100 books like Stamped

By Jason Reynolds, Ibram X. Kendi,

Here are 100 books that Stamped fans have personally recommended if you like Stamped. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Ghost Boys

Wade Hudson Author Of Defiant: Growing Up in the Jim Crow South

From my list on for young readers on growing up Black in the US.

Who am I?

As a youngster growing up in the segregated South, I didn’t have access to books about Black history, culture, and experiences. Although I attended all-Black schools, the curriculum and the books in our libraries were mostly selected by an all-White school board. So, I didn’t know that much about the history of my own people. I would not begin to learn that until I attended college. When I married and had children of my own, my wife and I still had problems finding a variety of books for children and young readers for our own children to read. So, we started our own publishing company to address the need for these books.

Wade's book list on for young readers on growing up Black in the US

Wade Hudson Why did Wade love this book?

This moving novel is right from the headlines of today reflecting real-life events. 

The story follows a 12-year-old boy named Jerome who is shot and killed by a white police officer after he mistakes Jerome's toy gun for a real one. Jerome becomes a ghost who meets another ghost, that of Emmett Till, a black boy who was murdered in 1955.

Through Till's story, Jerome learns about other "ghost boys" left to roam society, trying to stop society from repeating itself. 

By Jewell Parker Rhodes,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Ghost Boys as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

A heartbreaking and powerful story about a black boy killed by a police officer, drawing connections through history, from award-winning author Jewell Parker Rhodes.

Only the living can make the world better. Live and make it better.

Twelve-year-old Jerome is shot by a police officer who mistakes his toy gun for a real threat. As a ghost, he observes the devastation that's been unleashed on his family and community in the wake of what they see as an unjust and brutal killing.

Soon Jerome meets another ghost: Emmett Till, a boy from a very different time but similar circumstances. Emmett…


Book cover of The Hate U Give

Mary Jennifer Payne Author Of Enough

From my list on unforgettable protagonists in urban settings.

Who am I?

Born the same year as Winona Ryder, Tupac Shakur, and Elon Musk, I’m a Toronto-based writer of novels, short fiction, graphic stories, nonfiction, and scripts for film and television. My YA books include the graphic novella The Lion of Africa, the supernatural, climate change-fuelled Daughters of Light trilogy, and the hard-hitting Since You’ve Been Gone. My writing gives voice to strong, diverse protagonists in urban settings who are dealing with seemingly insurmountable challenges. I’ve been a special education teacher for more than 20 years and my characters are often inspired by the amazing young people I’ve worked with. The cities in my work are living, breathing entities that shape the plot and the protagonist’s character.

Mary's book list on unforgettable protagonists in urban settings

Mary Jennifer Payne Why did Mary love this book?

When it comes to unforgettable protagonists fifteen-year-old Starr Carter definitely tops the list. Her father, Maverick, is also someone that I was left wanting to know more about and, luckily, Concrete Rose (Thomas’s follow-up to THUG), gives us the backstory to his life.

The Hate U Give details Starr’s journey as she struggles with deciding whether or not to testify in front of a grand jury after her best friend, Khalil, is killed by a police officer. The settings of the novel are critical to Starr’s inner conflict as she grapples with having to navigate between her home in Garden Heights, a tight-knit but underserved community where the lack of good schools and employment opportunities allows gangs and gun violence to flourish, and the wealthy neighbourhood where she attends private school.

By Angie Thomas,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The Hate U Give as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

Now a major motion picture, starring Amandla Stenberg

No. 1 New York Times bestseller

Winner of the Waterstones Children's Book Prize * Goodreads Choice Awards Best of the Best * National Book Award Longlist * British Book Awards Children's Book of the Year * Teen Vogue Best YA Book of the Year

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a…


Book cover of Dear Martin

Wade Hudson Author Of Defiant: Growing Up in the Jim Crow South

From my list on for young readers on growing up Black in the US.

Who am I?

As a youngster growing up in the segregated South, I didn’t have access to books about Black history, culture, and experiences. Although I attended all-Black schools, the curriculum and the books in our libraries were mostly selected by an all-White school board. So, I didn’t know that much about the history of my own people. I would not begin to learn that until I attended college. When I married and had children of my own, my wife and I still had problems finding a variety of books for children and young readers for our own children to read. So, we started our own publishing company to address the need for these books.

Wade's book list on for young readers on growing up Black in the US

Wade Hudson Why did Wade love this book?

