she is pregnant by rape. Turned out by her aunt, completely broke with only a hand-me-down pregnancy book as a resource, Indy desperately looks for a safe space to call home. A yoga retreat might be the place. But Indy is about to discover that home is more just four walls and a roof-- it's the people she chooses to share it with.



The Outer Harbour - Stories

Wayde Compton


City of Vancouver Book Award Winner

In his debut story collection, poet Wayde Compton explores the concept of place and identity in which characters and space merge to make narrative. These interconnected stories, imbued with the colour of speculative fiction, are towering in their conceits. As much as characters are revealed by what they do and say, in The Outer Harbour , places also speak, in the way that they shape us.


Strange Fruit, Volume II - More Uncelebrated Narratives From Black History

Joel Christian Gill


Like all legends, people fade away, but not before leaving an incredible legacy. Strange Fruit, Volume II: More Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History is a collection of stories from early African American history that represent the oddity of success in the face of great adversity. Each of the eight illustrated chapters chronicles an uncelebrated African American hero or event. Joel Christian Gill offers historical and cultural commentary on heroes whose stories are not often found in history books, such as Cathay Williams, the only known female Buffalo Soldier, and Eugene Bullard, a fighter pilot who flew for France during World War I. These beautifully illustrated stories offer a refreshing look at remarkable African Americans.


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