Johnson, Javon. Ain’t Never Not Been Black. October 2020. Button Poetry. $16.00. Paperback. 100 pages. 9781943735846. Young Adults and Older. A collection of poetry that narrates the author’s emergence into adulthood in South Central Los Angeles, catching all the nuances of life from anxiety over the violence he had to navigate in the streets to the tender joyous moments of first love.

Bleschke, Mark. INTO THE STREETS: A Young Person’s Visual History of Protest in the United States Illustrated Edition). July 2020. Zest Books. $19.99. Paperback. 176 pages. 9781541579040. Young Adult. A pictoral account of protest for human rights in this nation, ranging chronologically from the early 1492 Pueblo Revolts of Indigenous Nations against Spanish colonialization through the 2020 Post George Floyd/ Breonna Taylor BLM Protests, during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. Guidelines on how youth can organize for peaceful and safe protests of their own is also available at the end of the book.


Joseph, Frederick. December 2020. Candlewick. $17.99. Hardback. 272 pages. 9781642590364. Children. A memoir that is part guidelines that introduces white youth to anti-racism, by bringing attention to how remarks that stem from a systemic sense of white privilege, can often and unintentionally hurt their black American friends.

Reynolds, Jason and Ibram X. Kendi. March 2020. Little Brown Books for Young People. $18.99. Hardback. 320 pages. 9780316453691. Young Adults and Older Teens. A narrative contexualization of Kendi’s adult text on American history that explains how race and racism has always been a conscious construct in the development of the New World, which initially included the colonization of the Americas as a mony making corporate investment. The nation’s use as a corporation in turn used the human trafficking and chattel enslavement of African people as collateral for financial trade and investments in all business ventures.

Khan-Cullors, Patrisse and Asha Bendele. When They Call You a Terrorist: A Story of Black Lives Matter and the Power to Change the World. September 2020. Wednesday Books. $18.99. Hardback. 272 pages. 9781250194985. Young Adults. A young adult version of the original text by the creator of the Black Lives Matter movement. Chronicling the author’s beginnings of being racially profiled by police while growing up in Van Nuys, California through current times. The reader is privvy to the author’s lifetime experience with stress due to the racially aggression climate in this country. Resources for helping youth cope with a variety of mental health needs is provided.


Passage Academy Students at Belmont. Everything I Been Through. February 2020. 460 . $15.00. Paperback. 273 pages. 9788676358005. Older Teens and Adults. A unique glimpse into the life of youth who were enrolled in a New York JD facility, as told in their own words. The series of poems and short stories show their resiliency and will to move forward, despicting what they have had to face in their young lives.


Heimbuch, Craig J. and Peter Raber. DON’T BE A JERK: 52 Lessons for Boys Becoming MEN. October 2019. Useful Productions. $9.99. Paperback. 128 pages. 9781702117715. Middle Grades. A collection of short insightful guidelines to help young boys manage their behavior with others so as to avoid the mistakes in curtesy and poor manners, when it’s not called for or appropriate.

Gale, Heather and Mika Song. HO’ONANI: Hula Warrior. October 2019. Tundra Books. Hardback. $17.99. 40 pages. 978-0735264496. Picture Book for Older Readers. Based on the true story of an 11 year-old Hawaiian girl who wished to play the male role in a traditional school presentation and her teacher, a transgender, whose identity is embraced and held in high esteem by Hawaiian people and the Aloha culture of acceptance for gender identity. A variety of documentaries are available online as resources for this picture book for all ages.


Vald-Menon, Alok and Ashley Lukashevsky. June 2020. Penguin Workshop. $8.99. Paperback. 64 pages. 9780593094655. Young Adults. A collection of personal experiences and insights that creates a step by step guide on how to survive in a transphobic world of shared spaces. It also shows how nonbinary people can find and make safe spaces that thrive for gender non-conforming people.