Nic Stones’s first book is a classic. When an altercation between a retired white police officer and his best friend turns violent, Justyce, a Black teenager, is forced to examine what it means to be a Black in America.

Writing letters to the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in a journal that Justyce keeps helps him come to terms with this challenging reality.

By Nic Stone,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Dear Martin as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

'Absolutely incredible, honest, gut-wrenching! A must-read!' Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give
' Painfully timely and deeply moving, this is the novel the next generation should be reading' Jodi Picoult
'Justyce's story is earnest, funny, achingly human, and unshakably hopeful. I am forever changed.' Becky Albertalli, author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
'Raw and gripping' Jason Reynolds, author of Long Way Down
'A powerful, wrenching, and compulsively readable story that lays bare the history, and the present, of racism in America' John Green, author of The Fault in our Stars

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Raw, captivating, and undeniably real,…


Book cover of Brown Girl Dreaming

Dare DeLano Author Of Abilene

From my list on strong female characters, family secrets, and magic.

Who am I?

I have always been drawn to stories that include a touch of magic – whether it’s the magical realism of Gabriel García Márquez, or the fantasy-adjacent work of Alice Hoffman. To me, works that include an element of magic speak to something in the human experience that is transcendent. The experience of praying, of having a child trust you, of falling in love – all these have a tinge of magic, or an unexplainable element in them. I want my stories to be, in part, a celebration of the magic we experience every day.

Dare's book list on strong female characters, family secrets, and magic

Dare DeLano Why did Dare love this book?

This one is pushing the limits of my list in a couple of different ways – it is technically not a novel, but rather a memoir in verse.

It’s also a middle grade work rather than an adult novel. I’m including it here because I feel it’s one of those books for children that every adult should read. The prose is beautiful, and the author’s coming-of-age story is a tale of resilience, love, and family. The author invokes the ghosts of her ancestors in a way that lends a bit of magic to the work.

By Jacqueline Woodson,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Brown Girl Dreaming as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

The compelling story of a young Black girl growing up in 1960-70s America - a multi-award winning New York Times bestseller and President Obama's 'O' Book Club pick.

Brown Girl Dreaming is the unforgettable story of Jacqueline Woodson's childhood, told in vivid and accessible blank verse. She shares what it was like to grow up as an African-American in the wake of the Civil Rights movement, never truly feeling at home, and discovering the first sparks of an incredible, lifelong gift for writing. It's packed with wonderful reflections on family and on place, in a way that will appeal to…


Book cover of The Stars and the Blackness Between Them

Shannon Gibney Author Of See No Color

From my list on YA and MG about the Black experience.

Who am I?

I love stories and storytelling of all kinds – from YA to memoir to journalism to children's picture books. If there is a story worth telling I will pursue it, regardless of genre. I'm particularly fascinated by stories that are out of the mainstream, are hidden, or come from people and cultures at the intersections of place, race, and gender. See No Color, about a mixed Black girl adopted into a white family, was my first YA novel, and it was followed by Dream Country, which chronicles five generations of a Liberian and Liberian American family. I co-edited an anthology on BIPOC women's experiences with miscarriage and infant loss, What God Is Honored Here?

Shannon's book list on YA and MG about the Black experience

Shannon Gibney Why did Shannon love this book?

This beautifully-written queer love story is set in Minneapolis, and centers on Mabel and Audre – two girls from very different backgrounds who find themselves falling in love. Audre has just moved from Trinidad, sent by her conservative mother to live with a father she barely knows, in an effort to "correct" her sexuality. Mabel is just beginning to understand the deep feelings she has for girls when she is struck with a mysterious illness. Published in 2019, The Stars and the Blackness Between Them won a Coretta Scott King Honor award, and once you sample its gorgeous language and utterly engrossing characters, you will see why.

By Junauda Petrus,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Stars and the Blackness Between Them as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

A Coretta Scott King Honor Book

Told in two distinct and irresistible voices, Junauda Petrus's bold and lyrical debut is the story of two black girls from very different backgrounds finding love and happiness in a world that seems determined to deny them both.

Port of Spain, Trinidad. Sixteen-year-old Audre is despondent, having just found out she's going to be sent to live in America with her father because her strictly religious mother caught her with her secret girlfriend, the pastor's daughter. Audre's grandmother Queenie (a former dancer who drives a white convertible Cadillac and who has a few secrets…


Book cover of Star Child: A Biographical Constellation of Octavia Estelle Butler

Shannon Gibney Author Of See No Color

From my list on YA and MG about the Black experience.

Who am I?

I love stories and storytelling of all kinds – from YA to memoir to journalism to children's picture books. If there is a story worth telling I will pursue it, regardless of genre. I'm particularly fascinated by stories that are out of the mainstream, are hidden, or come from people and cultures at the intersections of place, race, and gender. See No Color, about a mixed Black girl adopted into a white family, was my first YA novel, and it was followed by Dream Country, which chronicles five generations of a Liberian and Liberian American family. I co-edited an anthology on BIPOC women's experiences with miscarriage and infant loss, What God Is Honored Here?

Shannon's book list on YA and MG about the Black experience

Shannon Gibney Why did Shannon love this book?

My love affair with Octavia Butler began early when I encountered her short story collection, Bloodchild, in college. I was so taken with the questions she was asking about the nature of being human, our seemingly innate need to form a hierarchy and dominate others, and possibilities for freedom and transformation. The best part was that she did it all through a sci-fi lens...one that she infused with a distinctly Black feminist perspective. I had never read anything like it. And now, we finally have a biography for young people (and really for everyone) about her life, her mind, and preoccupations as a young woman. Ibi Zoboi has deftly penned what she is calling a "biographical constellation" of a young Butler, written primarily in short poems, but also including micro-essays on the social context of her youth, and copies of some of her first writings. Anyone with an imagination…

By Ibi Zoboi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Star Child as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

From the New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award finalist, a biography in verse and prose of science fiction visionary Octavia Butler, author of Parable of the Sower and Kindred.

Acclaimed novelist Ibi Zoboi illuminates the young life of the visionary storyteller Octavia E. Butler in poems and prose. Born into the Space Race, the Red Scare, and the dawning Civil Rights Movement, Butler experienced an American childhood that shaped her into the groundbreaking science-fiction storyteller whose novels continue to challenge and delight readers fifteen years after her death.


Book cover of Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks

Shannon Gibney Author Of See No Color

From my list on YA and MG about the Black experience.

Who am I?

I love stories and storytelling of all kinds – from YA to memoir to journalism to children's picture books. If there is a story worth telling I will pursue it, regardless of genre. I'm particularly fascinated by stories that are out of the mainstream, are hidden, or come from people and cultures at the intersections of place, race, and gender. See No Color, about a mixed Black girl adopted into a white family, was my first YA novel, and it was followed by Dream Country, which chronicles five generations of a Liberian and Liberian American family. I co-edited an anthology on BIPOC women's experiences with miscarriage and infant loss, What God Is Honored Here?

Shannon's book list on YA and MG about the Black experience

Shannon Gibney Why did Shannon love this book?

In 10 short stories set in a single neighborhood in the city, Jason Reynolds skillfully paints a layered picture of adolescence. Each story features a different block in the neighborhood, and a different group of kids confronting bullies, trying to tell their crushes how they feel, and generally inelegantly negotiating the wilds of growing up. The characters are as funny as they are believable, and their approaches to the issues they face will elicit compassion from any reader. 

By Jason Reynolds, Alexander Nabaum (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Look Both Ways as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

Carnegie Medal winner
A National Book Award Finalist
Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book
An NPR Favorite Book of 2019
A New York Times Best Children’s Book of 2019
A Time Best Children’s Book of 2019
A Today Show Best Kids’ Book of 2019
A Washington Post Best Children’s Book of 2019
A School Library Journal Best Middle Grade Book of 2019
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2019
A Kirkus Reviews Best Middle Grade Book of 2019
“As innovative as it is emotionally arresting.” —Entertainment Weekly

From National Book Award finalist and #1 New York Times bestselling author Jason…


Book cover of Piecing Me Together

Jamie Jo Hoang Author Of My Father, The Panda Killer

From my list on loving what makes you different.

Who am I?

All my life, I’ve struggled with accepting who I am. It’s no secret that the Vietnam War was unpopular in America; as such, I spent my adolescence hiding who I was. Literature like this didn’t exist when I was a kid. If it had, I think I would’ve seen myself differently. As a writer, I explore similar themes in my work and highlight the importance of discussing how our childhood experiences (good and bad) shape us. Uniformity is a destroyer of identity; my mission is to show how loving what makes us different allows us to love the differences we see in others.

Jamie's book list on loving what makes you different

Jamie Jo Hoang Why did Jamie love this book?

Jade’s Fish out of Water story about a black girl attending St. Francis High School across town and feeling out of place is so relatable.

She’s the kind of friend I would have sought out in my younger years because of how economically similar our situations were. Jade’s desire to collage ugly things into something beautiful is my favorite thing about her character. I love how circumstance does not diminish her ability to see value in her surroundings. This is the underdog story every teen should read.  

By Renee Watson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Piecing Me Together as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Author Award Winner
New York Times bestseller
"Timely and timeless." --Jacqueline Woodson
"Important and deeply moving." --John Green

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…


Book cover of Not My Idea: A Book about Whiteness

Winter Miller Author Of Not a Cat: A Memoir

From my list on memoirs by very sexy writers.

Who am I?

Raised by activist feminist parents and schooled by Quakers, I am surprisingly amusing. Eartha Kitt once held my left hand for five minutes. I work primarily as a playwright; Not a Cat is my first children’s book! Now when I show up at a little kid’s birthday instead of bringing a play I wrote, I can give the tot age-appropriate reading material. For me, reading a memoir is this intimate exchange with a writer where they’ve shared everything, and I’ve revealed nothing. What’s better than a good story beautifully curated? Okay, a cookie, but that’s it. I hope my book reaches all the kids out there who are told: be less this and more that

Winter's book list on memoirs by very sexy writers

Winter Miller Why did Winter love this book?

This is sort of a cheat of the assignment, because it’s not Anastasia Higginbotham’s actual lived experience, but it is not one unfamiliar to her, about growing up in a country in which white parents cover up racism even unintentionally. I’ve known Anastasia for 30 years and no less than six children’s books she’s published. Her book series, Ordinary Terrible Things, published by dottir press is among my favorites because the illustrations are collaged and stunning and she creates indelible characters. Her other kid’s books deal with divorce (Divorce is Stupid), sex (Talk to Me about Sex, Grandma), incest (You Ruined It), so you can see, she’s doesn’t pull punches. Book by book, Anastasia is building a more just and beautiful world. Like the others, on this list, she’s also hot. 

By Anastasia Higginbotham,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Not My Idea as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An honest explanation about how power and privilege factor into the lives of white children, at the expense of other groups, and how they can help seek justice. -THE NEW YORK TIMES

ONE OF HUFFPOST'S RECOMMENDED "ANTI-RACIST BOOKS FOR KIDS AND TEENS"

**A WHITE RAVEN 2019 SELECTION**

NAMED ONE OF SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL'S BEST BOOKS OF 2018

Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness is a picture book about racism and racial justice, inviting white children and parents to become curious about racism, accept that it's real, and cultivate justice.

This book does a phenomenal job of explaining how power…


Book cover of How to Be an Antiracist

Artika Tyner Author Of The Untold Story of John P. Parker: Underground Railroad Conductor

From my list on champions for racial justice.

Who am I?

I’m a civil rights attorney, author, and lifelong educator. My work has focused on addressing racial disparities in education and criminal justice. I worked on the Campaign for Prison Phone Justice and created restorative justice programs in schools. As a leadership scholar, I read books on remarkable sheroes and heroes. This provides me with keen insights into the leadership characteristics of changemakers while developing the tools to better understand how to build and sustain social change.

Artika's book list on champions for racial justice

Artika Tyner Why did Artika love this book?

This book is a roadmap on how to be an inclusive leader. It explores the history of race in America through a firsthand account of Dr. Kendi.

In addition, the book explores the interpersonal and intrapersonal dimensions of cultural engagement. By doing so, it offers the tools needed to understand how to challenge your own biases, stereotypes, and prejudices. It also provides the invitation to pause, reflect, and grow by encouraging self-reflection. 

By Ibram X. Kendi,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked How to Be an Antiracist as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

**THE GLOBAL MILLION-COPY BESTSELLER**

NOT BEING RACIST IS NOT ENOUGH. WE HAVE TO BE ANTIRACIST.

'Transformative and revolutionary' ROBIN DIANGELO, author of White Fragility

'So vital' IJEOMA OLUO, author of So You Want to Talk About Race

In this rousing and deeply empathetic book, Ibram X. Kendi, one of the world's most influential scholars of racism, shows that neutrality is not an option: until we become part of the solution, we can only be part of the problem.

Using his extraordinary gifts as a teacher and story-teller, Kendi helps us recognise that everyone is, at times, complicit in racism whether…


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